...and I'm blogging about it!
I just finished Atenco by Julian Modest. Written in Esperanto, it is a novel about a Bulgarian spy working under journalist cover in France. Pretty poorly written. The story was too easy. Turned out perfect. Too perfect. Too many news articles about spies being caught, especially during the Cold War. Too many bodies in the basement of Lubyanka.
Novel had other issues, too. Weird quotes. First off, most East European novels use dashes for dialogue. They sometimes use quotation marks, a la Anglo literature, and in this case, the author used it for the narrator's thoughts. And here's where he confuses the reader. He'd use quotation marks like this:
"I wonder if she knows I'm a spy, he thought."
Why keep he thought in the quotations? Further, he sometimes forgot to close quotes. Ugh.
I gave it 3 stars due to it being a fast read and the Esperanto being strong. But, unfortunately for Mr. Modest, I'm reading at the same time The Secret Pilgrim by John Le Carre, the master of spy novels. Mr. Modest is simply too amateur in the world of spies.
To add to the also reads section of my blog:
Orde Wingate, by Christoper Sykes. I started this bio almost two years ago. Got it out of the library after reading the Journals of Maj-Gen C.G. Gordon at Khartoum. It was due so stopped about half-way through. Found it recently in a great bookstore here in Boston for only $10! Bought it and been reading through it. I'll finish it soon. Reading a little per day.
The Secret Pilgrim, by John Le Carre. As stated above, I'm reading this one, George Smiley #8 I believe. Great, as expected. I love his writing. The minute I'm done with it, I'll continue reading...
A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali, by Gil Courtemanche. Just started this. Incredible. Wonderful writing. Kudos to the translator, Patricia Claxton. The English is elegant and moving. This is my train-read until I'm done with the Le Carre.
African History: A Very Short Introduction, by John Parker. I love the Short Introduction series. This one was recommended by a Naval Postgrad professor I had a class with a decade ago. Got this in Audible.