Elementary, my dear Wyndham

The Affair of the Mysterious LetterThe Affair of the Mysterious Letter by Alexis Hall
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

A book trying very hard to present a magical Holmes & Watson and using all the right cues. An overly amusing and mocking first person narration by Dr. Watson Captain John Wyndham. A Scandal in Bohemia lurks somewhere in the background.

The amusing tone got old pretty fast. About two hours into the audio narration I started to seriously loose interest. The microscopically small plot barely managed to hold the story together. It was a slog. I only continued, because I wanted to find out who was the culprit.

Actually, on second thought, the plot wasn‘t bad. There was just too much fluff in between.

And really annoying? „Oh, she used a bad, bad word, but my publisher told me not to repeat it!“ Funny the first three times. After that, not so much!

Nice resolution at the end and there was something truly well written just before it that caught my interest.

In summation too much amusing vapor, too little actual story. A lot of talk, trying to create a Sherlock-Holmes-apropriate atmosphere. Some great ideas, smothered in the overly quaint narration. Kudos regarding the cameos of various gothic horror novels. Pretty nice Dracula rendition.

Best part of this novel: The excellent audiobook narrator, Nicholas Boulton. His tone of voice reminded me a bit of Stephen Fry.

The author has written some romance novels that look like they could be fun…. Other than that I will definitely not continue with this, if there should be a sequel. I will look up the audiobook narrator though.

The author on Sherlock Holmes: https://crimereads.com/sherlock-holme…

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Yes, exctinction can be boring

The Ends of the World: Volcanic Apocalypses, Lethal Oceans, and Our Quest to Understand Earth's Past Mass ExtinctionsThe Ends of the World: Volcanic Apocalypses, Lethal Oceans, and Our Quest to Understand Earth’s Past Mass Extinctions by Peter Brannen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The book has enjoyable stretches, but in total was really too boring to keep my interest. Strange, really, considering that I am interested in paleontology, love to watch documentaries about Earth‘s history—volcanos, movement of tectonic plates, various critters, etc.— and frequently read about climate change and sustainability topics.

Not sure if it‘s me or the book. I sometimes disliked the flip tone of the narrator. And the book was a little to centered on the US to really appeal to me. On the other hand I learned something about the geological history of the North American continent.

I think one issue I have is that it‘s not clear to me what the book wants to be. A kind of travelogue with anecdotal stories about geological and paleontological history or rather light pop-science, priming us on the reasons and consequences of climate change. Neither works well enough.

At times informative and lightly entertaining, sometimes humourous, depressing and boring for long stretches. The required doomsday scenario at the end with a pinch of hope.

About the author: http://peterbrannen.com/about

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Messy mess!

Bob Honey Who Just Do StuffBob Honey Who Just Do Stuff by Pappy Pariah
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

What the heck did I just listen to? Dear Audible, thanks for this freebie. But OMG! Very, very weird.

Dear Sean Penn, please stick to acting and/or voice-acting, which you did very well here. But please stop writing, this was a complete and utterly undecipherable mess! Political activism, et cetera, I get it. But this was painful.

Frances McDormand, I love you! Please read me your shopping list!

Recommended: to nobody!

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No salvation for me…

Salvation (Salvation Sequence #1)Salvation by Peter F. Hamilton
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Putting this one on hold after listening to roughly 5 hours of the audiobook, which is about 140 pages.

I like Callum and Savi, but generally I do not care about the story. Not sure if my lack of interest is the book‘s fault or due to my usual atumnal reading slump. Last year was the same—the later in the year, the fewer pages I read. So, might be me! Or not, based on the comments of my reading buddies…. long, slow, plodding plot, not covering any new ground, etc.

The narrator in this one here does not do a good job with women‘s voices or expressing emotions. I find his accents confusing as well.

I might listen a little further, I might now. For now banned to the DNF shelf.

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Dewey’s 24-hour readathon

I signed up for Dewey’s 24-hour readathon. It starts in a little over 12 hours. A certain song plays in the back of my head, with the line “you must be crazy”… I took part in two of these before, with varying success. We’ll see how it goes. I might take part in some mini challenges. My current reading consists of a paperback edition of Stephen King’s Insomnia (read the first chapter so far) and the audiobook of Abaddon’s Gate by Corey. I am about 2 hours into the 18 hours 24 minutes of this one.

If I finish either of them during the readathon, I’ll decide there and then, what I fancy next. No planned reading list. I will do my shopping, cleaning and what-not in between and not stress about it…

Main website for the readathon: http://www.24hourreadathon.com

Let’s have fun!