The last couple of Hornby novels were starting to confirm that I loved Hornby’s non-fiction writings more than his novels. This novel reminded me why I keep reading Hornby’s fiction.
This novel was delightful, snappy, and full of distinct characters. I really enjoyed the dialogue and the pacing. The novel is about the cast and crew of a 1960s British sitcom, and there were just enough period details to make it fun and believable.
I’ve been ruminating a lot on romantic relationships and there were characters and relationships in this novel in that same vein. There is a central romance, but it’s subtle and the man in love with the protagonist has a crush on her for years. He admitted he would be happy if he could just eat breakfast with her everyday for the rest of their lives. I thought there was a good emphasis on companionship, both romantic and platonic in this novel.
I am very glad Hornby seems to be really back in the novel game. While I didn’t dislike his last couple of novels, they were not as memorable for me. This one makes me more excited about reading all his works.
Read May 23-24, 2015.
A good start to a mystery series.
I read the first few pages of this novel back in February, but I didn’t really pick it up until recently where I finished it one weekend day as I often do. I had a Not Great week. I had not read a book in a few weeks so this was just right. It was a hot, humid day. I needed this book after a long week. I sunk into the mystery.
It was not the absolute best mystery, but pacing was right. I think it is a bit too long though, but I enjoyed it. Now that I’ve been reading J. K. Rowling for almost seventeen years, I’ve become use to her style. There is a certain wry humor and I share her love of English words. Having read The Casual Vacancy, I could see the similarities in her characters and themes as well. She is not a perfect writer nor the most literary, but she has become almost a comfort.
One thing I really liked was how London it felt. I knew that area of central London well and reading the street names brought feelings of nostalgia. Rowling has always been an interesting observer of class as well. I think she tackles it just as well as any modern British writer. Maybe even better because of her backgroun.
While I did not absolutely love Strike at first, I did find him a fascinating character and well drawn. I really liked Robin too. I wish there had been more of her. It’s got a good Holmes/Watson dynamic. I am looking forward to reading the next novel.
Read May 9, 2015.