Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Everything I Consume: The Daughter of Time and The Crown Crime Companion

Years ago I read an interview with V.S Naipaul, I have no idea why, where he said he would give a book 100 pages or so and if he didn't like it he would just stop reading. I've never actually read any of V.S Naipaul's books but I figure if a Nobel Prize-winning author would quit on a book he didn't like I certainly could. This was a revelation. I've been much more aggressive about giving up on books ever since. So, I bailed on The Daughter of Time after about fifty pages. I'd only been reading it because The Crown Crime Companion said it was the fourth-best mystery ever written. Better than Murder Must Advertise, Red Harvest, The Long Goodbye or Murder on the Orient Express. Better than anything written by Jim Thompson, Ross Macdonald or Ken Follett. I beg to differ. After fifty or so pages I found myself with that familiar feeling on involuntarily skimming paragraphs, then whole pages and then not caring enough to go back.

The story is about a English policeman stuck in the hospital who decides to solve the mystery of whether Richard III actually killed his two nephews. This was an interesting premise but there's too much of that breezy British dialogue that I can't stand. I just don't see the point of reading this book when there are still Agatha Christies and Dorothy Sayers I haven't read.

Since I only read this book because The Crown Crime Companion recommended it that book gets sent to too. Go, false guide to mystery novels, go! And I'm not going to read Presumed Innocent, either.

No comments: