Saturday, 5 December 2015

What i read in November..

Look out, here comes underwear..

The Wary Transgressor by James Hadley Chase
So when i picked this up in Troutmark i was drawn in by the glamorous 70's cover and the Italian setting, and was a little disappointed to find out it was from the 50's and would probably be less racy than i'd hoped. Luckily, this was a totally gripping pulp-thriller, with sweat-inducing tension and a brilliantly cruel climax that made me go WHAAAAT.

The Werewolf Principle by Clifford Simak
Great cubisty cover, kinda forgettable novel. I liked the idea of it, a genetically modified 'human' gets sent into space and assimilates the consciousness of the beings it encounters, ends up back on earth with amnesia, with a kind of harmonious schizophrenia, and gets chased by dogs and shit. I wasn't sold though folks.

A Meeting By The River by Christopher Isherwood
I really rate Isherwood, when he's good he's fully-all-the-way good...but this, his last novel, was one of his weaker moments. Still, it was short. Written with a deceptive lightness and authenticity - you do get a real sense of Isherwood's immersion in hinduism, the conflicts and doubts there - also, he nails the fraughtness of brother relationships. It was quite posh though. 

The Underground Man by Ross Macdonald
Another beauty from Macdonald, near perfect.

The Tangier Diaries: 1962-1979 by John Hopkins
The diaries of a novelist i have not heard of, which really capture his experience as a twenty-something in Tangier, surrounded by the expatriate bohemians that lived there (William Buroughs, Jane & Paul Bowles, Tennessee Williams etc.) - wonderfully descriptive and cumulatively it had a kind of hypnotic, slow sense of profundity. 

Vanishing Ladies by Ed MacBain
Easily wins best cover of the month. That's Blanche there on the bed in her purple dress, somehow she seems to have leaped 30 years and landed in the 1980's. That doesn't happen in the novel, by the way. She just slutty in the novel. So, i just noticed i went a whole month without reading a book by a woman. Shame on me. That's a catastrophic fail, which can't be defended by the fact i was reading gold like this. 

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