Any writer who gets themselves written up in a review as being both literary and a genre fiction talent captures my immediate attention. Such was the case last year when I heard of Glen Duncan for the first time and read his novel The Last Werewolf (which I really enjoyed). So I was more than happy to sit down with his latest, Talulla Rising, hoping for more of the same. Duncan can construct a clever sentence, there’s no doubt. As you can see:
Life’s generally artless … but does get these occasional hard-ons for plot. It connects things, nefariously, behind your back, and before you know it you’re in the final act of a lousy movie.
Literature is humanity’s broad-minded alter-ego, with room in its heart even for monsters, even for you. It’s humanity without the judgement.
In this sense its not far removed from The Last Werewolf, which also had some cracking quips. But I felt the plot here was patchy and called on a few conveniences at crucial stages, the characters – although well described physically – are a little lacklustre, with the exception of Talulla herself. Even the villains didn’t add much colour. I believe there’s a third novel in this series on the way, but now I’m left with the question to ask: will I try it?
The other two I’ve yet to start, and as these next two weeks are going to be mega-busy for the festival – that starts today!!! - and I’ll either get a lot of reading done on the train or not as I’ll be too tired! This might be tricky when it comes to The Sound and the Fury as I hear it’s one you really have to concentrate on.
What are you reading this month?