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Book Title: Lament for a Maker|
Date of issue: September 23rd 2008
ISBN 13: 9781842327418
The author of the book: Michael Innes
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 385 KB
Edition: House of Stratus, uk
Read full description of the books Lament for a Maker:I really can't give this more than two stars. Five different narrators giving rise to six changes in narrative voice for a short mystery novel? Too many. Particularly as the author starts by writing the first long section in Highland dialect! It dragged.
1. Highland Cobbler
2. London Lounge Lizard
3. Fussy Elderly Solicitor
4. Inspector Appleby (who turns up very near the end)
5. The Man of Mystery
6. Highland Cobbler (reprise)
Like a 1970s concept album. Shades of "Days of Future Passed"--an album by one of my favourite groups, but I only liked parts of it, and sitting through the whole thing was rather a chore. So was finishing this book. I don't know if Innes couldn't find a narrative voice that pleased him, if he was experimenting, or if he was just messing with the reader. He does have a fondness for obfuscation, and by composing his book of "written testimony" in six sections, it is ALL tell-not-show, which deadens everything by putting it at one remove (at least). How can you deaden a madman hurling himself from a tower in a snowstorm? Innes manages it! He can't decide if he's writing a mystery novel or a gothic romance, and in trying to do both achieves neither.
Another problem common to British writers of the period is the use of American characters, coupled with the inability to write convincing American dialogue. Sylvia goes from using slang, "I'll say!" to stilted formal "I knew I hadn't any business to penetrate to this remote study" in the very next sentence. Yeah, because all Americans talked like that in the thirties, especially those who used phrases like "I'll say!" Surely she would have said, "I knew I didn't have any business in his private room". Then she comes out with, "It was so frightfully ill-bred!" Less American, more Celia-Johnson-with-a-stick-up-her-butt.
Then there's the Lounge Lizard. Nice enough fella, but his parents would have loved Sesame Street, as their son was obviously "brought to you by the letter Y": Noel Yvon Meryon Gylby!! So, so believable.
The ending was a huuuuge disappointment. After trudging through the winding, obfuscated text we are handed a double portion of the tired old sibling meme, served up with a side order of Innes' particular brand of psychoanalysis (or whatever). I was thoroughly tired of the whole business by the time I got to the end.
Read information about the authorMichael Innes was the pseudonym of John Innes MacKintosh (J.I.M.) Stewart (J.I.M. Stewart).
He was born in Edinburgh, and educated at Edinburgh Academy and Oriel College, Oxford. He was Lecturer in English at the University of Leeds from 1930-1935, and spent the succeeding ten years as Jury Professor of English at the University of Adelaide, South Australia.
He returned to the United Kingdom in 1949, to become a Lecturer at the Queen's University of Belfast. In 1949 he became a Student (Fellow) of Christ Church, Oxford, becoming a Professor by the time of his retirement in 1973.
As J.I.M. Stewart he published a number of works of non-fiction, mainly critical studies of authors, including Joseph Conrad and Rudyard Kipling, as well as about twenty works of fiction and a memoir, 'Myself and Michael Innes'.
As Michael Innes, he published numerous mystery novels and short story collections, most featuring the Scotland Yard detective John Appleby.
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