Reading notes, week 19

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Have His Carcase by Dorothy L. Sayers. Part of my Harriet Vane reread. It contains both the best (searching on the beach, solving the cypher) and the worst (row about gratitude, cringingly antisemitic encounter with theatre agent) scenes in all of Dorothy Sayers’ works. The puzzle is exquisite, though. (And the TV adaptation is also okay.)

De reis om de wereld in 80 dagen by Jules Verne. Translation (1950; we have the 35th impression dated MCMLXXXI and I didn’t believe that so I was glad Goodreads gave me a more plausible date) of Le tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours. Lots of period-typical bigotry, even against Americans (i.e. white people from the USA, I’m not even touching the way the book treats Sioux) and lashings of orientalism. But oh! the ADVENTURE! And the characters, for that matter, though only the male main characters: Aouda, however educated and good-natured, is mostly window dressing. We got it from the bookcase for some reason and Spouse read the first chapter aloud, then I picked it up and couldn’t put it down (stayed up until after midnight to finish it). I’d only ever seen the Jackie Chan film, which is an excellent but not very faithful adaptation of the book. One of those cases in which both are equally valid, like Matilda and Howl’s Moving Castle.

Index of reading notes is here.

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