Sunday, 16 November 2008

Creature of the Night by Kate Thompson

I always like Kate Thompson's writing, and this is no exception. The writing of the disaffected teenager Bobby is hard and edgy. His reaction to the move into the country and away from his criminal activity in Dublin is treated well. It is when his little brother Dennis starts talking about the visits from the rather sinister 'little woman' in the middle of the night, and the strange disappearance of the previous tenant in their house that the plot takes off - as Bobby tries to sort out his life, his mother needs to manage her money, and Dennis needs to stop imagining his midnight visitor.....or does he?

I was slightly disappointed in the epilogue - it rather spoilt the tensions and the revelations at the end of the story.

The Princess who Wouldn't Come Home by Irving Finkel

Well, what can I say? I had the pleasure of going to the launch of this new book by Irving Finkel - illustrated by his sister, meeting the author and illustrator, and sharing a delightful evening.

This is a very funny, modern take on fairy tales, but for adults. The Princess Irena decides to leave the stifling life of court in a very northerly monarchy and decamp to London to try to become a painter. This, of course, causes all sorts of problems at home, so the King comes to London and tries to reason with his daughter, but instead of him taking her back home she wins him over to her point of view. The character of the King was my favourite, he is cautious at home as his wife the Queen is very correct and can be rather fierce, but by various devious, amusing ways he wins her too and engineers a suitable fairy tale ending.

This book got me some very strange looks as I was reading it on the train and tube and laughing as I read! It was worth it, do read it!