Comments: 6
The passage about the rain / weather / dreary setting at the beginning could be straight out of Maitland -- just imagine 500 pages of exactly that, and you've got the setting of "A Company of Liars."

I won't even say anything about the travel dates ...
BrokenTune 10 months ago
No need to mention the travel dates....I think at some point I just gave up on even getting upset about the factual mistakes in the book...this may have been after the third time that it was mentioned that one of the characters had seen the Pieta... Ugh.

You know, this could have been a much better book if the author had not specified the exact year that this was set in.

Anyway, I am glad I read it because there were some interesting and amusing aspects to it, and I liked the experimental structure of the story, but it is not a book I would recommend to anyone.

And if you recognise the writing style as similar to Maitland's book, then I will take The Company of Liars off the list right away. No one needs that much purple prose for 500 pages.
As I said elsewhere, in Maitland's case it's not so much "purple" as depressing -- the constant emphasis and recitation of the cold / damp / rainy / windy / generally seriously unpleasant weather, slate-gray skies, muddy / slippery / dirty / potholed roads, desolate / deserted / depressing plague-ridden villages etc. (all used, of course, as a general metaphor for mood in addition to describing the book's setting as such) began to get on my nerves early on and only got worse and worse as the book progressed. It didn't exactly help that there were hardly any characters that I liked, either (and those I did like got killed off early on), nor that the plot could have used some major tidying up, but seriously, the description of the weather and the setting alone was enough to make me dislike the book to such an extent that I'd have DNF'd it if I had already believed in DNF'ing at the time. (I most definitely would, now.)

Anyway ... point taken about Harvey's "The Western Wind".

Just out of curiosity, did the mysterious missing corpse ever turn up?
BrokenTune 10 months ago
Re the corpse - No, it does not. The book begins with the priest's friend/assistant getting the priest to follow him to the river in the night in a storm because he "found" the body, but of course by the time they get there, the body is no longer there.
And because the story is told in reverse, the body does not re-appear earlier other than when the missing man was still alive. While the story is revealed of what happened, the whole "solving the crime" aspect that is driven by the character of the Dean is completely illogical because there is no body from the point of the first chapter going backwards. So, at best, this is a missing person's case but not a crime as such yet, and so it makes absolutely no sense for the Dean to pressure everyone into a confession.
Sigh. And there I was, hoping you'd respond along the lines of "oh, that? Yes, that all got cleared up in the end ..."
BrokenTune 10 months ago