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Old 04-16-2019, 09:38 AM   #39
Catlady
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CRussel View Post
I normally like Derek Jacobi as a narrator, but have frequently found his portrayal of American voices jarring, as I did in this case. But the real problem was the book itself -- really, unless you're much better grounded in the Plantagenets and Tudors than anyone educated in the US is likely to be, it's really hard to follow the various characters around Richard. So being able to quickly look up various folk really helps, and that's easier for the eBook than an audio book.
I'm not going to be looking up a boatload of historical persons when I'm reading a novel, whether it be an audiobook or text. In a novel especially, it's up to the author to make the historical data easy enough to understand by giving the reader more cues to understand how people and events fit together.

Quote:
There's so much wrong with that statement it's hard to know where to begin. But let's start with who gets the credit. The writer gets the credit. Dedications are free. (I know, I've had the opportunity to dedicate >3 dozen books over the years. No one but the person receiving the dedication really cares.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmw View Post
I believe Catlady was referring to the only credit worth having: credit with the reader of this book. At the end the reader is left with the impression that Grant has kindly bestowed his knowledge on the American, wanting nothing in return. So in the fictional world the credit may seem to be with the American, but in the real world the reader knows (or seems to know) which character deserves the credit.
This. Seems like we're supposed to think of Grant as the great detective whose ruminations have cracked the case.

Quote:
But we face the same problem with the painting he asks everyone to judge, a painting at least two removes from the original painting, itself an artists rendering of the original visage. Why is Grant's phrenological belief in faces never exposed for the farce this painting of a painting of a painting exposes it to be? Sure, I really like that painting - compare it to the rat-like features of Henry VII shown on Wikipedia at the moment - but to try and read whether that face was capable of dispatching two young boys is ludicrous in the extreme. Only the doctor got it right when he said: "I suppose villainy, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder."

I actually like the idea of using the painting as a way into the story, but it seems a big mistake to have an experienced detective portrayed as believing such nonsense.
Yes, too much was made of the painting; it's fine if Grant looks at it himself and thinks it's not the face of a murderer, or if he looks at it and it simply sparks his interest. But to harp on it was dumb. (Though I did like how Tey returned to the painting again at the end.)
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