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review 2017-12-03 16:41
Subpar Gamache
The Beautiful Mystery - Louise Penny

This Gamache doesn't hang together very well. When Gamache and two of his team are called to a monastery to investigate a murder, things once again come to a head with Jean- Guy and Gamache's supervisor who is intent on making him pay for not being corruptible. I also didn't get much of the discussion about the chants/singing that was discussed throughout the book. 

 

I think it's been about three months since the events in the last book. Jean-Guy is now dating Annie (Gamache's only daughter) and just oozes love now. The way they are together now gave me whiplash. Especially since I didn't read a hint of this in the prior book. It honestly doesn't feel earned. Jean-Guy acts like a fool worrying how Gamache will take it when he finds it. But also daydreams about being related to him. 

 

Gamache is focused on the case and finds himself in awe of visiting the monastery that has come into public focus now that the monks singing Georgian chants has become the new thing. He realizes quickly after Francoeur shows up, that the man is planning something. Again. It's just repetitive at this point. We hear about the video tape again. Jean-Guy watches it again and gets bitter again about Gamache leaving him to die.

 

Honestly I ended up skimming most of the book after a while. I just didn't care anymore. Either tell readers who released the tape, of the raid or don't. Either have Jean-Guy get over it or not. I hope Annie dumps his butt but that's probably doubtful.

 

The writing was so-so. I just found it boring to read about the chants and what they meant. Everyone has a look of bliss/Joy when discussing singing. I found it pretty repetitive after a while. Penny shows Gamache and Jean-Guy at several points writing to their respective wife and girlfriend. I assume I'm supposed to imagine how perfect Jean-Guy is since he is acting similar to Gamache? I just went meh.

 

The setting of the monastery should have been intriguing, but falls flat when Francoeur shows up and throws his weight around. 

 

The ending leaves Gamache alone. I'm still going to read the next book, hope it bounces back from this. 

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text 2017-12-02 16:01
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
The Beautiful Mystery - Louise Penny

This book was awful. I couldn't despise Jean Guy anymore than after the last book, but here we are. Sigh. 

 

The writing was clunky, I'm tired of the higher ups trying to ruin Gamache. It's getting old. The flow was off the whole time after Francoeur showed up. His pissing contest with Gamache is old. I'm tired of hearing about the raid too. Jean Guy acting like a child thinking that Gamache left him when Gamache was doing what he could to save others. 

 

Why is Gamache's daughter dating a drug addict? Apparently only three months have passed since the last book and you're going to tell me she didn't see his behavior and wonder?

 

The setting of the monastery was so so. I just couldn't get into the overall murder mystery.

 

The ending fell flat. Hope the next one is better. 

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text 2017-12-01 20:24
Reading progress update: I've read 25%.
The Beautiful Mystery - Louise Penny

Sorry this is still boring. I may be pretty damn close to DNFing a Louise Penny book. First time.

 

Image result for yawn gif

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review 2017-12-01 17:13
16 Tasks of the Festive Season: Square 7 - International Human Rights Day: Et vous vouliez me dire quoi encore, M. Senécal?
Vivre au Max - Patrick Senécal

 

A French buddy read with Tannat (who doesn't seem terribly inclined to make progress rapidly with this book, either) -- and since it's not only a book originally written in a language other than English, and in a language different from my mother tongue (plus, a book by a Québecois, i.e., non-Anglo-Saxon author), I'm also counting it towards square 7 of the 16 Festive Tasks (International Human Rights Day).

 

Vivre au Max is the first half of a two-part novel entitled Le vide ("the void," "the emptiness").  It's also the title of a TV show which, if it were real, would make the likes of Jerry Springer look like innocent choir boys.  The show promises to fulfill three candidates' wildest and most unreachable dreams per episode (at least 2 out of 3 of these dreams, or "trips," typically being sordid beyond compare): "au max" is a word play on both "to the max" and its creator's and host's name -- Maxime Lavoie, former president and CEO of a ski apparel company founded by his father; a position, that Max (a would-be humanitarian and intellectual) had taken on only half-heartedly to begin with, and quickly got fed up with when he realized that his high-flying notions to turn the company into a model of social virtues -- at the shareholders' cost -- were not going to be put into practice in any way that would have counted.

 

Max Lavoie is one of three men on which the story centers; the other two are a cop named Pierre Sauvé, who is investigating a quadruple shooting that initially looks every bit like a case of violent domestic revenge, and a psychologist named Fédéric Farland, who ... well, let's just say that having gotten bored with life's ordinary thrills, he is seeking ever more exotic and dangerous ones.  Of the three protagonists, I really only ever took to Pierre -- certainly not Frédéric, whom I hated pretty much from the first page of his appearance (and not merely for his utter amorality and contempt of life); and while I was unsure initially about Max, he lost my sympathy when I had clued into where the story was headed.  Not that I feel very much like bothering to find out: I still don't get what, deep down, Mr. Senécal's point in writing this book ultimately might have been, but I don't care about two of the three principal characters, and if the story is headed anywhere near where I think it is headed, it's not the sort of thing I need in my life at all.

 

That said, the buddy read has accomplished its primary goal, in bringing back the fun of reading something in a different language than German or (mostly) English.  So Tannat, if / whenever you finish this and aren't too ennuie on your part, I'd definitely be up for another one ...

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text 2017-11-27 15:08
Reading progress update: I've read 162 out of 436 pages.
Vivre au Max - Patrick Senécal

So, alright, Maxime Lavoie was a somewhat unwilling heir to his father's position as president and CEO of Lavoie Inc., but vowed to do good with his fortune and, having apparently found this to be an unresolvable conflict he goes and creates a TV show compared to which Jerry Springer's is a paragon of virtue ...?  WTF?

 

And was it this show's theme ("realize your most unreachable dream") that gave Nadeau the idea to kill her ex-husband and his new girlfriend and twin sons?

 

And what's up with the four killers who sent Nadeau and the cops guarding her to her death?

 

It occurs to me, btw, that since the author is Québecois and the book was written in French, I can use this book as my read for International Human Rights Day for the 16 Festive Tasks: "Read a book originally written in another language (i.e., not in English and not in your mother tongue), –OR– a book written by anyone not anglo-saxon."  So that's what I'll be doing.

 

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