Re: RARA-AVIS: Hawksmoor(and more)

From: cooper (
Date: 28 Mar 2000

Haven't read this for many years, I like Ackroyd lots, perhaps he doesn't fall squarely into the HB genre, but there is no way that he can be termed cosy, probably more as a "proper" writer who's work can be a little off centre.If you liked this you may like DAN LENO AND THE LIME-HOUSE GOLEM, more Victorian weirdness. And speaking of weird, we had one of our major book buying binges on Sunday, and amongst the pile is THE LAST DAYS- THE APOCRYPHON OF JOE PANTHER, by Aussie Andrew Masterson.Typical loner PI penchant for Biblical quotation and augmenting his income by selling heroin investigates gruesome death etc, chased by mysterious heavies,but his schtick is that he says he is pretty old(2000 years)but looks 33, has a pretty powerful father and is more than qualified to do the religious bit. Yep, ladeez and gennlemen I give you the Son of Man! Sorry I'm being flip, but it is a pretty wacky premise. Fortunately it is reading better than it sounds, it is formulaic in plot and some of the characters are a tad stereotypical, but I've been galloping through it since yesterday. It isn't particularly played for laughs, although there is a bit of dark humour (and bad puns) and I'm a bit disappointed at where the plot is going(predictable) but in all an original idea and an entertaining read.(I've made it sound like a crock of shit, sorry)And it isn't horror or supernatural either.(Buy it for your fave religious person, see them foam at mouth) Also this is the second Australian book I've read this month. The other was THE DOGS ARE BARKING (the author I can't find out right now, stuck with baby on knee)This one was v. different from the other.Serial killer, but luckily this is subsumed(?)by a plot concerning crooked cops.I liked it, but be warned, you may need a translator as much Aus vernacular is used.(I was ok, I grew up there) Nice, tight,the end wasn't tacked on, well drawn, morally ambiguous characters, oh yes a good modern HB book. I rambled, I'm gone. JC

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