Friday, February 10, 2012

But then I am a lawyer, and my business is to make a fuss about trifles. - Wilkie Collins in 'The Law and the Lady'

I'm glad to pick up my reading again. Going off cable TV about 6 months back, is now reaping benefits. January  reads were 'The Law and the Lady'(Wilkie Collins) and 'The sun also rises'(Hemingway).

When I realized I had a long flight to California, I looked at the books from the library - The Law and the Lady, The sun also rises and Tender is the Night (F. Scott Fitzgerald). I had to decide on one of them. This is because between the number of clothes, shoes, scarves and handbags, I can manage to carry only one book.If I made the wrong choice, I would be left with nothing but  a boring book and maybe an even-more boring passenger in my next seat.Luckily, I took The Law and the Lady. My only gripe is that I read too fast and finished the book even before we completed the 6 hours of flight. A good reason for me to consider buying the kindle. 

'The law and the lady' is officially be the first book to feature a lady detective. Keeping with the times of 1875 (the year the book was published) the lady investigates the death of the first-wife of her husband, who is falsely accused of killing her. There are some hints of 'Rebecca' but barely so.It is commendable that Collins believes in women power in the Victorian era when women were not allowed to venture anywhere without a chaperone.Willie Collins is the true harbinger of detective fiction. (while Edgar Allen Poe is attributed to this, I beg to differ since Poe only wrote short detective stories and not a full length novel). 

One wouldn't believe that 'The sun also rises' was written in 1926. It could be an experience narrated by a present day American having a grand tour of Spain. This book can be set in 2012 as opposed to 1926 with the promiscuous 'Lady Ashley' shifting her affections easily from one man to another not caring for the wounded along the way.
No one can match Hemingway in the brevity of his sentences. Made me edit tons of my own writing (both at work and the novel). If anyone is on their way to writing a book, Hemingway is a teacher like no other.

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