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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

Red Harvest

Red Harvest - Dashiell Hammett Wow, lots of crime, corruption, killing and, of course, quaffing (the hard stuff).

So, the Continental Op goes to a small town, where his summoner is killed before he can even meet with him. The summoner's father, who essentially owns the town asks the Continental Op to clean up the corruption (then off and on changes his mind). The clean-up essentially involves getting all the various gangsters to kill each other.

I suppose this is a good yarn, and a classic example of its genre. I have issues with a book who's protagonist is essentially anonymous. I'd read some Continental Op stories before and had the same feeling. Much better, IMHO is Chandler's Philip Marlow. Both Chandler and Hammett feature private detectives midst a background of crime, corruption and killing, but somehow having a "known" protagonist is more satisfying.