Friday, September 30, 2011

2011 books, #81-85

Is it cowardly to pray for rain? the online Ashes chronicle of a nation's office-bound nervousness, by Mike Adamson, James Dart, Sean Ingle and Rob Smyth. London: Abacus; Guardian Books, 2005.

Reading the Guardian's over-by-over chronicle of a 6-year-old Test series really shouldn't be huge fun, but actually it was. Partly it's the Ashes, but mainly it's the comments coming in from people who are quietly hitting Refresh on their browsers every couple of seconds to get the score and ball-by-ball commentary, because of course that wasn't at all how several of us in our office spend at a few days of our summers (and in fact part of the winter too, while the World Cup was on...) A couple of people I know are in the comments; one of them even has her name spelled correctly - good old Grauniad. The fun is enhanced by knowing that the commentator isn't even at the game, but relying on the TV commentary which will sometimes, quite literally, go off to the races. A little bit akin to listening on Long Wave and going off to the shipping forecast at the wrong moment.

Savage run; Trophy hunt; Out of range; Three weeks to say goodbye, by C J Box. Kindle editions.

I don't normally review four books under one heading, but I'm catching up on the books read on the Kindle over the last few months (it's a lot easier to keep track of print books!); and the main thing about C J Box's writing is that he puts basically good, family men into extraordinary circumstances, and shows that the veneer of civilisation is sometimes just that. The first three of these are Joe Pickett novels, and the fourth a standalone, but the analysis of character and this basic theme is the same in all of the books. That's not to say they're interchangeable, and they're all very enjoyable.

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