Communicator (communicator) wrote,

Moving back to novels again

As I feel better these days I am watching less telly (incl. DVDs) and reading more books. This week I have read The Ladies of Grace Adieu (which is the short story companion to Jonathan Strange) and I have started on Kiss of the Spider Woman.

Ladies of Grace Adieu - I think if you like the Jonathan Strange universe (which I do) you will like this. If you like her fairy world and her raven king you find out a bit more about them. Susannah Clark successfully pastiches many different historical writing styles, which is fun in itself. Personally I wasn't so interested in the stories based on folk tales because they seemed a bit too conventional, but they were still fun. If I could make one change it would be to take the existence of 'hell' out of the tapestry of worlds. I don't know what it's doing there. But this is a personal phobia. Other than that, a good read, and redresses the male focus of the main novel.

Kiss of the Spider Woman - Another stay awake until the early hours novel, although I know the plot because I have seen the lovely film. This is entirely in the form of a dialogue (with a few footnotes) between two prisoners in an Argentinian gaol in the 1970s. One is a heterosexual communist, one an apolitical homosexual. The gay prisoner entertains the straight prisoner by recounting the plots of his favourite b/w films of the 1930s and 40s. The book is nothing but his the description of films, with interjections and questions from the communist. It's a beautifully stylised constrained form. It's all about what love is.

It seems that a medium or a genre will suit a person. And if it suits you, you are quite tolerant of the less-good bits of it. Anyone can like a few arias, but only an opera buff can tolerate the twiddly bits in between 'em. Perhaps for me the medium is cinema. I often enjoy a film more than I know it deserves, just because I like being there in the cinema audience. And I will read all kinds of SF, and I like it even when I have a suspicion it's trash.

What about you?
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