Tag: Saving Grace

Thomas Harris – Black Sunday | Review

Title: Black Sunday

Author: Thomas Harris

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 320

Rating: 2.75/5

I was expecting good things from this, purely because I’ve read the Hannibal novels and so it had a lot to live up to. In fact, as far as I’m aware, this was the only Thomas Harris novel that I hadn’t read other than his most recent one.

This one was actually published way back in 1975 when Harris was in his thirties, and I have to say that it shows. He attempted to write a sort of fast-paced political thriller, but it doesn’t really work so well when you compare it to some of the newer novels to have hit the market in the last twenty years.

There’s also the fact that this deals with terrorism but was written over a quarter of a century before 9/11. Some of the stuff that he wrote is still relevant, but a lot of it has been superseded by events, and it definitely feels like a product of its time. The writing isn’t particularly good either, and nor is the plotting. In fact, it just comes across as a pretty generic book, something pretty forgettable as far as I’m concerned.

There is a saving grace though, and that’s the complex antagonist with his Vietnam flashbacks and his plot to blow up the Superbowl using an explosive-laden blimp. In fact, I’m kind of surprised that it was so dull considering the subject matter. It could have been awesome. It just wasn’t.

I’m not sure that I’d say that it’s a bad novel either, I just think that it’s very much a product of the time it was written and published in. I think it would have been good enough at the time, but I don’t think there’s much point reading it now. I would have given up if I hadn’t already read Harris’ other stuff.

Learn more about Black Sunday.

Agatha Christie – Elephants Can Remember | Review

Title: Elephants Can Remember

Author: Agatha Christie

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 248

Rating: 3*/5


Agatha Christie - Elephants Can Remember

Agatha Christie – Elephants Can Remember


This is definitely one of Christie’s more forgettable books, at least for me. The mystery was pretty unsatisfying and while I didn’t quite solve it, I had a pretty close guess as to the solution early on. I also knew that it was going to be unnecessarily convoluted, which it was.

Perhaps part of the reason why I didn’t enjoy this one so much is the fact that it was a later Poirot book when I feel like she was running out of ideas. It reads as though she’s running out of ideas, and while there are bits here and there that redeem it, it’s still not the best. The only real saving grace was that Ariadne Oliver was here, who I think I enjoy as a character more than I enjoy Poirot himself. Although let’s face it, Miss Marple is better than both of them anyway, even if she is a bit of an old pussy.

I just didn’t really engage with this book, which is kind of a shame. I didn’t really care for the characters and like I said, I had a pretty good guess as to the solution early on. That was then solidified when Christie worked in a reference to Sherlock Holmes and the dog in the night-time, which was one of the highlights here.

All in all, it was just okay.


Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie


Click here to buy Elephants Can Remember.