Thursday, March 26, 2015

Some books I've read 20

Les chiens enterrés ne mordent pas
La femme dans le frigo by Gunnar Staalesen
The Varg Veum books by Staalesen normally takes place in Bergen. In these two books Veum walks around in Oslo and Stavanger. You can see some Philip Marlowe in Veum, but Staalesen's language is not as inventive as Chandler's. Chiens loses some credibility at the end, and Femme has an intriguing mystery, but a somewhat dated solution.
Get in Trouble by Kelly Link
I really liked Link's first two books, Stranger Things Happen and Magic for Beginners. The third one, Pretty Monsters, was a bit disappointing to me. The same goes for this one. Her interest seems to have changed a bit; the stories are longer. I enjoyed the ghost story in space, Two Houses, but there's nothing in this book quite as strange or magical as The Girl Detective from Stranger.
Cul de Sac
Children at Play
Shapes and Colors by Richard Thompson
Okay, so I'm a bit late in discovering the work of Thompson, but these books have a charm that you normally never find in comic strips. And the drawings have a very appealing looseness. The characters even have a realness to them, that again is far from the usual funny pages. I'm sure Alice exists somewhere. I can see why Watterson is a fan.
Spawn of Mars and other stories by Wallace Wood
I know it's not fair or even useful, but I can't help but imagine Wood, instead of doing the usual 7 page EC stories, creating graphic novels. And with no narrative text, thank you! That's one problem with the book. What is all this unnecessary text doing on top of these great drawings?  Give the drawings some air, for pete's sake! And the lame twist endings don't help either.

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