Books Abandoned, Books Taken Up

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I'm sorry to say I've abandoned Arturo Perez-Reverte's The Queen of the South. What looked to be an interesting riff on The Count of Monte Cristo turned out to be an endless, sordid, and needlessly vulgar tale of life among the drug-runners. Give it a miss and go back to the far better, far more interesting The Club Dumas if you think you need to read a work by the normally very fine author.

So, the primary fiction read right now is Anna Karenina and I have to admit to having been captivated by it. It shows the usual Tolstoy weaknesses--weaknesses that are relatively easy to compensate for. For example, he tends to digression and commentary on societal ills of his time. Dickens did the same, but it came off somewhat more smoothly. War and Peace had interminable essays that preceded sections of the story. Generally they were about history and how we interpret it, but they were definite roadblocks to absorbing the far more interesting story. I suspect that these digressions are shorter and more contained in Anna Karenina at least so far as I have discovered.

I'm still reading and approaching the end of Adam Nicolson's enlightening and fascinating God's Secretaries which claims to be the story of the translation of the King James Bible, but is really much more a reflection of Jacobean England and the environment and people that gave rise to one of great works of literature of all time.

I will return to Mandelbrot's fascinating study of markets and market forces The (MIs)Behavior of Markets once I've completed Nicolson's book.

Yesterday evening in the bookstore I stumbled upon a set of mysteries by Peter Tremayne set in Ancient Ireland. They feature one Sister Fidelma and may or may not be grinding an axe with the present configuration of the Roman Catholic Church. The historical introduction certainly suggests as much; however, I haven't started to read the book itself, so it would be premature to make such a determination.

Finally, I am once again reading and luxuriating in Wilfrid Stinnisen's magnificent Nourished by the Word. Pray that it sinks in this time and I might better encounter God's love in His word and share it with all around.

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I read one Sister Fedelma mystery - it was OK, but Tremayne (whose non-fiction is published under his real name, Peter Berresford Ellis), definitely imposes his own views on the characters - the most obvious example I can remember is Sister Fedelma stating that *of course* the idea that the bread and wine become the Body and Blood is just symbolic. Also IIRC the author is somewhat anti-Roman - both the pagan civilisation that conquered the Celts, and the idea that the early church might have truly had any sort of central authority in Rome.

Dear Atlantic,

Thanks so much! That was the impression I got as well, so I'll probably get too aggravated with the one I bought to finish, but I hope that I can because the historical background stuff looked like it might be worthwhile. If I finish I'll be sure to let everyone know what I thought of it overall. But I appreciate your comments and insights.





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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on September 29, 2004 6:57 AM.

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