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text 2020-06-01 22:03
Reading progess and other things
L'Enigme des Blancs-Manteaux - Jean-François Parot

Chapter 4, and the story is finally picking up, it seems. Hopefully it's just a slow start, and not a problem with the prose throughout the book.


It'd be especially annoying because I'm having the same problem with the other book I'm reading right now. I like its premise (it's a fantasy novel about an alternate 19th century where world powers depend on the dragons they have), but it's taking a bit to start and by this point the main characters are still pretty bland - I seriously can't wait for that development to kick in. Still, there are enough things I enjoy about it, and I don't feel like dropping it.


And, back to the French Buddy Read, I'll just drop this link here; it's a great reference work by themis-athena, I'll be definitely looking it up as I go along with the book.

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text 2020-05-31 17:50
Reading progress update: I've read 42 out of 382 pages.
L'Enigme des Blancs-Manteaux - Jean-François Parot

So far this book isn’t really pulling me in, and I can’t quite put my finger on what it is. It’s a perfectly okay start, the prose is more than competent and the location is interesting. I’ll go through a few more chapters, and see.

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text 2020-05-30 23:56
Reading progress update: I've read 4%.
L'Enigme des Blancs-Manteaux - Jean-François Parot

Et on est parti!


Alright, I've only managed to get through the prologue so far, but the weather matched the weather outside so I felt compelled to comment. It's not so dark though.


One thing that is bugging me is that the prologue takes place after the first chapter, so is it really a prologue when it happens later?


And why were they rolling barrels that must have contained a corpse?

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text 2020-05-28 17:45
French Buddy read starting May 30th

Themis-Athena, onnurtilraun, and I are planning to start a buddy read this weekend and we'd like you to invite you to join us. Sorry for the late notice but we were wavering on which book to pick. I definitely mean to spread this read amongst other books so feel free to join in whenever.


We're planning to read L'Enigme des Blancs-Manteaux by Jean-François Parot because we're trying to encourage ourselves to read more French books, but it's been translated into English as The Châtelet Apprentice, so feel free to join us even if French isn't your thing.


 The Châtelet Apprentice (A Nicolas Le Floch Investigation) - Jean-François Parot,Michael Glencross  


Later on, we're thinking about reading L'homme aux cercles bleus by Fred Vargas (English: The Chalk Circle Man) if you can't join in this time.


Hopefully I'll be able to use this for one of my game squares at some point.


Suggested tag: French buddy read

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review 2020-05-17 10:25
Agatha Christie - Cat among the pigeons (and very belated thoughts about the Buddy Read)
Cat Among the Pigeons - Agatha Christie

Even if I joined in pretty late in the game, the three weeks during which I managed to follow the Reading Away the Pandemic Buddy Read were a fun experience. I've done some Buddy Reads with other people in read life, but never online, and it went better than I would have imagined.


The only thing I regret was that I wish I had been more active, but the fact I'm a bit of a slow reader and real life issues didn't really help; while I finished "Tenant for death" in time, it took me a bit longer to get through "The daughter of time" and "Cat among the pigeons". Not that it was that huge an problem, since that way I did manage to enjoy them with more calm - as I said in another post, I have the bad habit of rushing through the last few pages of a book.


The BR was also a new experience for me in another way: I'm the kind of person who prefers watching my cozy mysteries in movies and TV shows, rather than reading them, so this was an interesting change of pace for me. All in all it was a very fun experience that I'll definitely try again, though hopefully at a time when I'll have fewer things to deal with, so that I can fully concentrate on it.


Now, on to the book itself, Agatha Christie's "Cat among the pigeons". While I'm familiar with Poirot and the general concepts and atmosphere of her works, especially those with Poirot, I haven't read much written by her - I remember reading a couple of her books as a kid, during the summer holidays, but I don't have a clear memory of them.


All in all, I found the book very enjoyable, even though it I didn't find it as good as the other two we went through during the buddy read. Solid mystery, even if some of the details and twists were predictable. I didn't mind Poirot entering the story that late, since it gave time to build up a very interesting background, and the international intrigue angle was very well done.


That said, I found the pacing really sluggish at points, and like I mentioned above some elements were easy to predict, which didn't fully pull me in. For me, this was the least interesting of the three books I've read - but it wasn't a bad book, at all.


Fun fact: the official title of the Italian translation of this book is "Gruesome quiz". Weird choice.

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