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Reading Slothfully

I was told in elementary school that I only could read at half the speed for success in college. Oh well, one benefit of slow reading is you get to live with the characters a longer period of time. I read in a vain attempt to better understand people. At my other homes, I'm known as a spouse, pop, guy in the choir, physical chemist, computer/web dilettante and child-care provider. In theory, I'm a published author, if you consider stuff like Quenching Cross Sections for Electronic Energy Transfer Reactions Between Metastable Argon Atoms and Noble Gases and Small Molecules to count as publications. I've strewn dozens of such fascinating things to the winds.

Currently reading

A Christmas Carol
Charles Dickens
The Way Some People Die
Ross Macdonald
Envy of Angels
Matt Wallace
The Fellowship of the Frog
Edgar Wallace
Code of Conduct (The Jani Kilian Chronicles Book 1)
Kristine Smith
A Good Death
Christopher R. Cox
The Black Cargo
John P. Marquand
A Highland Christmas
M.C. Beaton
Tales from Moominvalley
Tove Jansson, Thomas Warburton
Moominland Midwinter
Tove Jansson, Thomas Warburton

The Lone Wolf

The Lone Wolf - Louis Joseph Vance Apparently, this guy wrote a boat-load of "Lone Wolf" books. It appears further that the "Lone Wolf" books morphed into a series of about two dozen movies (half a dozen silent ones). I'm not sure I ever heard of them before. Given that this first book came out when my dad was 8, and given that I have an impression that he rather liked swash-buckling adventure when he was young, I'm a bit surprised at my ignorance. After all, I knew all about The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Prisoner of Zenda, and Treasure Island (all of which are far superior to The Lone Wolf). Whatever, I found this book at a church book sale and figured it might be a fun change from real literature. It's essentially pulp mystery fiction from the early 20th century.

As pulp fiction goes, I suppose it's ok, although I wasn't much taken by it. There's little character development and lots of improbable action, action that makes no sense. The main character is a master burgler who also poses as a collector of fine art. His guiding principle is to avoid entanglements with all people, especially women. So, he sees a young woman, dining with some older men, falls instantly in love and reforms, after which, people keep trying to kill him in devious ways. Or something like that.

The whole thing seemed stupid to me. But it has all the elements of exciting adventure, people being shadowed, car chases, bullets flying, bodies with slit throats, beautiful women inexplicably showing up at strange venues in the middle of the night, and even an airplane chase (only a mere 11 years after the Wright Brothers).

Conceivably I'll read another in the series. They are, after all, all out of copyright. But I've read a lot of cheesy fiction that is much better written and more compelling. I think I'll search out more of that when I need a break.