"'What's up, Dogger?' I asked lightly, trying to make it sound a little bit -- but not too much -- like Bugs Bunny."
Take note, Ms. Wright: This is how you do pop culture references -- you want them to have a topical and period adequate connection to whatever events you're in the process of describing.
And then, just a little later, we get to:
"Then there was curare. It , too, had an almost instant effect and again, the victim died within minutes by asphyxiation. But curare could not kill by ingestion; to be fatal, it had to be injected. Besides that, who in the English countryside -- besides me, of course -- would be likely to carry curare in his kit?"
Flavia is 11.
And a certain teenage boy comes to mind whose story Kathryn Harkup tells in A Is for Arsenic ... and who, like Flavia, also owned his first chemistry set before he'd actually turned "-teen" and used it to poison his stepmother. I guess it's a good thing Flavia is the narrator and heroine of this series ...
Irreverent, insightful, funny, deeply humane and empathetic.
The myth of Odysseus is one of my favorite parts of Greek mythology: in telling it from the perspective of Penelope -- with a good bit about Penelope's childhood and youth, and her and Odysseus's marriage thrown in for good measure, as well as with her 12 slain maids acting as a very Greek chorus -- Atwood turns it inside out, gives it a feminist spin, and puts it together again in her very own way. And Laurel Merlington's narration is sheer genius ... if you're into Greek mythology and audiobooks, get the audio version now. (If you're not into audiobooks but into Greek mythology, still get the edition of your choice.)
Absolutely loved every second of it.
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 ...
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.