Sunday, October 03, 2004

Who's Who in Hell and Fortune's Bastard by Robert Chalmers

I found Who's Who in Hell buried in my pile of books to read. I picked it up a year ago when it came out and let it sit. Maybe this happens to you also: I have a pile of books to read or to consider reading. I sit down and read the first page of each one until I reach one that I really want to continue with the second page. Then the third. I promise myself to put it down the moment I’m not engaged. This book didn’t begin that strong for the mood I was in but something compelled me to turn to the next page and the next until I was thoroughly engrossed. The “Britishisms,” the simple observations of American culture, the familiarity, and the trueness of characters, the love, the outrageousness of contemporary life, and the wonderful humor all make for an extraordinary book.

So, I was pleased when this author came out with a second novel a few weeks ago. Fortune's Bastard is equally humorous, although a different sort of plotline. It's mostly less tender than Who's Who but more transformative. I've enjoyed talking with Derek briefly about both. Anybody interested in a couple of good novels, here are two, for the right taste.


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