March 5th, 2004


Not useless

Today I have geeked, painted bits of wardrobe, cleaned brushes and rollers, geeked some more including teaching myself how to write a CD-R of something for a friend, given wardrobe bits a second coat, washed brush again. Now I guess I should find some lunch.

23: Strip Jack: Ian Rankin: ISBN 0-75280-956-3

Another excellent detective novel. Back in sunny Edinburgh with yet another new girlfriend. Nice to see Rebus keeping in touch with his new friend Flight in London. I did like the interaction between those two in the last book. Also nice to see Brian coming up through the Edinburgh ranks and becoming more respected and useful in the process. A nice little book, with thoughts on old friends and loyalties and love, and how things aren't always what they seem. Not much more than that to say really.

24: Devil on my Back: Monica Hughes: ISBN 0-416-5210-3

This is one that I've read many times. It's teenage SF, but I can't have been very far into my teens when I bought it, because I'm sure it was fairly new and this edition was published in 1985 and I only turned 10 at the end of that year.

An interesting far future earth tale of life both inside and outside of a dome built to survive the new dark ages following the running out of fossil fuels. New tech inside the dome is nicely portrayed, as is the more primitive lifestyle outside and the two very different cultures. Interesting tale of how technology can be a tool or how you can become a tool to it if you're not careful. In some ways not even the lords are free, but have even less chance of getting away than the slaves do. Different ways of looking at things can make them seem completely different. And the idea of fighting something quietly from the inside and gradually giving people the hope they need to escape, even though this could look to others like you're actually supporting the status quo.

It's simplistic in places, but I still enjoy it even now, and it was a good way to while away a couple of hours yesterday.

Correct ISBN: 0416520103

25: Border Crossing: Pat Barker: ISBN ???

Hey, this QPD edition doesn't seem to have an ISBN, how very odd (Amazon says the penguin edition is ISBN: 0140270744). This is another of the books my mum has lent me, which had got forgotten about and which I'd put on the bookshelves at one point assuming it must be Richard's without really thinking about it. I'm glad however that she mentioned it while I was visiting recently and I thought to go look for it.

The most grown-up of the 3 books I've just written up it was a very compelling read, and seems to have only taken me a couple of hours to get through, judging from the fact I hadn't started it at the time of the previous entry at 2pm. It's a short period of time in the life of Tom, a child psychologist who is currently working on a book, and is struggling through the tail end of a failing marriage to wife Lauren. Out of the blue he comes into contact with Danny who he last saw 23 years ago as a 10 year old standing trial for murder. Released on parole and living under a new name only Tom, Martha (an old friend and Danny's parole officer) know of his past. Blaming Tom for having given the evidence which swung his trial Danny seemingly just wants to talk, and an odd relationship with a very charismatic but disturbed young man follows. It's a fascinating tale. Very bleak and sad in places but oddly uplifting overall and with a positive future-looking ending.