Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Shadow Country by Peter Matthiesen


The Vet's Daughter by Barbara Comyns


Fascinating, dark, neglected novel from 1959. A violent, tormented English veterarian and his withdrawn, abused wife and their ignored, well-meaning 15 year old daughter. The daughter suffers through the death of her mother and her father's new rakish mistress, and beginnings experiencing acute psychological distress, including the (imagined?) ability to levitate. 

Monday, July 08, 2024

Revolution in the Head: The Beatles' Records and the Sixties by Ian MacDonald


Stunning, track-by-track dissection of the Beatles' recordings.

MacDonald's forewords to his several editions are piercing sociological essays on British (and American) culture.

He has strong negative opinions about many of the later Beatles' tracks, the ones where he feels (with good reasoning) that the drugs had taken over and the spontaneous and unplanned ideas almost completely took over the painstaking craftsmanship of the earlier songs.

Wednesday, July 03, 2024

The Hunter by Tana French


Liked this one, a "sequel" of sorts to her recent novel "The Hunter." 

But it's a slow burner, and her Irish idiomatic dialogue gets a little wearying. 

More secrets and betrays and bad parenting in a remote Irish town, centered on the transplanted American retired detective and the somewhat-abandoned, previously-feral 15 year old girl he cares for and attempts to instruct.

I do long for the earlier Dublin murder squad novels though.

Sheila arranges the shirt on a hanger and hooks it onto the back of a chair. She says, "I shoulda picked ye a better father."

"Then we wouldn't exist," Trey points out.

Sheila's mouth twists in amusement. "No woman believes that," she says. "No mother, anyhow. We don't say it to the men, so as not to hurt their feelings -- they're awful sensitive. But you'd be the same no matter who I got to sire you. Different hair, maybe, or different eyes, if I'd went with a dark fella. Wee little things like that. But you'd be the same same."

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