My Review of The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory
My Review of Revenge Wears Prada: The Devil Returns by Lauren Weisberger
My Review of Hannibal by Thomas Harris
My Review of The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
My Review of Red Dragon by Thomas Harris
Finished on: June 22nd 2013
Rating: 4 stars
Reading Challenge Book: 38
It’s so hard to believe that I’m getting so close to finishing my reading challenge for this year so soon, maybe I will get to 100 again like I did last year.
I moved on from Hannibal Rising to the next book chronologically in Harris’ Hannibal Lecter series, the first book to be published, Red Dragon. This story deals with the hunt for the ‘Tooth Fairy’ serial killer by the FBI, led by Jack Crawford. Hannibal Lecter is at this point incarcerated after being caught some years before by investigator Will Graham, who paid a heavy price for catching him both before the story begins and as it ends.
I have to admit, I’ve seen all of the movies of this and Red Dragon didn’t impress me storyline wise as much as the others. However, the new TV series Hannibal tells the pre Red Dragon story in a very intriguing way which I think provides extra layers into how I interpret the book.
Overall, I still view Harris as a master of this type of genre, the characters are subtle and believable with many complex layers which make them really interesting. I would credit Will Graham as the most intriguing character of this book outside of Lecter himself for being a man so alike to serial killers in terms of psychology and particularly empathy, but so desperate to escape his FBI past in favour of a normal life.
Finished on: 24th January 2013
5th Book of my 2013 Reading Challenge
Rating: 4 stars
Grantchester Grind is the sequel to Porterhouse Blue, a funny and satirical look at Oxbridge traditions that I really enjoyed. Grantchester Grind follows it’s predecessor with a hop, skip and a laugh into the style of writing that Sharpe has made his own.
Porterhouse Blue ended with the death of the current master Sir Godber Evans and the election of Skullion as Master, previously the Head Porter. Skullion goes on to suffer from a ‘Porterhouse Blue’, which is the college term for a stroke brought on by the luxurious and rich diet they eat at High Table. Grantchester Grind follows some years later, where Sir Godber’s widow, Lady Mary, is convinced her husband was murdered. She proceeds to create a Sir Godber Evans Memorial Fellow, who, funded by a generous salary, will integrate into the college and subtly investigate the circumstances of her husband’s death. Her choice is Dr Purefoy Osbert, who is not really welcomed with open arms at the fictitious college where a first class degree is a once in a blue moon occurrence and miracle.
As the investigation of Sir Godber’s death plays out, the Dean of the College takes it upon himself to visit prosperous Old Porterthusians (previous members of Porterhouse) in the hope that one is willing and able to become Master if and when Skullion cannot continue. At the same time, the current Bursar is contacted by an American media mogul who seems to be interested in supporting the college without clarifying what it is he wants in return.
Overall, a great satire of tradition in Oxbridge for the sake of tradition and the focus on tradition and sport rather than academia. Skullion failed to deliver for me this time though, given that his character didn’t really get a chance to shine as he was still in a state from his stroke. He still manages to steal the limelight at the end as he does in the first book, which remarks on what a strong personality he is. And I still laugh at the Chaplain’s controversial opinions and distorted hearing which makes him hear things completely wrong. The character’s are familiar with some new ones filtering in to make the story fresh, and without giving away the ending too much, Porterhouse may finally begin embracing the future but still maintaining their staunch traditionalism of the past that they’ve clung to.