Tuesday, July 15, 2008

the france post

ok, so france was nice. and by nice i mean warm, still, relaxing and a whole lot of non-s; non-home, non-stress, non-.. well, you get the picture.

i've uploaded a bunch of the photos i took onto my flickr page if you want graphics.

we didn't really do much. we were mostly just hanging out. we did visit the city of narbonne one day and had a look at their 700 year old cathedral, which was no match for st peter's in rome, but still pretty awesome, and older. for that matter, there isn't much on this planet that IS a match for st peter's - it's fucking huge! that would be the pyramids in egypt or something in their league. i'm so not religious, but there's something really awesome about cathedrals that i can't help but be pulled into totally. i saw st peter's 3 years ago and i still haven't quite grasped its awesomeness - and by awesome i mean the original meaning of the word, not the hot dog.

i read a lot, since i wasn't interrupted by the gizmos of the modern world. i especially loved two of the novels i read, this book will save your life by a.m. homes, and garnethill by denise mina. two very different novels but oh so good. read them!

the former takes you to the world of richard novac, a retired stock market person (what the fuck do i know about that?), who finds himself being cut off of the world in his fancy los angeles house only seeing his housekeeper, his personal trainer and dietist, and he's in pain, excruciating pain. was it there before and he didn't notice or did it just come? he can't tell, he doesn't know, but he feels an enormous urge to connect. so he does, in his own way. the novel is full of odd characters and a lot of warmth, but also harsh reality, though seen through richard's eyes. homes' use of language is captivating in a simple way and her characters, though odd, feels very real. i really loved this one.

the latter is actually a crime novel, oddly enough, cos generally i don't care for crime novels, but garnethill i found extraordinary. for once the protagonist isn't a middle aged alcoholic divorcee ex-cop man, but a young woman with a strike of bad luck. and it is gender aware!

maureen's an incest "surviver" with a fucked-up family; dad gone, mom alcoholic and in denial about the abuse, brother a drug-dealer, one sister pretending they're a happy family and one sister escaped to london. she's also been a patient at a psychiatric hospital a couple of years back. taking place in glasgow, scotland (which, i guess, is part of its appeal to me since i've been there) it starts with maureen, one morning after coming home late drunk and passing out the night before, finding her married therapist boyfriend dead in her livingroom with his throat cut. the police seems interested in pinning it on her and.. damn, i'm really bad at making whodunnit-stories sound interesting. here's what someone else has written;

Viewed in turn by the police as a suspect and as an uncooperative, unstable witness, Maureen is even suspected by her alcoholic mother and self-serving sisters of being involved. Worse than that, the police won't tell her anything about Douglas's death.
Panic-stricken and feeling betrayed by friends and family, Maureen begins to doubt her own version of events. She retraces Douglas's desperate last days and picks up a horrifying trail of rape, deception...and suppressed scandal at a local psychiatric hospital where she had been an inmate. But the patients won't talk and the staff are afraid, and when a second brutalized corpse is discovered, Maureen realises that unless she gets to the killer first, her life is in danger.

ok, so you really have to read these ones. promise!

ok, so i really have to sleep now.

1 comment:

Sarah Bellum said...

I've got mail. AND I LOVE IT!!!! Thanks oodles for making me feel loved and proving to the postal service that I really do know people beyond my family.