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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 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
On The Beach (Vintage Classics)
Nevil Shute Norway
The Maltese Falcon
Dashiell Hammett
Obscure Destinies
Willa Cather
A Start in Life (The Michael Cullen Novels)
Alan Sillitoe
Mobilizing Web Sites: Strategies for Mobile Web Implementation
Kristofer Layon

A Drink Before the War

A Drink Before the War - Dennis Lehane I didn't much care for this book. The main character, Patrick Kenzie, is an asshole, and it's not clear that his partner, Angela, is much better. The story moves along ok, but the author is given to cheap, cynical commentary, perhaps as a way to pretend he has an intellect. Personally, I find his commentary seriously lacking in value. Yeah, everything sucks and everyone is a corrupt weasel. So?

When only a quarter through this book, I already began having problems. It's tough-guy Boston. Lots of details about Boston, its seedier neighborhoods, driving up Tremont Street, winding through Beacon Hill, and so forth. But then, they head north to a mill town on the Merrimack River called Wickham and move from there to an even more down-in-the dumps mill town called Lansington. While at a bar in Lansington, they mention that they aren't far from Fall River(or was it New Bedford?) where there was a notorious gang rape in a bar/pool room. WTF? Fall River/New Bedford the opposite end of the state (in North-to-South) direction. Even worse, there are no such towns called Wickham and Lansington, unless they're little-known (unknown by Google) neighborhoods of Lawrence or Haverhill or Dracut or Metheun or .... If you're going for hard-boiled reality, and throw in lots of of local details to establish your cred, don't go making shit up when you're too damn lazy to hunt up a map of an area some 30 miles north of your home. WTF?