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text 2019-11-02 16:01
Reading progress update: I've read 171 out of 246 pages.
A Shilling for Candles - Josephine Tey

Jammy consigned them all to perdition, and went out to find a tobacconist who kept his brand of cigarettes. What did the Yard want to take it like that for?

Everyone knew that what you wrote in a paper was just eye-wash. When it wasn’t bilge-water. If you stopped being dramatic over little tuppenny no-account things, people might begin to suspect that they were no-account, and then they’d stop buying papers.

And where would the Press barons, and Jammy, and a lot of innocent shareholders be then? You’d got to provide emotions for all those moribund wage-earners who were too tired or too dumb to feel anything on their own behalf. If you couldn’t freeze their blood, then you could sell them a good sob or two.

That story about Clay’s early days in the factory had been pure jam—even if that horse-faced dame had led him up the garden about knowing Chris, blast her. But you couldn’t always rise to thrills or sobs, and if there was one emotion that the British public loved to wallow in it was being righteously indignant. So he, Jammy, had provided a wallow for them. The Yard knew quite well that tomorrow all these indignant people wouldn’t remember a thing about it, so what the hell! What was there to get sore about?

That “hounding innocents to death” was just a phrase. Practically a cliché, it was. Nothing in that to make a sensible person touchy. 

A lesson in journalism. Or not.

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text 2019-11-02 15:15
Reading progress update: I've read 124 out of 246 pages.
A Shilling for Candles - Josephine Tey

The level to which Tey fleshed out her characters in this one is simply amazing.


What a way for Tey to drive home a point (at least in my appreciation of this book) about the use of cliche, image and stereotype in popular media. 

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review 2019-09-03 05:35
Shills up and down my spine
Rockhead - Sean Toren

So, I haven't read this yet, but Rockhead is by a friend of mine, Sean Toren. He moved in next door to me over a dozen years ago; his son and my child were born weeks apart and grew up together. When he learned I was a big book nerd, we talked at length about this nascent novel, which he'd been tinkering with for quite a while. It's very satisfying to learn it's going to be out in the world. Apparently it's had a favorable review in a rock climbing magazine and everything. 


Anyway, when Sean first told me about his rock climbing novel, I was put in a funny spot. At the time, Mr Ceridwen was a huge baby about rock climbing and thought all climbers were douches. This went back to a traumatic experience with a college girlfriend and the climbing geeks she knew and kinda messed around with. Mr Ceridwen has since well gotten over it -- he even climbs with kid #2! -- but the incongruousness of how awesome Sean is compared to how much Mr Ceridwen hated climbing slash climbers made for some backyard comedy. 


Anyway, so this is my non-review. If you like climbing maybe check it out. I don't think anyone has to cut off their arm, but you never know...

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review 2017-09-30 01:12
Review: Delilah Dirk and the King's Shilling
Delilah Dirk and the King's Shilling - Tony Cliff

A fun adventure about a swashbuckling, selfish, adventurous protagonist and her frustrated and ever practical traveling companion. This is the second in a series, but functions fine as a stand alone graphic novel. Appropriate for the upper end of middle grade reader looking for a girl adventurer.


There are some class/race issues that could have been delved into deeper, but at least aren't ignored or brushed over. 


I may pick up the next one as well.

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review 2016-07-11 00:00
A Shilling for Candles
A Shilling for Candles - Josephine Tey A famous movie actress is found dead, washed up on the shore of Kent. The only thing to indicate it might not have just been an accidental drowning is that the police found a button from a dark overcoat tangled in her hair. But, virtually no one knew that the actress was at this isolated cottage, save for her husband, apparently a fellow actor, and the young man she picked up off the street to spend some time with her (but all on the up and up: no funny business, so to speak).

Inspector Alan Grant from Scotland Yard gets the case. He is showered with red herrings, but gets his person (one needs to be gender neutral in these things, right?) in the end.

Not a great story, and some of the action doesn't always make the best sense. But the characters are well drawn and the overall story line is engaging enough to keep one's interest the whole way through.
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