Thursday, December 07, 2006

Kate Atkinson

I can tell I have been reading too much genre stuff of late. I just read Kate Atkinson's Case Histories and I was blown away by the writing. It's very good writing mind, but this was like rediscovering good writing. She writes excellent humorous scenes as well as moving tragic scenes. Her story is realistic enough that I didn't mind the switching between amusement and sadness. I came to the book thinking it was a lighthearted tale about a private investigator examining offbeat crimes. Not so. It is about three long distant, and brutal, crimes that continue to haunt those left behind.

All three are sad and all involve children, which makes it worse. There are connections but mostly just because of the detective investigating them. You don't learn that all the evil arose from some hidden malignant force. The mystery element was terribly important to me. Yes you wanted to find out what happened, but what was more important was watching these characters finally recover from their respective tragedies.

I also feel guilty about my experience with Atkinson's Behind the Scenes at the Museum. I started but stopped at page 5. Not because I didn't like it, but because..... I didn't like the font. I am aware of how lame that is and will try to improve my behavior.

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