Thursday, January 03, 2013

A Book I Would Like to Have Read to Me

Knitting is my favorite winter sport, and while I knit I like to listen to audiobooks. I'm very particular about readers, and sadly I've found that about 98% of American readers can't hack it. They either read very unexpressively or--worse--make really bad choices and overact in the most irritating and inappropriate ways. Oh, it can be intolerable. However, British readers (who are often RADA-trained actors) are wonderful. So I usually stick with tried and true British fiction read by British readers. British mysteries are pretty much ideal, since I have to concentrate (at least a little bit) on what I'm knitting.

I've recently "discovered" two authors who are new to me: Ngaio Marsh and Josephine Tey. Both helped raise the bar of the mystery/detective novel genre above Agatha Christie and are often considered to be at least on a par with Dorothy L. Sayers. For some reason, critics also give them bonus points for not falling in love with their detectives, which apparently Dorothy L. Sayers did and which some critics, for some reason, condemn as being "unforgivable." (Seems pretty harsh and how can you even ascertain whether an author falls in love with a fictional character she created?)

Anyway, I digress. Of the two, I think Josephine Tey may be more original, but there are way more Ngaio Marsh novels available as audiobooks, so I've been listening mainly to Marsh. Marsh should also get credit for some pretty great titles: A Surfeit of Lampreys, for example. I haven't read A Surfeit of Lampreys but I would certainly like to. I have been trying to imagine what it could be about. (I could easily find out, I know, but I prefer to guess.) Is it set in Elizabethan times? I understand that people ate lampreys back then. Or is it about someone being attacked and killed by lampreys? Probably not, lampreys are bottom feeders--scavengers not predators. They are very slimy and disgusting and primitive, though, so the novel seems like it has a lot of good potential. Plus, I always applaud use of the word "surfeit."

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home