Crime and family in books and film

Some book highlights from my rss reader, sadly neglected for about a week (which is an eon in blog terms; how quickly one becomes overwhelmed with tempting and fascinating information by not keeping up for a few mere days).

I thought Susan, in particular, would like this review by Bluestalking Reader of "Kate’s Pride" by Renee Russell. Like the author of the book, Susan is creating a biographical record of her family. Russell has written a book about her ancestor based on the facts she was able to discover; I wonder if Susan will do the same for her family? From what I’ve read of her story, it would qualify on interest grounds.

Nicole Rafter has posted a review of the film Deja Vu on her monthly crime film review at the OUP editors’ blog. It is a very clever article, as it starts out by saying that the film isn’t very interesting. Yet, one reads on, and is absorbed by the analysis of what makes a "surveillance" film. More is promised, next time on Matt Damon in The Good Shepherd.

More crime film news, or more precisely, TV news, Eurocrime and It’s a Crime! note that Andrew Taylor’s "Roth" trilogy will be on ITV1 from 11 to 13 March. I haven’t managed to read a Taylor book yet, despite the generous CrimeFicReader sending me one, so for me this TV series will be one to record and watch later, rather than to see live. But from the crime blog buzz and the evident production values, it looks like one to watch.

Frank Wilson tells us that the new biography of John Osborne is one of the best literary biographies he has ever read. Osborne is certainly a dream subject for a writer: talented, horrid and "larger than life". I’ve read all his plays and I read the columns he wrote regularly in the Spectator in his later years with a ghastly fascination.

M. J. Rose promotes the ITW (International Thriller Writers) new blog. This is the outfit that has the "150 Thrillers" website. Apparently the organisation now has 500 authors and 9,000 readers signed up. M. J. also points to an article by author James Grippando about his appearane on a panel discussing Patterson and book sales — just why does that brand (one can no longer call him an author, he’s just franchised his third series and that doesn’t count his standalones or "young adult" novels) sell so much as his quality goes down? I don’t get it. Well, read JG’s post — most revealing on supermarkets, marketing and sales figures.

Before I end this (overlong, sorry) post, I want to mention two book posts I recently very much enjoyed: a review of Amsterdam (Ian McEwan) at Random Jottings,  and a poignant retrospective of Andrea Badenoch, and her book Blink, at It’s a Crime!

6 thoughts on “Crime and family in books and film

  1. Thanks for the note on my Badenoch post, she deserves it. Andrea Badenoch came of age in her writing just as God called. An untimely call IMHO, but who are we mortals to argue?
    As for Taylor’s call into the broader world – it’s long overdue. I just hope that the TV serial consolidates the Richard & Judy exposure and highlights that Taylor has so much on offer in his wonderful story-telling. Taylor has been too hidden until now.

  2. Thank you for mentioning my Hobson family pages, Maxine!
    I read Frank Wilson’s review of the John Osborne biography with great interest. My first instinct is to simply *hate* Osborne, but I think a kinder analysis suggests that he was mentally ill.

  3. Thanks for the Amsterdam review. I starred this post in my reader so I can go back and read it when I finish the book, which I am having trouble with due to too many family distractions. I desperately want to carve out some solid reading time so I can give it my full attention.

  4. Know the feeling, Marydell. At least with Amsterdam, it is very short — more of a novella than a novel, so should not take you long. I very much enjoyed it so I hope you’ll find it worth quarrying the time for.

  5. Of McEwan’s novels that begin with the letter “A,” I loved _Atonement_ and despised _Amsterdam_. Let me amend that: At first I really *liked* _Amsterdam_, but then he had to do one of his parodic endings and it killed it for me. I always think of McEwan, Amis, and Barnes as three very, very brilliant guys who have had a hard time giving up their adolescent impulses (come to think of it, I don’t think Amis even has yet). McEwan certainly has: _Atonement_ was an amazing book IMHO (of the several of his I have read)– not just clever, but profound.

  6. Thanks, Susan — I can see I am going to have to read Amsterdam again, as I have completely blanked on the ending of Amsterdam.
    Amis, forget him. Barnes — can never quite decide.
    McEwan — different class entirely.

Comments are closed.