Posts Tagged ‘efbenson’


Seven Keys to Baldpate, Fantômas, Mapp and Lucia

October 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: Read the rest of this entry ?


David Blaize

September 24, 2010

Sometimes I read a book and know exactly what I want to say about it, and writing about it is easy and fun. Other times, it’s a struggle. I don’t know what I think of the book, and I write about five half-posts before I come up with something that says about half of what I wanted to say.

I think David Blaize falls into the latter group.  So, things:

  • I think the real problem here is the structure. There’s pretty much no plot. In the first half of the book, David goes to a school called Helmsworth. In the second half he goes to a school called Marchester. He has some friends. He gets into trouble a couple of times. He plays some cricket. At the end, he gets horribly injured, and the  whole chapter feels like it ought to be in a different book. It’s like E.F. Benson just wrote whatever he wanted about his main character, without really bothering to make sure all the parts were related in any significant way. And somehow there’s almost no narrative tension to be found anywhere. Read the rest of this entry ?