Day 02 – A Book You Wish More People Were Reading

A year ago, if you’d told me that Gyles Brandreth, the slightly camp custodian of Dictionary Corner and wear of a thousand terrible jumpers, had a written a series of excellent historical murder mysteries starring Oscar Wilde, I’d have laughed at you. In fact that’s exactly what happened, I did laugh… then I read the books and saw that it was true.

The Oscar Wilde Murder Mysteries do exactly what it says on the tin, but they do it very well. The tone and voice for Oscar and his companions are absolutely perfect, and Brandreth plays on the real life link between Oscar and Mycroft Holmes wonderfully. As a piece of speculative fiction the historical accuracy is excellent, and serves to make Oscar’s ultimate fate all the more poignant. If I had one complaint its that I always end up reading this book in Brandreth’s voice, and that just serves to make the descriptions of brothels etc that little bit more uncomfortable. I’d pay good money to hear Stephen Fry (who has played both Wilde and Holmes) perform the audio book for these though.

Even Better Thirty Day Song Challenge – Day 2 – Track For A Badass Action Sequence

Not the usual kind of choice for a fight scene, but i can see this working in a Victorian comedy zombie fight scene a la the Shaun of the Dead Don’t Stop Me Now sequence. I do wonder how my brain comes up with this stuff sometimes though.

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2 Comments

Filed under Books, Even Better Thirty Day Song Challenge, Music, Review, Thirty Days of Books

2 responses to “Day 02 – A Book You Wish More People Were Reading

  1. I read it and enjoyed it, but I wasn’t keen on the way Brandreth used the book as a container for every Wilde witticism he’s collected in his life. I like it when authors enhance the story and bring something new to the real life character. Also I thought it felt like it was trying to squirm away from the issue of Wilde’s sexuality, playing it down for no apparent reason.

    • Very true. Personally I just assumed the sexuality issue was due to the authors political opinion, though he does get more comfortable with it in the later books. Then again, if its supposed to be written by a contemporary maybe he’s trying to write as someone living in a time when such things were still illegal. Came off more as the authors discomfort though.

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