Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A critic's view

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Some books are sad to read. I'm reading my last Batya Gur Michael Ohayon novel, Murder Duet, A Musical Case. This is not the last book in the series. It is just my last book to have read. I have read all the others.

The last book in the series (Bethlehem Road Murder) is the best. But this one is good too.

Gur was a literary critic for Ha'aretz, one of Israel's most prestigious papers. She died of breast cancer in 2005.

In the book I'm reading now, there's an interesting discussion about detective stories. The main detective Michael Ohayon tells someone why he doesn't like to read detective stories. He says, "Everything serves the plot, the mystery. There's no room to breathe, no beauty. No digressions from the central concern. Everything is functional. A conversation like this, between us now, couldn't take place in a detective story."

He has more to say. He says either you know way early who the killer is or, when the detective reveals the killer, it seems the detective pulled a rabbit out of a hat.

Gur's Ohayon novels try to be different. They do have digressions and a very deep look at whatever the subject is. In what I would call a supreme irony, she tries to prove her main character wrong. I will have been sorry to have read (at least for the first time) the last of Batya Gur's Michael Ohayon novels.


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2 comments:

Corey Wilde said...

I've got Murder Duet, A Musical Case on reserve at the library. I'm looking forward to reading it. Thanks for the recommendation, Joe.

Joe Barone said...

You are welcome, Corey.