And I was so looking forward to it …

Familiar with the literary fiction versus genre fiction debate? It’s been running forever and a day, at the recent Christchurch Writers Festival dear Mark Billingham got quite vexed on the subject, he also name-checked Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith as a crime fiction title that had managed to span the great “high/low culture” divide and gain acclaim, most notably as a long-listed Man Booker nomination.

So how looking forward to that was I? Well, champing at the bit and how disappointed … massively. The early chapters were gripping, starting with Stalin’s forced famine in the Ukraine, the almost comical perversion of Communist ideology and the first of a number of grisly, heart rending murders but the central character Leo and his beautiful but aloof wife Raisa never came to life. After lots of frenetic racing around, dead-ends, red herrings and a bewilderingly enormous cast of characters, the final denouement was satisfying but a little Hollywood. In fact the book felt ready for a film treatment, Keira Knightley trout-pouting as Raisa and maybe her squeeze Rupert Friend as Leo Demidov, the handsome disillusioned war hero.

I think I’ll stick to Le Carre, Alan Furst or Robert Harris for energetic and emotive thrillers

6 thoughts on “And I was so looking forward to it …

  1. Catherine 1 October 2008 / 3:14 pm

    Would that be grizzly or grisly? I am intrigued by the possibilities of a “grizzly” murder – who is doing the grizzling? (Apart from me, that is 🙂 )

  2. joyciescotland 3 October 2008 / 12:17 pm

    Fanks Kahtarine,

    My emmbarassing lurning disabbility hes bin expossed..I canna speel!

  3. Heather 6 October 2008 / 8:35 am

    great response …. isnt it hard when our mistakes go out for all to see. I KNOW!

    pity the politicians cant do the same.

  4. Josie 10 October 2008 / 8:40 am

    Hey Joyce – I’m just finishing ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ by Stieg Larsson which is a great thriller. Hope things are good down there at CCL!

  5. joyciescotland 10 October 2008 / 1:29 pm

    Helloooo Josie. I borrowed The girl with the Dragon tattoo but never got around to reading it…it was intimidatingly large but I’ll try again!!!

  6. Josie 13 October 2008 / 2:56 pm

    Well I thoroughly enjoyed it, and, perks of my job, now reading proof copy of the sequel, Girl who Played with Fire. They have some corny lines but super engrossing.

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