Friday, January 21, 2005

4:I get it, I get it. London had fields

Despite the Guardian quote on the front claiming that this book is "unputdownable", I will now put it down. Not that it's bad, exactly, but it's definitely second string historical fiction. When you read Patrick O'Brian and Mary Renault, you come to appreciate a really good historical novel, and this is not one.

It's okay, don't get me wrong. But the astronomical hook she tries to hang it on is not that interesting, the plot is very standard and really quite modern, and everyone seems to be having an awful lot of sex that's neither enjoyable or germane to the plot. It's not even sexy.

Also it turns out that a lot of London did not look like it does today. There are a lot of descriptive passages that take great delight in reminding you that there were farms and fields in London in 1795. I don't care.

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