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Showing posts from March, 2008

Reading Hints for Red Herrings

It is a good thing Strong Poison comes before The Five Red Herrings in the Lord Peter Wimsey series, because only a reader borne up on the waves of the former intriguing and somewhat romantic mystery would have the heart to make it through the next book's pages. Herrings is by far the most arduous and unpleasing of the Wimsey canon and a shocking mistake in publishing history.

Nevertheless, when the time came for me to reread The Five Red Herrings in my third venture through the series, I did so with gusto. I carefully examined the indecipherable map at the front of the book. I attempted to remember the characteristics of each suspect introduced so that I could differentiate among them as the story proceeded. By the time I reached the convoluted account of bicycle labelling at some train station or other round about chapter 10, I was hopelessly lost.

Let me stop right here, since I am riled up at just the memory of the experience, to vent my fustration about a book in which the auth…

More G. K. C.

And when I look across the sun-struck fields, I know in my inmost bones that my joy is not solely in the spring, for spring alone, being always returning, would be always sad. There is somebody or something walking there, to be crowned with flowers: and my pleasure is in some promise yet possible and in the resurrection of the dead.

~ "The Priest of Spring"

The things I do are unprecedented things.

This round road I am treading is an untrodden path. I do believe in breaking out; I am a revolutionist. But don't you see that all these real leaps and destructions and escapes are only attempts to get back to Eden - to something we have had, to something at least we have heard of? Don't you see one only breaks the fence or shoots the moon in order to get home?

~ G. K. Chesterton, Manalive, ch. 3