Sunday, December 28, 2003

More reading.

That's right. I forgot. I don't like historical fiction, and Alice in Exile is reminding me why. If an author knows her (or his, in this case) history, and keeps the book true to it, it can turn into an all too predictable read for another historian. I don't need to read a ficitious story about pre-Great War landed gentry because I already know too much about them already, and I can pretty much guess what a character who hopes to be returned as the Conseravtive MP from Knapley is going to do. Then again, if the author strays from written history and has a character making original or novel decisions, then it turns into an exercise in exasperation for the readers, because they know no real person could have behaved that way in that place and time. So, a choice between tedium and disbelief--not a good place for me to be as a reader.

It's not that it's a poorly written book (although I should point out that Rettenburg's valet should be called "Pyotr" *not* "Pytor"). I'm just discovering that I'd rather read an actual history book about pre-WWI Russia/England than a fictional account of the same.

In other reading news, it is a mistake to pick up a book just because the author looks like a cutie in her dust jacket photo. Quite honestly, Maile Meloy's Liars and Saints felt more like an outline for a novel than a novel itself. Nothing about this book, none of the characters, was fully realized or developed. The plot was there, but nothing was built on top of it.

She's still hot, though.

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