Tag: Excitement

Agatha Christie – The Secret of Chimneys | Review

Title: The Secret of Chimneys

Author: Agatha Christie

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 310

Rating: 3/5

This one’s a bit of a strange one because there aren’t any of Christie’s iconic characters for us to enjoy and it’s arguably more of an espionage thriller than a classic cosy mystery. That doesn’t mean that there’s nothing here to like, but it does mean that if you’re expecting some classic cosy crime then you’re probably going to be disappointed.

I think my favourite thing about this book was probably the old lady who’d lived a blameless life and who ended up being blackmailed by someone. She realised that the blackmailer had got the wrong person, but she decided to play along anyway, even giving him some money, which she would otherwise have spent on a dress. She just wanted a little bit of excitement in her life, and fair play to her.

From there, someone gets murdered, and then we kind of slowly move on from there. The pacing is pretty good and the overall plot itself works out, it’s just that it’s nowhere near as gripping as some of Christie’s other work and so it feels relatively disappointing as a consequence. It’s definitely something that you’re only going to want to read if you’re a completionist like I am, or if you’re lucky enough to get a copy of the facsimile edition without paying, like I did.

That’s pretty much all I’ve got for you here. I guess the only other thing that I’d mention is that one of the characters speaks like Poirot does, using English but sprinkling in random bits of French here and there. I feel as though Christie was just keeping herself in practice there and it didn’t really work so well. You see, not everything she touched turned to gold.

Learn more about The Secret of Chimneys.

 


Leonard Cohen – The Favourite Game | Review

Title: The Favourite Game

Author: Leonard Cohen

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 277

Rating: 9/10

 

Leonard Cohen - The Favourite Game

Leonard Cohen – The Favourite Game

 

Not to be confused with the (quite frankly awesome) song of the same name by The Cardigans, The Favourite Game is singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen’s first novel, and boy, does it set a high standard. In fact, I’m inclined to think of it as Cohen’s best, and it’s certainly my personal favourite.

It’s also a difficult book to classify – Cohen’s fluid prose often resembles poetry in its style and form, and there are elements of the manuscript that are autobiographical. It has a story behind it, too – unknown and broke in 1959, Cohen was awarded a $2,000 grant which he lived on while working on the novel. Just think – if it wasn’t for that grant and for Cohen’s innovative writing, we’d be living in a world without Hallelujah, Tower of Song and a whole host of other Cohen classics.

For me, The Favourite Game stands out from Cohen’s other works because of the strong characterisation and the way in which Lawrence Breavman so accurately reflects the young author’s own struggle for love, success and excitement. In many ways, it’s also a love story to rival Romeo & Juliet – in the blurb’s own words, “although [Breavman] has loved the bodies of many women, it is only in the arms of Shell that he discovers the potent totality of love and its demands.”

So if you’re looking in to Cohen’s literary output, whether you’re a fan of his music or not, there’s no better place to start than The Favourite Game – it might be his first novel, but it’s also his best.

 

Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen

 

Click here to buy The Favourite Game.