Saturday, January 07, 2006

Le Carre doesn't disappoint

Unlike Archer, Le Carre's books are never fluff. The Constant Gardener isn't a short book - 664 pages before the author's note [ in which he denies that any of his characters or companies resemble real people or companies HA] and even though it is "specially designed for easy reading" ( translation- slightly bigger print for all us old folks who are the only demographic that reads!!!!!!) it could have used a little paring of detail. Editors don't seem to want to sit down people like Le Carre and say "hey old chap, this could be shorter, ya know- save a few trees!" BUT with those asides, piddling criticisms really, this is a good read. Thoughtful, moving plot, interesting characters that aren't paper thin and fun to read.

Monday, January 02, 2006


I've been away. Not physically but mentally away, distracted by other things and other thoughts than books and writing and perhaps that is a good thing. We all need a break from routine.

I have started the next book for our book circle - The Constant Gardener by John le Carre. The writing is good and I am noticeing how he handles things like introducing characters' appearances, and how he switches from one characters head to the next and even mixes them in the same sentence. This is a sensibility that comes from my efforts to write. I haven't read any le Carre for a long time so this is the first time I have read his stuff as a writer and not just a reader. Also I can see where he has got some of his ideas - the culture of NGO's, Princess Diana, terrorism, drug company lawsuiits - and how he has taken these elements from sources in the news and around us and made them his own.
Oh, life is a glorious cycle of song,
A medley of extemporanea;
And love is a thing that can never go wrong;
And I am Marie of Romania.
Dorothy Parker, Not So Deep as a Well (1937)