sábado, maio 19, 2018

Triteness and Boringness: "Cover Her Face” by P. D. James





“The cultured cop! I thought they were peculiar to detective novels.”

In “Cover Her Face” by P. D. James


Sometimes people just like to talk about the books they're reading. Not boast. Just talk. I realise such plebeian behaviour may not be acceptable in the rarefied circles some people move in, but for the rest of us mere mortals it happens quite a lot. Given that reading is becoming less and less common, one would think you'd be happy people are reading at all, without feeling the need to bitch about the fact that they happened to have enjoyed something so much they might want to read it again. Unless you think reading should just be restricted to the real intelligentsia, among whom some people obviously count themselves. So, unless those people have evidence that re-reading causes cancer or blows up the WC, why not back off and let the rest of us do what we like. Or better, why not direct that scathing anger at something that really matters? "Oh, I'm re-reading ‘Cover Her Face’.” Yes, there are people who like to brag about re-reading the Shakespeare plays, but most of us are just trying to be accurate. If you say, "I'm reading such-and-such," people assume you mean "reading for the first time." I'm not sure why this applies to books and not movies, but it doesn't seem like that hard a thing to accept. As for our being too stupid to understand books the first time around -- sure! Fine! I admit it! I didn't even begin to understand “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress” when I read it at fifteen or sixteen. But strangely enough, I wasn't too ashamed of my terminal idiocy to read it again in college and loving it. Plenty of books need a second or third reading, not because we're stupid, but because they're complex. But as almost everyone has said, this is all so painfully obvious that I can't believe I'm actually bothering to point it out.  “Cover Her Face” was one of the first books I discovered at the British Council’s library. Fond memories. Some of them I’m not allowed to state here…But I loved re-reading it although it’s not that good. It's so trite and boring how family and witnesses ALWAYS complain when asked questions... And always having the same depressed, desperate, selfish and despondent characters and family members ... And every character always deciding not to tell what they know...like life really.  And then getting killed just when they decide to tell (this part I’m not particularly fond of.) I, for one, think Katherine is pitiful; the character is so clingy to that man-child doctor it’s a cause for the vomit police. And Doctor Stephen needs a kick up the arse as well! It did surprise me upon this re-reading what a nasty piece of work Dalgliesh can be denying lawyers and bullying witnesses. I always knew Dalgliesh had a mean streak...

Bottom-line: It’s all about Memories after all.

2 comentários:

Book Stooge disse...

Ha, welcome to the dark side of re-reading. Sounds like you had some good memories and then tainted them with this.

Of course, it's kind of hard to tell since you still gave it 3 stars...

Manuel Antão disse...

Not one of her best. But some better things await me PD James wise...