Sunday, July 06, 2008

back with a book.

I've realised that June was a rather lean month for Fanny and I. Not "lean" in the sense that we did anything (well, not sure about Fanny so let's talk about me for now)...I did anything that would make me lean (unless we are talking of the Tower of Pisa variety). Lean in the sense that blog posts were few and far between. But, fear not, we are back and posting and ready to regale yous with reams (bits? bytes?) of information that we feel is in your best interest to know.

Starting with this book: Fanny recommended the book to me and I went all the way to San Francisco (a rather expensive proposition, one which costs about as much, if not more, than buying a new paperback) to buy it and have just started reading it. However, I feel a bit like how historians/experts on X/whatnot might feel upon reading that the MainGuy first saw the MainWoman at the "train station in Kathmandu [Nepal]". A bit of research (Googling? Chatting up your local Nepali?) would have made it very clear that Kathmandu doesn't have a train station. In fact, Nepal doesn't have an (operational) railway at all.

I guess that's why I avoid political thrillers (especially nothing on terrorism, thank you) and stick to SFF. World-building, if done well, can't really go wrong. Real world geography can be nigglingly off.

Though now I'm reading about motorcycles in the Himalayas, so, perhaps, I should just take this as SFF as well and enjoy it that way. It is enjoyable so far.

I'll update yous when I've finished.

Update: Not much more on Nepal though the train trip is mentioned again. I liked it, overall, though I'm looking forward to the resolution.

One quibble. There was pretty much no reason to make MainWoman who she was i.e. some mountaineering, scary-dad-having woman from America. She could (and it'd have been lovely if she had been) have been Mingma's granddaughter or even the Rom girl (though a bit older, of course). This odd desire of authors to organise things so that a random American is doing things in "exotic" parts of the world becomes rather grating at times. It's not as if being American was necessary to this story in any way. Mingma's granddaughter would have been able to do everything this woman did--climb mountains, trek, clean up wounds, shag MainGuy, etc. Well, maybe not fly a plane but I'm sure that could have been easily sorted with a sentence like this: "Pemba took a one-year flying course in Kathmandu since she loved the mountains and wanted to be as close to them as possible" (okay, I'm not a writer. But you get my point). Most people there speak English fairly well and I'm sure the Living-in-Sedona part could also have been fudged easily enough. But, no, we needed some American to be conveniently wandering about so MainGuy could find her, bed her and get her into trouble.

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