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The Hidden - The Ex-Communicator

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February 27th, 2010

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11:54 am - The Hidden
I can't find a good book to listen to on audio at the moment. I have been listening to The Hidden by Tobias Hill but I can't really stick with it. It's well written, and the concept is good, but I dislike the characters and it doesn't have enough forward momentum to grip me. The story is that an archaeology student runs away to winter Greece to escape a failed marriage and gets work on a dig in Sparta (as was). What is beautifully conveyed is his developing belief that there was something hideously wrong with ancient Sparta, that it was infected with compulsive violence, perhaps through some curse on the land itself. I suspect that the student desires victimisation, that is what draws him to this image of Sparta, and as the story develops he will become a kind of scapegoat or helot for the rest of the archaeologists. But this is a depressing journey in the company of a bunch of nasty snobby bullies, so I am going to put it down unfinished.

On the plus side Yellow Blue Tibia and The City and the City both arrived in the post so I have paper-reading to do.

(6 comments | Leave a comment)


Date:February 27th, 2010 12:04 pm (UTC)
My favourite audio of all time so far, is Jonathan Strange and Mr Norell. Frock coats and mysticism and duels, oh yes.

It isn't very worthy though :-)
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Date:February 27th, 2010 01:37 pm (UTC)
I love it. I think it's the only book I have listened to on audio twice. And I always imagine the fairy king looking like Jude Law :-)
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Date:February 27th, 2010 04:13 pm (UTC)
Sounds good, but unfortunately they don't have it on audible uk - no idea why not, they have other McCarthy. I have decided against Blood Meridian or The Road because I am feeling a bit gloomy this month anyway. I think I might go for something completely safe and cheerful like Pride and Prejudice.
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Date:February 28th, 2010 09:30 am (UTC)
This is next for me after The Magus Hmm.
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Date:February 28th, 2010 09:42 am (UTC)
The Hidden seems to be compared quite often to The Secret History by Donna Tartt, don't know if you liked that (I haven't read it). I may be a bit intolerant of the class dynamics of books like this. The lower class person dying to be accepted.

I think listening on audio gives me a very rosy view of some books - ones with lots of characters and description - but others, like detective stories for instance, don't work for me as audio. There is some interaction between format and content that isn't quite clear to me yet.

I'll be interested in what you think of it.

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