Seem to have been reading quite a lot in the run up to the Christmas break, but also started and stopped a couple of books not worth persevering with, and yes I will name and shame them, most nobody gonna agree with my opinion anyway so what’s the harm…

For some reason I decided I hadn’t read enough from the DC Multiverse in recent years (I dropped Batman single issues 10 years ago I’m guessing) so decided to pick-up ’52’ in trade-paperback (a decision helped by discount offers on vol.’s 1 & 2) Despite, or maybe because, this title manages pretty much without featuring the big three (Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman) of the DC multiverse, this manages to be pretty exciting stuff, giving prominence to some less well known but interesting characters, e.g. The Question (in fact one of my fav’s for many years – but completely unknown to anyone outside of comic fandom). The Black Adam storyline was one of the best aspects of this undertaking and the ‘Great Ten’ team created by the Peoples Republic of China the most exciting new characters for me – more of them please DC !

DC's 52 vol.1DC's 52 vol.2

DC's 52 vol. 3DC's 52 vol. 4

Around, in, and amongst these I also read:
‘Behind the Scenes of the Museum’ by Kate Atkinson – fabulous, evocative, charming;
‘Cold Moon’ by Jeffrey Deaver (A Lincoln Rhyme / Amelia Sachs book) – twisty, formulaic, ocassionally thrilling, fun;
‘The Hunted’ by Elmore Leonard – classic, complicated characters = real characters, Dutch’s expected flair for dialog;
‘Aftermath’ by Peter Robinson (DCI Alan Banks) – brilliant, one of the highlights of this series;
‘The Colour of Magic’ by Terry Pratchett, again, (1st Discworld) – a pale comparison to the great craft he brings to later books in this series, the beginning but not a great place to start for new readers – he doesn’t even start to get into his stride until ‘Mort’;
‘Angel Confidential’ by Mike Ripley (1st Roy Angel – Trumpet playing, Taxi diving London rogue and incidental PI) – witty, dated (80’s), enjoyable even 2nd time around;
‘Playing With Fire’ by Peter Robinson (Banks again) – police procedural, good but not great;
‘Sharpe’s Honour’ by Bernard Cornwell (no. 16) – one of the poorest, least credible of the stories so far, too much suspension of disbelief required of the reader here, and way too far from the historical events in which this character functions best, still a romp;
‘Guns of Amber’ by Roger Zelazny (book 2 in the ‘Amber’ series) – some good developments here and great Zelazny-esque touches;
‘Angel Touch’ by Mike Ripley (2nd Roy Angel) better and a touch more believable than the first, still fun tho;
’10 Days That Shook The World’ by John Reed, contemporary account of the 1917 Russian Revolution(s), valuable perspective, highlights the lack of heroism and almost blundering way a country’s whole political system was ‘changed’ almost overnight;
‘Sharpe’s Regiment’ by Bernard Cornwell (no.17) – not altogether convincing follow-up to ‘Honour’, features truly unbelievable denoument;
‘Fifth Woman’ by Henning Mankell (4th Inspector Kurt Wallander) – fabulous, everything he does so well, plus a serial killer;
‘How Few Remain’ by Harry Turtledove (alternate history American Civil War vol 1) Disappointingly difficult to get into, I persevered but still came unstuck very early on, too dull, such a pity as I wanted to like this so much, unfinished(!);
‘Human Croquet’ by Kate Atkinson – nostalgic, confusing, clever but slightly unsatisfactory;
‘A Spot of Bother’ by Mark Haddon (unconnected follow-up to the great and wonderful ‘Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time’) disappointing, unfinished;


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