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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Trick of the Light

by Louise Penny

I am a big fan of Louise Penny's and have loved all her books, so far.  I didn't like this one so much.  I know it was the language that kept getting in my way.  The characters, writing, story were fabulous but the heavy use of the f word kept getting in my way of settling comfortably into a mystery by my favorite author.  That said, the objectionable language did fit in with the story and it did make a point.

Three passages that caught my attention:
"Armand Gamache knew no good ever came from putting up walls.  What people mistook for safety was in fact captivity.  And few things thrived in captivity."

"Our lives, when we were drinking, were pretty complicated.  Pretty chaotic.  We got into all sorts of trouble.  It was a mess.  And this is all we ever wanted.  a quiet place in the bright sunshine.  But every day we drank we got further from it."  (probably true of most addictions)

"And he recognized it for what it was.  Chief Justice Thierry Pineault was pissing on him.  It was delicate, sophisticated, genteel, mannerly.  But it was still piss.  The problem with a pissing contest, as Gamache knew, was that what should have remained private became public."
I am looking forward to her next book.  If the f word is used as much as in that book, I'll probably quit reading this series.  I hope it's not because I love the characters, love Penny's story telling abilities and love the intricate mysteries.

This was my husband's favorite of the series.  Read his review on his blog, Live and Learn.

7 comments:

Kay said...

I loved this book and thought it Louise's best effort yet. She continues to astonish me with such deep, nuanced writing. There is more here than meets the eye.

Booklogged said...

Kay, my husband feels the same way you do about this book. I thought it was powerful and a great story - I just didn't like the constant jarring caused by the language. It created in me a feeling very much like when my neighbor's dogs bark all day long. One of the joys of fall is leaving my windows open or sitting on the back porch to read. I couldn't enjoy that treat because my neighbors, who have 3 dogs, would bark all day long. There would be a moment of silence and peace and then the dogs would start barking and it jarred my nerves, my spirit, and my pleasure in reading. That's what the f word, used so frequently in this book, did to me while reading A Trick of the Light. It made me mad and frustrated that I couldn't just settle in and enjoy the story.

I agree that there's more than meets the eye in this book, as is true of all Penny's books. Her books are a literary treat and always deliver a great plot. I love her use of symbolism.

Les said...

I've only read the very first in this series, but I plan to read more once I catch up with the Maisie Dobbs' series. I'll have to remember to read this one, as opposed to listening to the audio, as I know hearing the f-word will annoy me!

It was so good to see your comment on Kay's blog. I had thought you'd given up blogging. I am so sorry about your mother. I'll be thinking of you on Saturday. Hugs to you.

Booklogged said...

Les, thank-you for the kind thoughts. I agree with you that listening to coarse language is harder than reading it. I look forward to hearing your thoughts about Penny's books. In my opinion, she is a literary genius. I have two Maisie Dobb's books to read. Another of my favorites.

Kailana said...

I have heard a lot of good things about Louise Penny, but never actually read anything before. One of these days I might have to give her a try.

Amish Stories said...

Greetings from the Amish community of Lebanon,Pa.

Cozy in Texas said...

I read one of Louise Penny's books and it didn't draw me in at all. Perhaps I should give her another try, but definitely not this one - constant use of any word is annoying and more so if it's a profanity.
Ann