Friday, February 15, 2013

"He was nonviolent to the next to the last degree"

I've just finished what I am absolutely sure will turn out to have been my Most Fun Read this year - and possibly the decade. It's called "Three Graves Full' by (I think debut) novelist Jamie Mason and it truly is the kind of delicious creation that deserves every recommendation it's going to get. There's room for unbridled fandom here - Mason's characters are deliciously well-drawn, human, warm (even the bad guys - so many bad guys!) and - well - uplifting in a body-stewn kind of way. Everyone's real and flawed and uncertain, and carried away on the tumult that's building around them. Everyone contributes: and everyone tries to make sense of the story - and stay alive at the very same time.

The plot is totally grab-you-and-don't-let-go  - but it stands up to scrutiny too, which is good because when you finish the book at 3:30 am, you're not wanting to go sleep for, well, for quite a while: and the writing itself is lovely: the word-working bright and ingenious, extremely clever and sharpened with tricks and quirks and little treats that you didn't see coming.

Stonkingly good. Really, really one to recommend with full-throated delight. One of those "I know a book you're going to love" things.

This isn't a book-review blog, and I know I'm supposed to be writing about Paris - but remember how much I loved Carrie Tiffany's "Mateship With Birds" (and Helen Elliot's gorgeous review of it)? This is that kind of love, only there are dead bodies in it.

Buy it. Read it. You'll thank me.

Note to self: Must blog about Paris.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

For the writers....

I'm almost scared to jeopardise it by alerting the writing gods - but this has been a terrific five days for plottage and wordage.

That's all I'm saying.

And just in case the writing gods read this blog, I'm going to post a distracting photo of -

Bruno!! From the Sablet's own Sports Bar, on the night of the Sablet Votive.

I know - I know....  He looks just like the advertisement, doesn't he?  

The whole village loves him - and so do the tourists.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

I meant to say bonne année before this -

But my blog-thing wasn't working.

January is over, now - which means that the festive cries of  "Bonne année" have given way to the usual bonjours and bonne journées. Which is kind of sad. But before the whole festive season disappears from memory, I thought I'd share these - close-ups from the amazing Christmas creches  in various churches:

made with care

                                    and humour

and lots of imagination.

The crib is a bit of a thing here, in France.

But the prize goes to  lovely Seguret.

Because - hey! Live people!

It's their nativity play, really. I wish I'd been there to see it. (And I wish I knew the photographer, so I could give credit for the pictures. Sorry, photographer! But I'm told they were in all the papers - and they are lovely!)

Update: Mireille est le photographe qui a pris sa fille Mélanie en photo, pour la messe de minuit le 24 Décembre 2012 à Séguret.

Mireille and Mélanie - thank you  :) They're gorgeous photos.