June 30th, 2005

Opus

Mysteries...

Some thoughts as I await stuff from our crack marketing department so I can finish off the current project from hell.

Books: I finished Stout's Before Midnight over the weekend. Collapse )

Next up was Chandler's The Lady in the Lake, which I pretty much inhaled, finishing it off in three days, and not even on a weekend. Marlowe is sent off to find an executive's missing spouse, and starts stumbling over body after body as he investigates further. It's a mystery that plays very fair with the reader. As the bodies piled up, I was able to figure out quite a bit of what was actually going on, but wasn't able to tie it together until Marlowe did it so very neatly. That's why he's Marlowe, and I'm not. It's one of those perfect mysteries where once you know one particular detail, everything fits tightly together. All in all, it's a fun ride, but like so many of the characters in Chandler's books, it suffers a bad ending, one that feels terribly trite (the killer's comeuppance isn't exactly a deus ex machina, but it's the next best thing), and rushed (it's all over in two pages).

I grabbed Gaiman's American Gods off the shelf as I headed out the door this morning. I've already bounced off of it once, but we'll see how it goes this time.

Finally, let's hear it for ex-SHU Pirates, as Craig Biggio broke the modern record for being hit by pitches yesterday, at the hands of Byung-Hyun Kim, something that almost could've been predicted when the pitching match up was announced. Kim not only throws side arm, so that his curve balls start out heading right at right-handed hitters (like Biggio), but he's also notoriously wild. Think of him as the Korean Nuke Laloosh. One thing Biggio can be assured of is that it couldn't possibly have been intentional, because Kim can't reliably hit a target as small as a human. I have always loved Biggio as a player, and would've even without the Seton Hall connection. Unlike the previous record holder, Don Baylor, he's not a big guy. He started his career as a catcher who could also run well enough to steal bases, an unusal combination of talents. The Astros decided that his running ability was valuable enough that they didn't want to ruin his knees, so they moved him from behind the plate to second base, where he became a star, one of Houston's set of Killer B's. More discussion of the plunkiness of Biggio's career can be found at PlunkBiggio.com.