mandag den 11. oktober 2010

L.C. Tyler, A Very Persistent Illusion (2009)

This British novel, Len Tyler´s second, is a stand-alone, but apart from that it is rather difficult to pin it down.

As I have read his debut, I expected a cosy mystery, but what exactly was it I got? A mystery, perhaps, but not that much crime. A love story? But I don´t like romances. And worst of all, even though the main story takes place ´this year´, there is also an old philosophy thread. But I loathe philosophy!

A few words about the plot: Chris Sorensen (or Christian Sørensen as is his Danish name) has a good job (better than he deserves, if I may say so) and the perfect girlfriend so what more can a man wish for? A solid grasp of reality, perhaps, which could prevent him from running into the most unexpected obstacles on his way to marital bliss together with Virginia. Chris may not be your typical philosopher, nevertheless he is not at all certain reality is anything but a very persistent illusion.

Did I remember to mention how much I loathe dumb-smart fortyish guys who think they are still young and who do not appreciate their wonderful girlfriends?

So why on earth did I enjoy this story so much?

First of all it was the humour, of course. Second, the tongue-in-cheek fashion Tyler treats his own Descartes-for-dummies thread.

An example:
“Well, fancy that,´ said the waiter, who had known all along that he existed and did not need a philosopher to tell him.”

I must say that I am one hundred percent on the side of that waiter, and between us we really enjoyed gloating over the pathetic philosopher whose principles couldn´t even get him a proper meal. (As long as I have a chance of winning, I don´t mind a philosophical discussion – apparently).

In two words: different and delicious – and I bought it myself.

My review of Tyler´s debut.

11 kommentarer:

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams sagde ...

Humor is big for me, as a reader. Sounds like this one is a lot of fun!

....Petty Witter sagde ...

A bit of a mixed review - I thought oh dear Dorte doesn't like this at all only to have to revise my opinion. Obviously not what you expected, it sounds like the humour made up for a lot of the not quite so good features.

Margot Kinberg sagde ...

Dorte - Isn't it interesting how we end up really enjoying a book that, by all rights, we shouldn't? This one sounds very original, and I like that about a book. And the humor is a plus. Thanks for the recommendation!

pattinase (abbott) sagde ...

I love it when a book I don't expect to like works for me.

Dorte H sagde ...

Elizabeth: yes, one shouldn´t read too many books without humour - I get withdrawal symptoms very soon.

Tracy: I hope you can see I was teasing a bit. But really, there are *so* many things in the book I shouldn´t like - and I wouldn´t if they hadn´t been coated in humour.

Margot: you could say I had cheated a bit. I had seen some of the recommendations in our friendfeed room so I knew I´d probably love it.

Patti: I am always impressed when a writer can make me enjoy things I claim I loathe.

Belle sagde ...

This one sounds like a fun read. I'm off to check if my library carries it - I loved that it has all the elements you dislike, but the humour brought it all together into a package you thoroughly enjoyed!

Clarissa Draper sagde ...

That doesn't even look like a novel! That looks like a tin of biscuits to me. Does the novel come in a biscuit tin? Well, if it is a novel, I love the cover. I also love humor in my novels and really enjoyed your back and forth review.


Dorte H sagde ...

Belle: the way the writer treats these elements make me suspect he doesn´t like them much either ;D

Clarissa: I don´t know what it is about the picture, but I can see what you mean. I assure you it is a novel with a great cover and an even greater story inside it.

Kelly sagde ...

What an interesting review! Of course it makes me want to read it just to see exactly what you mean by all this. And yes... humor (especially dry humor or dark humor) is always a welcome thing in a novel. It's one of the reasons I loved all the Martha Grimes "Richard Jury" books. Oh... and I love the cover, too!

Alexandra Crocodile sagde ...

Interesting! I enjoyed "Ten Little Herrings", so I might have to give this a try. I like philosophy, though:)

Dorte H sagde ...

Kelly: I am glad I have made people curious. And I *did* enjoy it very much.

Alexandra: I really think you should if you liked the kind of humour in Ten Little Herrings.