October 31st, 2012

Kennedy's Brain: Henning Mankell

Not having Wallander on board frees Mankell up to go trotting round the globe. Wallander is lovely but for some purposes he just won't do. Take him out of Skane and he flounders. This story- which skips from Greece to Sweden to Australia to Catalonia to Mozambique- demands a cosmopolitan protagonist and gets one in the shape of a middle-aged, female archaeologist. It's a very good book- dark, political, angry (with occasional lapse into preachiness and melodrama.) The characters are complex.  Our protagonist sets out to investigate her son's murder and finds she can't do that without investigating her son- which means investigating herself as well. Two incidental things I like about Mankell (both rare in a thriller writer): he doesn't do gratuitous sex and he doesn't employ Mary Sues.

Unconnected Observations

I don't hate the new LJ friends page as much as most people seem to do, but I can't see the point of it. And it is uglier than the old one.  Apparently it apes Tumblr. Why? LJ is its own thing and a very good thing too. Most of us want to be here because it's a place for proper blogging and not just a social networking site.

My mother's telephone land-line has gone down. It was on the blink when we were visiting a week or two back and we were thinking the rain was to blame.  My sister is negotiating with BT and it's driving her up the wall- just as it did us when we switched our broadband earlier this year. God, but they're inefficient!

The referee who managed the game we half-watched on Sunday is being accused of calling John Obi Mikel "a monkey". I find this hard to believe. Would an official whose job is to keep the peace allow himself be so crassly offensive? He says he didn't use the offending word (of course) so someone's lying. Apparently things got very heated over Torres's sending off (which was entirely legit in my view) and one of the Chelsea players (again allegedly) threatened to break the referee's legs. Isn't football horrible!