Books that have annoyed me lately

I’m feeling a little cranky today, what with one thing and another, so I’ll see if I can get it out of my system with a minor rant about books that have annoyed me lately…

First of all, there’s Freedom Fries and Café Crème by Jocelyne Rapinac, a selection of short stories with recipes, published by Gallic Books. I was really looking forward to this one. It has a lovely cover, the premise was promising, the title intriguing. Unfortunately, after three attempts, I have just put it aside again in yet another fit of irritation. I can’t quite put my finger on what’s annoying me, but the writing drives me nuts. I can’t help feeling that this would have been much better for being written in French and translated rather than being writen in English by a French author. Shame. I’ll have a look at the recipes though…

Next, there’s Oksa Pollock by Anne Plichota and Cendrine Wolf, translated by Sue Rose and published by Pushkin Children’s. Again, one I was looking forward to, and this time one that I was pleased to receive from the Mumsnet Book Club. Again, I took it on holiday with me and I gave up on it for the first time on the same day I gave up on FF&CC for the first time – maybe I was cranky that day too. This book was written in French and translated, but is set in London. It’s not that that’s annoying me. It’s all the little magical creatures, with silly names. I know I’m not really the target demographic, but I’ve read and enjoyed a lot of YA fantasy. This one just irritates me though – I’ve tried it again today and got no further.

In desperation, I turned to Daisy Dalrymple. A series of crime novels written in the ’90s and set in the ’20s by Carola Dunn and published by Robinson Publishing. Does that count as historical fiction yet, or just pastiche of Golden Age crime? Be that as it may, I came to it not expecting great literature, but hoping for a nice light read to soothe my fractious nerves. Instead I got another big bout of irritation. This seems to be an American author’s idea of 1920s’ society in which a big dose of snobbery and class warfare is essential. After a few pages I gave up.

I have finally found something I can bear to read: Robert Graves’ Claudius the God. Here’s hoping I’ll be able to settle to it properly, and let you know how I get on.

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About forwardtranslations

I'm a freelance literary translator from German and French to English. The title of my blog comes from Mary Schmich's description of reading: it struck home with me, and seems especially apt for translated fiction. Here are some of my musings on what I'm reading, re-reading, reading to my children, and translating.
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One Response to Books that have annoyed me lately

  1. Pingback: The Madonna of the Sleeping Cars | a discount ticket to everywhere

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