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Posts Tagged ‘P. G. Wodehouse’

I got through two this week – I couldn’t settle for a couple of nights, so the challenge has benefitted – I only have another three books to go to reach my target, with about 8 weeks to the end of the year.

So, on we go…

Book 48 – The Man Upstairs and Other Stories, by P.G. Wodehouse. This was a collection of short stories, which was a fun change of pace.  There were repeated visits to the same environments, but the characters were different in each story – I half expected some to crash into others as they cavorted around casinos or popped into galleries.  The tales are all various levels of funny – some raised a gentle smile, some a laugh – and as a whole the book left me feeling quite cheery up to the very last tale which was a bit more nuanced.

The downside of the book is that there is no follow-through: some stories could have been whole books in their own right with the number of loose ends available, but that is the nature of a short story I think.  You have to imagine where the story would go, what the characters choose to do next, if endings are left open.

Because there are multiple stories I can’t give a brief synopsis, but I can say that as my first Wodehouse it was readable, engaging and enjoyable.  Not too shabby, hey?!

Book 49 – Haunted on Bourbon Street, by Deanna Chase, was an entirely different prospect.  My last free download by a modern author for this year, I expect, this one is the first of a series about an empath who exists in a modern world where her abilities leave her very vulnerable, and unwilling to tell people what she can do.

I have to admit I chose this one because the front cover reminded me of Bewitched but as the main character does not self-identify as a witch it was a bit random!  As usual, I will try not to spoil the book, but I will say that the storyline was as much about abilities and sex as it was about forging new relationships and learning to trust people.  The sex scenes were over-used I feel, but again not too cringe-inducing!

I found this a little choppy  in some places, for a number of reasons.  Firstly, the setting is New Orleans, but for the vast majority of the tale the events could take place anywhere, and I think that was a wasted opportunity.  Secondly, one key plot point was so obvious it may as well have been written straight away because it just made the main character look naive.  Finally, the main character was frustrating.  She seemed to be collapsing and needing a rescuer every night, totally reliant on the men around her.  Plus her aunt, who was allegedly her whole family, and closer than her own skin, was constantly being forgotten, glossed over and generally ignored.

But it was a nice escapist piece of fiction, generally well-paced, with some fun characters.  The development of friendships through the book is engaging and gratifying, and the idea that you have to always look beneath the surface of people a strong message from start to finish.  There was genuine menace in the scary segments, and it made some of the fears very believable.  Finally, it was fun to explore the world through a form of ‘magic’ that is rarely used, giving the autheor a chance to develop the magical realism in a less overcrowded area.

That’s me done for now – I will catch up after my honeymoon!

Until then – happy reading,

EJ

🙂

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