Sunday, January 06, 2013

The continuing doll housie saga

In spite of my dissatisfaction with aspects of the "Sunday Philosophy Club" series, I find myself on the fifth installment. A few times I almost gave up completely on the series.

One thing that's so annoying is that the author holds back from descriptions of sexual acts - it's almost Victorian. Isabel Dalhousie does go on and on about how beautiful her 20-something boyfriend Jamie is, which is great, but the first time they got together, in book 3, she just asks him: "do you want to sleep with me." And then they are shown in the afterglow phase. I don't expect clinical details and even the best writers have written bad sex scenes, but come on, Smith, give us something.

And then there's the fact that Jamie has aged from 23 in book 1 to 29 in book 5, but Dalhousie has remained in her early 40s. Does Smith think nobody would notice, or did he not pay enough attention himself? The guy is hella prolific, I wouldn't be surprised if he misses a bunch of details.

And Dalhousie herself seems like such an old prissy lady - and it's not only because the woman doing the voice work for the audio books sounds like she's pushing 70. Granted the experience being in your early 40s in Edinburgh might be different from being in your early 40s in Manhattan, but still...

But every now and then there will be a moment of awesome in the series that keeps me coming back. That happened in the fourth book - Dalhousie has been throughout the series the editor of the Review of Applied Ethics, but in the middle of book 4 she finds out that she's been sacked - a coup by a couple of academics named Lettuce and Dove, with Dove taking over her editorship. After some soul-searching she decides against philosophical resignation and instead takes action - she's filthy rich, so she simply buys the Review of Applied Ethics and sacks Lettuce and Dove. You go, Dalhousie.

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