Seven Keys to Baldpate, Fantômas, Mapp and LuciaOctober 4, 2010
This was supposed to be a post on Seven Keys to Baldpate, but Seven Keys to Baldpate started out as possibly the best thing ever, and ended up being kind of disappointing, and I can’t think of anything else to say about it. A brief synopsis: first it was a kind of metacommentary on storytelling. Then it was not.
Other books that I don’t, at the moment, have a whole lot to say about:
Fantômas, by Marcel Allain and Pierre Souvestre. I worry that I just don’t like French detective stories, which sucks, because there are a lot of important ones. Fantômas had it’s moments, I guess, but it had this…tone, I guess, that was similar to all of the earlyish French detective novels I’ve tried to read and given up on. Also I knew who the criminal was far too early on. And I’m not usually that good at guessing the identity of the murderer.
After Fantômas, I picked up Queen Lucia, by E.F. Benson. I really liked David Blaize, and the Mapp and Lucia books are supposed to be Benson’s best work, but I have a hard time seeing why one would enjoy these books, unless one likes really hateful characters.
That said, I’m still reading them. I’m halfway through Miss Mapp, which is book two, and apparently Mapp and Lucia don’t meet up until book four. I’m not sure I’ll last that long. It’s not much fun to spend time with characters who hate each other, and Miss Mapp is an even worse offender on that front than Queen Lucia is.
I suppose I will post next when I find a book I actually like.