Classroom conversation and cultural commentary / Jim Cullen
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Jim is observing the transition to the new year. This moment finds him in shameless entertainment mode: he's currently reading Sue Grafton's V Is for Vengeance, the 22nd installment of her abcedarian series featuring Kinsey Millhone. Grafton has slowed her pace; after publishing one a year in standard detective novel fashion, they're now coming every other year. But, surely not coincidentally, there's been no diminution in quality. Indeed, the sense of texture and emotional resonance in these books may well be greater than ever. (Part of the reason for this may be that Grafton has not elongated the sense of time in the stories themselves, which are still firmly planted in the 1980s, back when A is For Alibi was first published.) V is for Vengeance features a series of interlocking stories that gradually converge, thanks to shoe-leather gumption on the part of the tireless Kinsey. Not sure how it ends, but the brio with which it begins gives a reader reassurance that he's in good hands.
A trip to a bookstore while vacationing in Massachusetts resulted in the acquisition of Michael Connelly's The Reversal -- another genre writer at the height of his powers -- and Roger Ebert's autobiography Life Itself. May have more to say about those in the coming days.
Best to all for a relaxing interlude -- and a satisfyingly productive 2012.