Review: Fasman’s the Geographer’s Library

The Geographer’s Library
Jon Fassman

This is the kind of popular novel I generally like, a “literary page turner” that in the old days would have been compared to In the Name of the Rose but which is now compared to the Da vinci Code. Its plot driven, but with intellectual pretenses and is right in my wheelhouse.

Unlike the Da vinci Code, this book is actually pretty clever and well written*. Yet it also doesn’t really have the intellectual firepower of In the Name of the Rose. Let’s just call it a literary thriller and get on with it.

The basic plot line is the standard small town journalist stumbles upon ancient secret society cabal, falls for girl, and gets trapped in a state of confused morals. Intrepid young man seeks solutions to his life and the central mystery, suffers set backs, is utterly changed. If you read this kind of thing, you know the drill. It’s entertaining, it’s quick, and it’s got a lot of inside type jokes for people who follow journalism or Russian politics.**

As is often the case with these books, it starts off stronger than it finishes. But that’s to be expected. If summer wasn’t already over, I’d say take this one to the beach.

Recommended for the enthusiast.

* The Da Vinci Code is utter garbage. I’ve read it, so I’ll have to review it at some point, but trust me, garbage.

** For example, there is a hilarious riff making fun of Robert Fisk that had me chuckling to myself on the metro

Review: Pear’s Instance of the Fingerpost

Orginally written in 2007 for a now defunct livejournal account.

An Instance of the Fingerpost
Iain Pears

A literary thriller in the vein of the In the Name of the Rose, but not as good, nor as full of hidden philosophical ideas. Set in the time of the reformation, it’s a mystery inside a mystery. Well written and entertaining, it’s worth your time if this is your sort of thing.

Recommended for the enthusiast.