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Daily Archives: February 7, 2008

Sirdan’s Chinese New Year

Sirdan is on his way back to Australia. He and The Empress are in Hong Kong where The Empress, though not Chinese, was born. (His parents were “guests” of the Japanese Emperor during WWII.)

Sirdan emailed yesterday:

Time now, 5.00 pm Wed, afternoon. This place is that busy with everybody doing last minute shopping, it is almost impossible to walk in the streets. I have been told not to wash my hair for the next 2-3 days, and to-morrow, must wear new clothes. Luckily I have some… I would really like to hear  M about his trip…  so happy new year and to M as well.  Am back next Wed. am, will phone soon after.

Here in Surry Hills Chinese New Year has been marked by the corner shop giving out free sweets and my practising my (little) Mandarin in response. I am not wearing new clothes. I am wearing clothes though…

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2008 in events, personal, Sirdan, Surry Hills, travel

 

Review catch-up: things read

Ordinary

Tony Parsons, Valley of the White Gold (Penguin 2006) reminded me of the old radio serial Blue Hills, a comparison the author probably wouldn’t mind, but I couldn’t finish it. I was interested in the history of Mudgee that it offered, but I’m afraid I found the writing very flat indeed. It is the only OzLit in the current batch.

Good

Will Napier, Summer of the Cicada (Jonathan Cape 2005) is American Gothic written in Scotland, but by an American. It is very good on atmospherics, and at times very powerful and disturbing. I have to admit I found the open ending a touch forced though.

Napier triumphs on two counts. His portrait of Joe is supremely well imagined and he uses the anger and desolation of Joe and his father to drive the novel along with irresistible force. Frequently brilliant and consistently unsettling, Summer of the Cicada will remain with you for quite a while.

Peter James, Dead Simple (Macmillan 2005) really is very good, even if at times just a bit far-fetched. The writing is not quite up to P D James or Ian Rankin, just to name two, but is good enough. I will certainly look out for other books by this author.

Just brilliant — a best read of 2008

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Posted by on February 7, 2008 in Best read of 2008, book reviews, Crime and/or crime fiction, Fiction, OzLit, reading, Scottish, Thriller