Sunday, 15 March 2015

earthlight; roseanna

On an August 2013 weekend in Shrewsbury I finished Earthlight by Arthur C Clarke (on Friday 9 August) and read Roseanna by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo (finished on the Saturday).

I had to look at the Wikipedia entry for Earthlight to remind me what it was about. I expect I enjoyed it reasonably well; as a general rule Arthur C Clarke is more interested than I am in justifying and explaining his predictions and extrapolations, in science in particular. What became the 'hard science' end of SF, I guess, which doesn't really interest me.

Roseanna was the second Martin Beck novel I'd read - the first was The Laughing Policeman, the fourth in the series, which had been in one of my 'best ever crime novels' lists and I'd picked up in a charity shop. Subsequently I'd bought the first three in the series in the British Library bookshop, which has an interestingly-stocked crime section (or perhaps had - there had been a crime-fiction exhibition on then or around then); I got the three as I didn't think I'd seen them in bookshops generally before. I've picked up most or all of the others in charity or secondhand shops since then, and therefore haven't been reading them in order. As I've said before, if I'd read the later ones first I wouldn't have been so keen, as they became more consciously about society (I think ordinarily crime fiction tells you a lot about the society of the day without having to consciously make an effort to do so); but this one was straightforward and satisfying.

First line: They found the corpse on the eighth of July just after three o'clock in the afternoon.
Last line: He was on the way home.

The cover for Roseanna follows the pattern of the 4th Estate edition of which I have a 2011 copy - b&w with one main colour/tint, atmospheric stock photo, sticker-style quote from currently popular Scandinavian mystery author (plus a sales figure line), text-heavy, strong font, detective name the largest element, 'no one will remember these' author surnames unemphasised. A surprisingly presentable cover given the amount of text on it.

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