Posted by: gillarbuthnott | July 19, 2011

This week I have been reading…

Well, for the last few weeks, actually, I have been reading ‘The Crimson Petal and the White’  by Michel Faber. I’d been resisting it for a long time, but I was completely captivated by the recent TV adaptation, so I gave in and bought it. It’s a marvellous book, and what a treat to settle down with something so engrossing and so wonderfully long. Sugar – of course – and Emmeline Fox are going to stay in my head for a long time, and I think I will probably need to read the book for a second time before I have fully appreciated all the subtleties of the various characters.

I’d resisted it initially (though I do love a Victorian triple decker, pastiche or not) because I hadn’t enjoyed the other Michel Faber novel I’d read: ‘Under the Skin’. It’s not that there was anything wrong with it, it’s just one of those books that occasionally comes along where a literary author writes something that those of us who like Science Fiction recognise as SF, but all the literary readers get very over-excited because they’re not used to such unusual plots. Sometimes however, these plots are not quite so original as the literary readers think…  Another example of this is  ‘Never Let Me Go’ by Kasuo Ishiguru, which I’m pretty sure most SF fans would find hugely over rated. (Actually, I thought Anthony Horowitz dealt better with the organ-harvesting theme in the Alex Rider book ‘Snakehead’)

On another note, have just returned from the final HP film. Oh my, oh my. Lived up to all my hopes and expectations, gave everyone their finest hour, and revealed Snape (who surely had better hair than previously?) as one of the great Tragic Heroes. Looking forward to the first Edinburgh cinema to take the plunge and run the whole lot back to back…


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