So you thought the parents of Sunday Rose and Apple didn’t show much sympathy for the person being so named? According to a
After reading so many reviews and opinions about
A few days ago, the omnipresent Dave Lull sent me a link to an article in the Independent newspaper, Around the World in 80 Sleuths. (If you would like to see the articles at the link Dave sends me on a regular basis, as I don’t post here about them all, please join our OWL FriendFeed group. I also posted this link in our Crime and Mystery fiction FriendFeed group, which you are also welcome to join.) I didn’t have time to read the article until today, but I have seen a few reactions to it on blogs, for example AustCrime (Karen C) and Mysteries in Paradise (Kerrie).
Anyway, back to the Independent article. It starts well, with Greenland and Iceland, but skips Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland before arriving at the Shetland Islands (the excellent novels by Ann Cleeves). Don’t worry, though, although the geography is a bit odd, the rest of Scandinavia is included much further down the list (Sweden represented by Mankell, omitting Sjowall/Wahloo, Tursten, Jungstedt, Theorin, Lackberg… and Norway captured by Fossum, which omits Nesbo). There are, as might be imagined, lots of British examples and a controversial Irish choice of “Benjamin Black”. Wilkie Collins is assigned to Yorkshire, but perhaps more appropriate might be Peter Robinson. Surely Martin Edwards should also have been included, for the Lake District? And I’d have gone for Brian McGilloway for Ireland — conveniently, he can cover Northern Ireland as well as Eire. Lots of my favourites are included, for example Michael Walters (Mongolia), Colin Cotterill (Laos), Peter Temple (Melbourne) and Andrea Camilleri (Sicily) (but not, sadly, Bari’s Gianrico Carofiglio) as well as several I am intending to read, such as Paulus Hochgatterer. Authors are sometimes chosen who aren’t from the region about which they are writing. Fair enough, but in this case, Catherine Sampson (Beijing) and Donna Leon (Venice) justify inclusion. Los Angeles apparently features more than 80 famous fictional sleuths, represented here by James Ellroy (Robert Crais and Michael Connelly surely deserve a mention). London probably has about the same number, but the only mentions here are Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and Derek Raymond’s factory novels.
None of these lists is ever going to satisfy everyone, but this one is not bad at all. LA and London are probably the two towns in the world whose detectives don’t need advertising, as you can’t move for tripping over them. It’s a good approach to draw attention to some of these less-well-known regions. In the words of a friend of mine, books of this quality save one from having to actually visit all of these places.
Via Dave Lull, here is an extract from a post by Roy Peter Clark on his experiences of having his newspaper’s copyediting outsourced to India:
” I need copy editors to know that Eva Longoria is not the wife of Tampa Bay Rays baseball phenom Evan Longoria. I need them to know that a Florida cracker is not something you eat, and that it may or may not be offensive to some readers. I need a Rhode Island copy editor to know that you don’t dig for clams; you dig for quahogs, a word of Indian origin — American Indian. I need copy editors who know that Jim Morrison of The Doors went to St. Pete Junior College, that beat writer Jack Kerouac died in St. Petersburg, Fla., but is buried in Lowell, Mass. I want them to know that Lakewood High School is different from Lakewood Ranch High School. I want them to know that 54th Avenue North in St. Petersburg is 108 blocks north of 54th Avenue South.”
My sympathies. The fact that these copyeditors are apparently trained in “the Queen’s English” does not mean that they’d have done any better with text for an English English publication, either.
My daughter is one of thousands who finishes her school year today with a letter of apology from her headteacher instead of her SATs results.
From The Times:
The prospect of mass appeals over the Standard Assessment Tests (Sats) for 1.2m 11-and 14-year-olds has grown as concern switches from scripts delayed and lost to the accuracy of the marking itself……
James Elliott, head teacher at Talbot combined school in Poole, Dorset, said: “When some of our papers did finally arrive last week, the maths papers had been returned totally unmarked. Secondary schools use these tests as the basis of their class groupings. It’s very hard on the kids to be left in limbo like this.”
Other evidence has included marks added up wrongly and “totally implausible” differences in reading and writing scores given to the same pupil……
The quangocrat at the centre of the testing fiasco is one of Britain’s highest-paid civil servants. Ken Boston, lured from Australia six years ago to sort out an earlier exam debacle, receives £328,000 in salary and perks. The package, greater than that paid to Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England, jumped 15% from 2006-7 to 2007-8.
From another article in The Times (illustrations at the Times site):
An 11-year-old child who had performed much better than a classmate in the Key Stage 2 English test was marked lower.
Child A wrote about Pip Davenport, a fairground inventor: “If he wasent doing enthing els heel help his uncle Herry at the funfair during the day. And had stoody at nigh on other thing he did was invent new rides.
“Becoues he invented a lot of new rides he won a prize. He didn’t live with his mum he lived with his wife.” This received one mark more than Child B who wrote: “Quickly, it became apparent that Pip was a fantastic rider: a complete natural. But it was his love of horses that led to a tragic accident. An accident that would change his life forever.
“At the age of 7, he was training for a local competition when his horse, Mandy, swerved sideways unexpectedly, throwing Pip on to the ground, paralysed.”
I am not happy about this state of affairs.