Anna’s Book by Barbara Vine

Cover of

the advantage of being the ‘best mystery writer in the english speaking world’ – as no less than three of the review quotes in this book tell me – is that you can persuade people to read about six chapters of a book before even giving them a hint as to what the mystery is. i can see that there is plenty of ground work laid in the beginning but if i hadn’t known the author or read the praise for this book would i have read this far?

something about this book just didn’t grab me. i just don’t know what it was. i was intrigued. i enjoyed it. i read on when i way too tired to read on. i thought the plot was clever. i think the writing was good. it was a good book. it just wasn’t good enough in some indefinable way. it wasn’t as good as i’d been expecting. maybe it was that i knew barbara vine was clever. i spent the whole book waiting for the twist in the tail. i knew there’d be a twist and though it’s contents were surprising, it’s actuality wasn’t a surprise. that it was unpredictable was predictable. there was something a bit slow about it. maybe it was a little too clever. too clever just for me, or too clever for it’s own good. i don’t know. i think i liked it. my final decision, as the saying goes, is maybe.

[curiously this book is really called asta’s book. i picked my copy up in a second hand book store in america and for some reason they changed the name of the main character for the american market. it wasn’t until i saw asta’s book on the shelf in waterstones (in the uk) that i realised that the names had been changed.]

More information about this book can be found on goodreads.
Purchased on 17th January 2001.

loquax has a brand …

loquax has a brand new dedicated server. look! it’s just us on a machine all by ourselves. fun huh? now if it all goes haywire we only have ourselves to blame. hmmm. it’s taken three days to get it all working but i think it is all just about working by now. hurray! i never want to sort out another mailing list in my life ever.

i wrote some groovy …

i wrote some groovy php bits last night to swizzle all my photo albums out of their default photoshop generated format into a design that matches the rest of the site. the tables seem to screw up in anything except netscape 4 though.

wow, sometimes people apologies …

wow, sometimes people apologies for theft. i’m impressed by the admission, but the act is far too common on the net. get an imagination, get a clue. i had thought that i hated to see badly designed sites on the net, but at least most of the dreadful designs are original dreadful designs.

then i got to …

then i got to work and instantly ran out of disk space and had two lots of email and all my message filters eaten by the machine. is that what i get for toting a rash streak of optimism on a friday morning?

the lights all changed …

the lights all changed from red to green just as i drove up to them. the sunlight coming through the bare winter trees seemed to be bringing on the summer, the spring at least. i’m rested and ready to face the world.


i’m musing on the subject of opinions today. i’ve always thought that an opinion involved thinking about a subject and drawing conclusions based on the evidence. i could (now) say that that was my opinion upon opinions.

i was thinking today about how many people seem to hold opinions that aren’t based on any thought or knowledge and how that annoys me. i was thinking about how often i say ‘i don’t have an opinion on that really, i don’t know very much about it.’ and about how i often feel overwhelmed and undereducated when other people have strong viewpoints on a subject and i’ve never thought about half of these things deeply enough to argue for or against the matter.

well, it seems i’m in the wrong. i looked up the definition and discovered that i’ve been being too scientific by half. whilst a lower rank of definition does indeed make an opinion a viewpoint that’s backed up by a body of knowledge, the main definition of an opinion is…

a belief or conclusion held with confidence but not substantiated by positive knowledge or proof

i’m far more floored by this than i care to admit. i don’t think i want to have any opinions now, the concept seems terribly unwieldy.

I’d forgotten how much …

I’d forgotten how much fun the sims game was. part of the appeal to me is that it’s completely open ended like most sim games, but mainly it’s just like playing with a techno dolls house, like creating a model village where the residents have lives of their own.

my new family didn’t last very long, agnes killed off her husband hamish in a house fire brought on by her very poor cooking skills. i’m working on getting a new man for her, i wonder what she’ll do next? is she a serial killer sim? hmmmm. i’ll have to wait and see!