mjj (flemmings) wrote,

Happy Beaver is good hot weather reading. It passes the time, keeps the attention focussed, and leads nowhere in particular. For a London-set series, it reads unnervingly unEnglish. Aaronovitch and Griffin present me with what feels like Londoners, however urban magical they may be; but Carey's people seem to belong to some generic and semi-American series. The way they talk, the things they feel, the amount of time they spend in cars, all negate the place names that were so grittily and grottily London in Griffin's books. Nor is there any of that half-feyness or slight battiness that Aaronovitch's Peter doesn't even know he possesses. (True, Felix is supposed to come from Liverpool. That only makes it worse. Am trying to hear his lines in a northern accent and not quite succeeding.)

I'm not sure, going by the foreword, if something happened to the American edition (which I evidently have) on the lines of heavy rewriting or editing or whatever. Or if the influence of Carey's sources is umm being influential: noir detectives or possibly Jim Butcher whom I have not read. But at the moment Felix reminds me of no one so much as Vlad Taltos: wise-ass, aggressive, reflex big-mouth, wielding the big stick even if he's about to whack himself in the eye with it, and never even *considering* the option of speaking softly. Yes, I know there's some of that in Griffin too, but the magic overwhelms the noirish tropes, and enough older women cut Matthew down to size that one can see his author doesn't admire him whole-heartedly. Am not so sure about Carey and Fix. But maybe Vlad and Fix and Matthew are just doing the riffs on some stock male character of the hardboiled detective story, just as the feisty heroine inhabits Regencies?
Tags: brust, place, reading, reading_12, rivers, writing

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