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Book: Fever Dream (and general booktalk)

December 11, 2010

This is one of those books that unless you’re invested in the series, it doesn’t really make sense to read it because you won’t get it and you’ll be hopelessly lost. It’s the latest in the long string of Special Agent Pendergast novels, which are usually light and fun and vaguely spooky and full of the quirky Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast.

This was not one of the better ones. My favorites of the series have involved some sort of supernatural edge and were full of quirky details; that’s what makes them so fun. This had no supernatural edge, only a vague plot and not much quirkiness. Sort of your regular run-of-the-mill semi-entertaining lightweight crime novel. I mean, I liked it, but it wasn’t anything to write home about. Nor anything to really write a blog post about. If you’re into these books, you’ll read this one. If not, you won’t. So what’s the point?

Let’s segue into general book-talk, shall we?

My book count is seriously low this year. I’m averaging only a book a week, from my usual book-and-a-half (or more). I’m guessing this is because this year was kind of busy. I’m looking back, and we accomplished a LOT. Doesn’t leave much time for sitting around reading. So I guess it’s okay. Still, seeing my book list hovering at only just barely 50 books makes me kind of sad. Maybe I can amend that next year.

I’m listening to Drood on audio, and after an initial period of not being sure about it, I am now head over heels in love with the book and can’t stop thinking about it. I am seriously going to have to re-read some Dickens and definitely some Wilkie Collins. In one of those odd book-coincidences, the book I’m reading (actual paper book) is The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher, which is a true-crime novel about the first detectives of Scotland Yard, and a ghastly murder that happened during the same time that Drood is set. In the introduction, in fact, the author mentions that this particular case  and inspector strongly influenced Collins in writing his The Moonstone, and also Dickens in The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Coincidence? I certainly didn’t realize this when choosing both books. However, they are perfect to read together as they both complement the other and illustrate certain details perfectly. So, I’m in reader-heaven. I think I may have found a new favorite time period to read about.

I just heard a long account about the disgusting state of late-1800s Victorian London and the “sewers” and cemeteries. Good lord, how did people survive? Open sewers, piles of shit lining the streets, cemeteries disgorging their contents on hot summer days, hands and limbs strewn about to be collected daily. Truly horrifying. No wonder the upper classes had country homes to escape to, and ladies rode in carriages and did not walk in the streets. Really horrifying. I thought Paris cemeteries were bad. Yuck. Still, super-interesting to hear about.

Anyway, so that’s putting me in a good mood. My ear is starting to feel better and hopefully I can shake this vague grumpiness which has been hovering over me all week, since the moment I remembered I had the ear appointment on Monday. Pretty much ever since then I’ve been in varying states of bad-mood, only to be reinforced as the week went on. Today I’m hoping we can get a tree and get out the holiday decorations and make the house pretty. Oddly, reading about ghastly Victorian murders has put me into the holiday spirit.


3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 12, 2010 3:31 pm

    So glad the ear is better.

    I was hurting for you.

  2. December 12, 2010 7:51 pm

    yay for holiday spirit. and im glad youre feeling better.

    ive read about 47 books so far so i MAY get to fifty by years end, we’ll see. i had hoped to read close to 75 or more. oh well. it was a busy year. 🙂 dont beat yourself up.

  3. December 18, 2010 10:37 am

    Speaking of Victoriana and grossness and sewage…have you read The Ghost Map by Stephen Johnson? If not, look into it…a perfect complement to what you’ve got going on right now. Glad your ear is feeling better!

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