Sunday, 22 February 2009


This week I read something totally out of the ordinary, a crime novel. It was recommended to me by one of my friends (who's suggestions I will no longer depend on) and I'd bought it in a second hand bookshop (thank god) a long long time ago. Seeing as Belgium is nuts about crime fiction and it is now my job to present them with the very "best" of the genre, I decided to read one a month to at least have a tiny clue what I'm selling you people. The Mephisto Club by Tess Gerritsen was February's winner. It contained a serial killer which is pretty standard nowadays, devil worship, secret societies and messed up families. Nothing out of the ordinary really and the perfect lunch break fodder. Over all it wasn't that bad but it didn't particularly motivate me to reach the end as I on numerous occasions thought to myself: Do I really care who the killer is? Which probably isn't a good sign. I finished it yesterday and I'm glad I gave Gerritsen a go, glad because now I know never to read any of her books again even though she's very popular and productive apparently.

After that unholy experience I was in the mood for something short and sweet to wash that bad taste away. Yesterday afternoon I also read Shortcomings by Adrian Tomine which is a rather short and moving graphic novel that I ordered last week. It came to my notice a few years back as it was the only graphic novel to be in the New York Times top 10 books of 2007 and two weeks ago the Dutch version was removed from all Standaard bookshops, bringing it once again to my attention. I've been reading quite a few graphic novels lately and I'm really starting to like their poignant and realistic display of human emotion and all to familiar situations aided by simple and often heart breaking drawings. Shortcomings was no exception while telling the tale of a man, Ben Tanaka, who's (love) life doesn't quite turn out the way he expected it to. Dangerous and highly recommended territory indeed.

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