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View Diary: Monday Night Murder Mysteries: Holmes, Hillerman and James (46 comments)

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  •  I like Science Fiction better than Mysteries (15+ / 0-)

    but I'm a fan of Tony Hillerman's stories (about the Navajo and Apache detectives) and the Easy Rawlins stories (about an African-American detective in 1940s and 1950s Los Angeles) by Walter Mosley. And the 1930s stories about Lord Peter Wimsey by Dorothy Sayers, which are set in England.

    I don't really care about who was killed or who the killer was, but Hillerman tells about American Indans, Mosley tells about black people in LA, and Sayers tells about upper class people in England. All three authors  transport me to a different culture in another time. I like that. It's almost like science fiction. You think about a different culture and try to figure it out.

    And, yeah, someone gets murdered and the detective eventually figures it out, but the most interesting part is the cultural stuff -- how people interact with each other in different cultures.

    "Stupid just can't keep its mouth shut." -- SweetAuntFanny's grandmother.

    by Dbug on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 11:17:11 PM PDT

    •  I just finished a Neal Stephenson thriller, (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dbug, Brecht, rl en france, michelewln

      Reamde. For someone known for his SF, he could not possibly have done a better job. The book started a bit slowly, with a main character who didn't grab me. But soon the action shifted to introduce wonderful and unusual characters in several countries (and online). The action got breakneck and for the last third, I dropped all pretense of doing anything but listen (audiobook). I am in awe of the way Stephenson juggled so many settings/people/events without ever being even slightly confusing.

      Cryptonomicon remains my favorite of the books of his I've read. I bought Snow Crash and Anathem today but I loved Cryptonomicon so much I can't imagine liking them better. (But luckily I don't have to, I only have to like them.)

      "Anyone can do any amount of work, provided it isn't the work he is supposed be doing at that moment." Robert Benchley

      by scilicet on Tue Jun 11, 2013 at 05:25:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  'Cryptonomicon' was the best novel (I've read all (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        michelewln, scilicet, RiveroftheWest

        but 1/2 of his books). The Baroque Trilogy is delightful, enormous, overwhelming, and very Baroque (plots with patterns with filigree on top).

        Snow Crash was my second favorite. Rich and brave. But it shares the weakness of Reamde: He had to throw a lot of coincidences in the last 100 pages, so he could get all his characters together, and tie up his loose ends.

        But I enjoyed the thrill ride of Reamde, and loved the whole video game scenario. The spy/gangster element, and the gang becoming a supportive group as they got to know each other were well played, too.

        Anathem I found weird. Ask plf515, he's a big fan, and has reviewed several Stephensons.

        "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

        by Brecht on Tue Jun 11, 2013 at 09:58:22 PM PDT

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        •  Started Anathem last night (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Brecht, RiveroftheWest

          and I'm having the reaction I initially had to Reamde -- it's slow to engage me. And because it's science fiction, my laziness gets in the way, too -- if I'm going to learn about exotic places and situations, I like it if they're real(ish) because then maybe I'll know something transferable e.g. if I go to the place or encounter it again in fiction. I shake off the laziness eventually in SF books I like, but I'm still a bit crabby about it in Anathem, since I'm only a few hours into it.

          I agree with everything you said about Reamde.

          I'll have to try again with the Baroque trilogy. The opening of the first book struck me as somehow kids' book-like, and I wasn't in that mood or something, couldn't get into it.

          "Anyone can do any amount of work, provided it isn't the work he is supposed be doing at that moment." Robert Benchley

          by scilicet on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 01:48:18 PM PDT

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          •  'Anathem' is by far his weirdest book, I found. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RiveroftheWest

            I found it abstruse, and it's the one I haven't finished yet. I'll return to it one day: Stephenson has a fertile imagination, so I know that reaching so boldly into new territory will be exciting, when I get there. And it did start to pick up, drama-wise, once the main character left the gates and went into the town and the factory.

            "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

            by Brecht on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 02:27:49 PM PDT

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            •  Agree on Anathem n/t (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RiveroftheWest

              When a whole nation is roaring Patriotism at the top of its voice, I am fain to explore the cleanness of its hands and the purity of its heart. - Emerson

              by foolrex on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 05:30:46 PM PDT

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            •  I'm about halfway through it now (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Brecht, RiveroftheWest

              and past the point where I wonder if I'm going to keep on -- I know I will because I'm invested enough in the characters at this point and I feel at home in that world. But not a heck of a lot has happened so far, after many hours of listening, and the one big dramatic event would have been very small potatoes in Cryptonomicon or Reamde. I imagine it'll have more tension and action now, and I'm looking forward to seeing where it's going. But I have to say, it helps that it's an audiobook & I've been doing a lot of things that make listening to audio convenient. I'm not sure I'd have stuck with a print or ebook this long waiting to bond with it.

              "Anyone can do any amount of work, provided it isn't the work he is supposed be doing at that moment." Robert Benchley

              by scilicet on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 07:41:04 PM PDT

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        •  Love Stephenson! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RiveroftheWest, Brecht

          Agree that Cryptonomicon may be his best, but I found The Baroque Trilogy (with its many ties to Cryptonomicon characters) a great delight. (Think I will enjoy most of his books MORE now that I have a Kindle - books that big are tough to read in bed!)

          Also agree on your assessments of Reamde and Snow Crash.

          When a whole nation is roaring Patriotism at the top of its voice, I am fain to explore the cleanness of its hands and the purity of its heart. - Emerson

          by foolrex on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 05:34:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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