Monday, October 18, 2010

Get a Clue

Note to self: Try to write next book review so as not to convince fully half of commenters to resolve NOT to read the book based on the review. If it helps, I also recently read Hardball by Sara Paretsky, which is a V.I. Warshawski novel, for anyone familiar with the character. It was pretty good, except way too many characters had red hair. Really. Every second chapter she was meeting someone's wife with faded red curls, or a red-headed secretary, or a kid on the street with a baseball cap over red hair. It strained the bounds of credulity! If it was me, I would have dropped the investigation and concentrated all my resources on figuring out where all the carrot tops were coming from -- it's rare enough that I see one red-headed person a month. When I was walking to school to get the kids the other day, there was a mother with a brilliantly red-haired little boy walking across the field, then when I got to the other side of the field there was a father with an equally brilliantly red-haired little boy which stopped me in my tracks until I realized that they were all together.

There was also the fact that V.I. Warshawski was her usual self -- stubborn, hard-headed, a little judgemental and staying doggedly on the case even after being shot, stabbed and set on fire. At least in a series where the character is a former policewoman and private investigator there's a little sense to this, but I still find it ever so slightly wearying at times. I used to vacillate between reviling this type of woman (fictional or real-life) and feeling inferior to her -- not specifically the shot/stabbed/set on fire thing, but women who put careers and personal passions over marriage and children, women who can never maintain a relationship because they can't loosen their principles even an inch in order to accomodate someone else's needs or opinions (Jane Tennison, anyone?). While reading this book, I suddenly realized I don't have to do either. I can just accept that they're different from me. For starters, they run into way more redheads.

5 comments:

Amber said...

Now I will be on the lookout for redheads. Time to start counting how many I see in a week. Given the fact that I live in a highly multicultural area, I'm guessing not many. But maybe I'm wrong.

I will report back with the results of my redhead count.

Marilyn (A Lot of Loves) said...

My sister is a red-head and so is one of my best friends so I see red-heads on a regular basis. I admit I'm not very observant about other people when I'm out and about. I think I have a fear that I'll have to interact with other people when I'd rather not so I tend not to look at people closely. I would be a terrible PI/police detective.

NoisyBluebird said...

Two of our best friends are redheads and they made the most adorable curly haired baby redhead. So, I see them all the time but I don't think this means I'm anything like the character in the book you read...or am I??

Patti Murphy said...

For the record, it's not your review that put me off the book. It was the book that put me off the book. Same reason I won't watch Life is Beautiful or Hotel Rwanda or Glengarry Glenross (or however the feck you spell that).

Do I want to spend my extremely limited discretionary time laughing or crying? Hmmm. No contest there.

Is Sara Paretsky a red head? I'm too lazy to look.

Mom of the Perpetually Grounded said...

Actually the 1st book sounded very interesting..just not right now. This one sounds like it was written for my sister, or about my sister but anyway...redheads are every other generation in my family. I am looking forward to being surrounded by little redheaded grandchildren, Some Day!