Elegy for April Audio CD – Unabridged, 13 April 2010
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Audio CD, Audiobook, Unabridged
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- ISBN-10 : 1427209456
- ISBN-13 : 978-1427209450
- Dimensions : 13.39 x 3.91 x 14.5 cm
- Publisher : Macmillan Audio; Unabridged edition (13 April 2010)
- Language: : English
- Customer Reviews:
About the Author
Timothy Dalton is perhaps best known for his critically-acclaimed incarnation of James Bond in The Living Daylights and License to Kill. Dalton is a longtime reader of thrillers written by Booker Prize winner John Banville, writing as Benjamin Black, including Christine Falls, which garnered an AudioFile Earphones Award.
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I love Quirke. I love his slow, lumbering inability to deal with life, and at the same time, his ability to see through shadows which obscure life from other people. He's helpless, but he doesn't need help. He could have been so many things, but what he's chosen to specialise in is being a failure - as a lover, a husband, a father and a doctor. In this book, he buys a car, a top of the range, fancy thing that challenges him in an odd way, like a woman. His driving is appalling and hilarious, as seen through the eyes of his terrified passengers, and this is another thing I love about the Quirke books, the contrast of dark and light.
As with the previous two, we're left with a load more questions rather than answers, with fleeting, tantalising insights into the Quirke psyche that leave us desperate for more. How I resisted downloading the next one straight away I'm not quite sure, but I can guarantee it will be appearing on my Kindle really soon. If you expect murder mysteries, this is not your sort of book. If you like tortured souls, dark stories and a bit of sleuthing on the side, it is perfect, and I highly recommend it. But do read them in order, else you'll miss out.
What most specially sets this series of books apart from so many crime novels is the texture of the writing. Black, as one would hope from someone whose more obviously literary work written under his true name of John Banville has won awards and plaudits, has impressive descriptive powers and deals with relationships in a far more subtle way than is often found in the genre. I have become increasingly addicted to the Quirke novels and each seems to me stronger and more gripping than the one it follows. Strongly recommended.
Anyway, although I concede that the plot is rather gentle for this genre, at least for the 2013 reader, the writing is beautiful, far superior to that of most of the crime novels with which I spend my time, and Quirke is a pleasure to meet.
As long as you know you're getting a crime mystery, rather than a police procedural thriller, you won't be disappointed by this. A whole world is convincingly presented, and I'll certainly be heading back there soon ...
Quirke remains likeable, although a recent stay at a drying-out clinic has not cured his thirst for booze (white wine doesn't count as `a drink', according to Quirke; useful to know).
The plot seems perfunctory, almost irrelevant: a friend of Quirke's neurotic daughter Phoebe has gone missing and evidence at her flat suggests that this may be following an abortion. Her family, who have long disowned her, are important people -- her uncle a government minister -- with a family mythology to uphold. Quirke, brought up in an orphanage, is condescendingly dismissed as not understanding such things.