I actually finished two books yesterday!
Review #1: Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie
OK, so Christie gets a lot of praise for her work in the mystery genre. I remember seeing The Mouse Trap performed at VFCC and thought it was excellent. I’ve heard so many good things about the things she wrote, so when I pulled this book off my shelf, I went in with some high expectations, which, unfortunately, were let down.
The title pretty much speaks for itself: someone gets murdered during a cruise on the Nile river, and Hercule Poirot, a recurring character of her’s, is on the case to figure out whodunit. Obviously, he figures it out, but I’m not going to tell you who it was. Not a very polite thing to do with a mystery novel.
People apparently loved this when it came out. Me? Not so much. I certainly have no quibble with Christie’s writing style, or the plot, but perhaps more with the timing. There’s a LOT of set-up (takes nearly half the book), the murder finally happens, and they spend the rest of the time figuring it out, with a couple more murders in there to keep things interesting. Poirot seems to pull his answers out of thin air, sometimes, based on extremely mundane details, and the whole thing just kind of drags behind his thinking about the case.
To sum up, this is not a bad book, but I did not care for it. Guess I’m not much of a mystery guy.
Review #2: what is this thing called love by Kim Addonizio
This was a lot more fun. This is my first time reading through an entire poetry book, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Addonizio touches on themes of one-night stands, death, love, children, death, and many others. She’s quite edgy as well, hinting at drinking and drug issues she may have once had, and not particularly caring whether or not you like the fact that she drops the F-bomb in her poetry (there’s actually a whole poem dedicated to the use of the word in poetry). She speaks from the gutters, from what many would call the sinner, or the degenerate, but does so in a way that doesn’t make you feel like one of them. Rather, you feel as though you were looking at real life, at real people. It’s my opinion that not many people can pull this off, but Addonizio does a wonderful job at it. It’s definitely a book I plan to revisit and read, perhaps at a slower rate, for greater absorption and understanding. It’s seriously that awesome.
Anyway, those two are out of the way. All I have left are the Bukowski books (which make me feel like a horrible degenerate) and Foster’s Celebration of Discipline. Shouldn’t be too much longer with any of them, though I may skip the Bukowski poetry, given my lack of time to pay it full attention. We’ll see.
See you guys tomorrow!