Sorry, Richard. You can't always get what you want. Just keep smoldering and we'll all be happy, all right?
Monday, October 20, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Realer than real and smarter than smart. It's as if Paul Abbott is completely unaware of any previous formulas for political conspiracy thrillers/mysteries. He doesn’t follow them or self-consciously react to them ---- he just does his own thing. Seriously, how are they going to remake this with Ben Affleck?
Speaking of Val McDermid . . . Seriously, McDermid?! You finally have Tony Hill and Carol Jordan have sex and it happens offstage?! Half-observed by some thugs on a stakeout? Are you kidding me? (By the way, now is as good a time as any to point out how sharply the TV series and the books have diverged: On TV, Carol Jordan has moved away while Tony continues to work on cases with a new inspector. On TV, Paula is still alive. On TV, Tony's virility (or lack thereof) is not really addressed. (Robson Green, are you trying to add a hint of impotence to your very, very good performance?))
Why do I keep reading Iris Murdoch? She always disappoints me, in an A.S. Byatt kind of way, but worse. I think I get her muddled with Penelope Fitzgerald and Anita Brookner and Muriel Spark, but they're not the same at all. Anyway, Iris Murdoch: I do not think you are clever. Must remember to stop thinking I like your books. I don't.
So I read Gillian Flynn's debut novel, Sharp Objects, because I like her writing in Entertainment Weekly. And I did like her writing well enough in this, but here's the thing: it's not really my kind of book. I mean, yes, it's kind of Val McDermid-ish, but with Southern U.S. sensibilities instead of Scottish. (By the way, Scottish mystery authors are crazy. Talented, yes. But also crazy.) And the critical swooning mainly seemed to be about how dark the story is. Which it is, but that can't really be all that surprising, right? It's a dark genre. In my opinion, the swooning was really about Gillian Flynn (a woman!) writing about a damaged main character (also a woman!) who uncovers the killer (another woman!) and her enabler (a woman again!). Yes, people, women who aren't Angelina Jolie can be dark. And here's the kicker: these women can be dark without any vampires around at all. Really! It's true!