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Search tags: crime-classics
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text 2018-09-15 21:10
Reading progress update: I've read 233 out of 233 pages.
Seven Dead (British Library Crime Classics) - Martin Edwards,Eleanor Farjeon

wow. I’m in love with this book. I had finished my shark novel, which was very entertaining, and then proceeded to this neglected - previously neglected, thank goodness! - book by previously neglected J. Jefferson Farjeon. I just kept reading, from late morning into early afternoon, and then suddenly I was done. Seven Dead, and a few hours later I know why.

 

the book is fun in the early stages, but it was hard to tell if Farjeon could deliver something spectacular until getting deep into it. as the pieces fell into place, and the whole dreadful series of events extending from a first-time house-breaker finding seven dead bodies in the drawing room of a gloomy mansion - events extending, of course, both forwards and backwards from corpse discovery - unfolded with each exciting page, I realized I had just experienced maybe my absolute favorite British Library Crime Classic so far. can’t guarantee this will feel like a bloomin’ masterpiece to everyone who gives it a whirl, but I have no choice but to say “don’t ignore this one, don’t forget about this one”. let me finish by saying that, by the end, the book had a heavy emotional impact on my heart, as I thought about what had really happened to those seven doomed people, and why. almost shed a tear - not lying - and certainly had a lump in my throat.

 

a morning and an afternoon later, and I have a new/old whodunit to cherish, amongst my favourites.

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review 2018-05-13 17:12
It's no Ripley, but it's all right
Strangers on a Train - Patricia Highsmith

I'm going to surmise that this is one of those rare occasions where the movie actually exceeds the book. 

 

Patricia Highsmith was amazing, of that there is no doubt. However, this book was extremely frustrating to read because there are so many terrible decisions being made by the main character, Guy Haines, whose encounter with a psychotic murderer is a terrible turning point in his life.

 

The plot is quite different from what I thought I understood it to be - and perhaps the movie aligns more with my misunderstanding. I went into it thinking it was more of an inverted mystery, and was interested to see where the mistake was made for the investigators to figure it out. I wasn't expecting one half of the plot to be a reluctant participant, and nearly as much of a victim as the murder victims.

 

I think that the biggest problem with this book is that it felt about 100 pages too long, and took fairly close to forever to get to the point. While Highsmith excels at building suspense, the pacing was way off in this one. In addition, the end was sort of anticlimactic. 

 

I'm still a card-carrying member of the Patricia Highsmith fan club, but this was a bit of a disappointment.

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text 2018-04-23 16:16
Reading progress update: I've read 60%.
Strangers on a Train - Patricia Highsmith

After reading more than half of this one, and all of The Talented Mr. Ripley, Patricia Highsmith has overtaken Shirley Jackson as the American woman writing the most terrifying characters in literature. 

 

Moral of the story: do not talk to anyone, anywhere, ever. Do not make eye contact. In fact, pretend to be dead. Yeah, do that.

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text 2018-04-21 02:38
Reading progress update: I've read 122 out of 269 pages.
Trial and Error (Arcturus Crime Classics) - Anthony Berkeley

wickedly entertaining, like a good Hitchcock film, where someone thinks he can get away with something because he has the "perfect" plan. I think perfect plans enjoy going bad.

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text 2018-04-20 15:00
Reading progress update: I've read 24 out of 269 pages.
Trial and Error (Arcturus Crime Classics) - Anthony Berkeley

Mr. Todhunter--with only a few months to live--considers political assassination as the best way to benefit humanity before he dies. but first he has to visit Mr. A. W. Furze, to help get his thoughts clear on this matter...

 

interesting start. Berkeley's style--to which I've had limited exposure so far--is unique, and I could see it being repellent to some, but I like it. meanwhile...I guess in a way this is a form of old-school vigilante tale, but the vigilante will only be around long enough to claim one victim (presumably).

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