Weekly Meeting: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

11821566This week I take on Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.

Challenges:

  • Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge for topic: book published in the decade I was born (1970s)
  • Book Lust Challenge

What You Should Know:

  • This is a well known and loved spy novel from the Cold War era.
  • There is a movie

Discussion:

I considered finding discussion questions for this book, but decided not to do that.  Why?  Well, I am a not really in the mood for discussion questions.  Most book clubs have that meeting where they just want to talk about something totally unrelated to the book.  I am having that kind of a week.

That’s not to say things are bad.  In fact, things are pretty good right now.  I am working on publishing a book.  I am in the middle of editing another book.  I am beginning to re-write 2 others.  Then there is a new issue of Mill Pages in development and I have a story included in that.  I am in a good place with my writing.  I am in a good place with my reading.  I weeded a number of books from my personal collection and have cleared a bunch off the To-Be-Read shelf.  I am even weeding off the shelves from my permanent collection.

Work is good.  I just got back from a state association conference on Cape Cod where I spoke to get more librarians involved in editing Wikipedia.  I am getting ready for a trip to Orlando for ALA, moderating a panel at the conference, a visit to the Florida family, and a trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter park.  I am working on some big projects this summer.

So, this book should not go without mention.  It came off my waiting list just as I was feeling overwhelmed with boredom thanks to David Copperfield (even Richard Armitage can’t save Dickens).  I thought I would enjoy it more than I did.  I started listening on my 2-hour drive home from Cape Cod.  I just couldn’t give it my full attention.  Not because I was distracted, but because the story didn’t grab my attention.

It may have been the reader: Frederick Davidson.  Davidson, who was the stage name of David Case, read a ton of books when he was still alive.  He has a very distinctive voice and was especially known for a nasal British voice.  Sometimes the voice worked, but this time it didn’t.  To be fair, he read ALL the Flashman books I listened too and he was perfect.  I have a bunch of other audiobooks on my wish list that he has read.  I am familiar enough with his voice so it seemed odd that he wasn’t right for me this time.

I think another reason I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I thought was that I don’t think I like spy books.  I like spy shows and spy movies.  They move far faster than a book.  This book deal so much back story, that it slows the pace of the action.  Also, there is no real action to speak of.  There is a lot of men talking in rooms about what they have discovered.  I felt similarly with the Bourne books.  I want a spy story to have a certain pace and a book can’t do that.

Media Tie In:

I saw this movie before I read the book.  It was long enough ago that I forgot some details about it.  I enjoyed the movie more than the book and I think I am pretty clear as to why in the discussion.  Bonus for the movie: the cast, which includes: Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, and Benedict Cumberbatch.  No, it doesn’t move at the pace of a Jason Bourne movie, but it is about the deception of a traitor, not the chase to not die.  This one

Who Will Like:

  • People who like spy stories, but not necessarily the chase.
  • People who like Cold War era stories
  • People who liked the movie – the adaptation was well done and true to the book

Other books read this week:

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