Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Caroline Lawrence to Colm Toibin

This Caroline Lawrence book is a travelogue, outlining sites to see in the ancient towns in her books which survive to this day. She covers North Africa, Libya, Egypt,Greece and Italy. I am now desperate to visit them all, LOL.

I am about half-way through reading the series, and my enthusiasm, as you can tell, has not abated one whit. I heartily commend them to anyone who loves a detective story set in ancient times, and who loves good children's literature....

Having read all three of the photographed books in the last few days, I can categorically say that Caroline Lawrence's Roman Mysteries books are interesting, challenging, erudite, scholarly, engaging and exceptionally well-written with a coherent plot. Even if they are allegedly written for children :-)

Which is a great deal more than I can say for Colm Toibin, who allegedly is writing for adults yet manages to produce a disappointing, often puerile, poorly constructed harangue about his own slipping away from RCism and his obvious lack of understanding about current contemporary European Catholicism despite a great deal of junketing about Europe on his "quest" to document and understand his topic.

I was sad to read of his refusal to go back even when he describes what to me was a really quite heavy-handed prompting of the Spirit to return to belief. A very disappointing book indeed, and I am very glad I borrowed it from the Library so I hadn't wasted my money as well as my time reading it.
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