Mai Yamani

Wednesday reading — penguins and dolphins

What I've been reading

I read Where'd You Go, Bernadette, which was the first book selected by the informal Goodreads book club set up by a friend of mine from high school. When I got to the last (virtual) page of the book with the author bio and saw that Maria Semple had written for Arrested Development, several things about the way the book was put together retroactively made much more sense to me: the OTT ridiculousness of some of the scenarios and especially the minor recurring characters and their deeply ridiculous correspondence, but also the cleverness in the structure and the way everything came together in the end.

I reread Killer Dolphin and was very happy that I was still able to love it. Although I had forgotten/not previously noticed exactly how much time Peregrine and Jeremy devote to discussing the question of whether the mysterious Mr. Conducis was hitting on Perry or not at the beginning; even when they have seemingly decisively settled on not, one or the other of them will be all, yeah, but was it queer or was it queer queer? It is a subject that interests them greatly. As in Night at the Vulcan, Ngaio Marsh made the supporting male actor in the theatrical production gay—not a lead, of course! Heaven forfend!—but this time around none of the characters pitch slur-filled temperaments about it, and Perry is rather anxious to assure Alleyn that he is "no trouble to anyone" and "doesn't bring it into the theatre," which is completely cringeworthy but means well, anyway.

This book brings in Marsh's twin passions, writing and theatre, but then False Scent had both of them and I found it a bit perfunctory and lifeless, so I think Shakespeare must be the magic ingredient that breathed life back into the series. I would love to read Perry's play about Shakespeare's son's glove, whereas even the characters in Night at the Vulcan admit that the play they're doing is terrible. I also like Perry himself, very much, as indeed Alleyn does; he makes an excellent point of view character. I definitely shipped him with Jeremy when I first read the book and before I realized what I was doing; it's the way Perry is so exquisitely of and concerned about Jeremy being humiliated that is just catnip to me as a relationship dynamic. On reread, I feel like, if anything, their neverending no homo debate makes me feel shippier about them, as it is clearly all denial and projection. *g*

What I'm reading now

Clutch of Constables is my next Ngaio Marsh book. Also presumably other things.

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