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Via ".@eenderinwales"

Hello there. Hope you’re feeling well today.I haven’t it must be said been reading much in the past few weeks. Life, Work the Universe and of course the World Cup have conspired to hamper me. Well that’s my excuse anyway.

But I’ve read a couple of books recently so it’s time to chat about them. This was the first from the library.

Watt’s Perfect Engine – Ben Marsden

What did I know of James Watt? Well that he saw steam coming out of a kettle and thought “aha! A steam engine!” Well obviously more to it than that and that’s what Mr Marsden’s book explains. There are two sides to this book. One is the business side and the various types of steam engines. The business side is the interesting side of this book. It made me realise that the steam power was the IT technology of it’s day.

The scientific stuff bored me. But, then again, that could be my ignorance.

The other book was this.

Ross MacDonald – The Moving Target

When I was much younger in the nineteen seventies and eighties the Lew Archer private eye books had developed a reputation as being the sort of private eye stories for those who wanted to be different from the likes of Chandler or Hammett but not too different. What I vaguely remember are critics from the time praising the style of the writing.

I also remember that Paul Newman starred in a film of one of his books (which I haven’t seen). So it added to the sort of super cool aura of the series.

I bought this book in 1983 (first published in 1949) and only now have gone round to reading it. So let me start with the style. At no stage did I read it and thought “well the style is different”. Which doesn’t really matter.

What matters is the plot. Something I would argue is fundamental in a crime novel. Where this book disappointed was the simple fact that I had worked out what the big reveal was many chapters beforehand. Practically waving to me as the book drew to a close.

It was not an awful book. Far from it. It was however not special either. But given the reputation it had before I started reading I’ve got to say that it’s probably the most disappointing book I’ve read this year.

Until the next time.