The past literary week brought nothing but misery. First: the wonderful and amazing site Readerville has ceased its existence. I am indebted to Readerville for many reasons, but most for introducing me to E. F. Benson’s Mapp and Lucia series. I’m going to write an ode to the books one of these days, but for now: Benson is to P. G. Wodehouse as wine is to Welch’s. The raw material is the same–upper-class Britons in the 1920s and 1930s–but Benson is more subtle, more acerbic, and far more addictive. If you are an oxygen breather who speaks English, you ought not miss this series.
I was a lurker on the Readerville site for the most part, and it was a privilege to eavesdrop on a group of intelligent, articulate people all incorrigibly obsessed with books. The site’s demise has halved my daily surfing time.
I also finished the new Sookie Stackhouse novel “Dead and Gone” this weekend. The 9th book of Charlaine Harris’s vampire-meets-bonkable blonde series marks the point where I’ve officially quit the habit. Dead and Gone is not much more than a pile-up of corpses and perfunctory sex, and the prose has as much life as do Sookie’s vampire suitors. Any faith I might have had in Amazon.com’s ratings has been destroyed by the four stars readers awarded this pap.
And finally, David Eddings, author of the The Belgariad and The Malloreon series, died last week. In spite of the predictable plot, the spineless female non-sorceress characters, and the not-so-hidden similarities with The Lord of Rings, these books are beloved to me, and as much a part of my teenage years as Clearasil and Air Supply.
David Eddings. Picture Copyright: Ballantine Books
Now that Eddings has reached the great big Faldor’s Farm in the sky, I am going to re-read all ten books in memorium of a writer who never failed to entertain his readers.