Archive for September, 2012

Looking back: August 2012

Posted: September 2, 2012 in memes, Norway

I seem to be settling down on a reading speed of four books a month. In August I read The Minotaur’s Head: Marek Krajewski reviewed for Euro Crime, Disgrace: Jussi Adler-Olsen, and The Three Evangelists: Fred Vargas; but for the second month running my pick of the month is from Norway.

My pick of the month was Burned by Thomas Enger a fine debut novel with an interesting protagonist, with the author tackling difficult psychological and social problems with skill and insight.

Devon has some wonderful locations where you can travel back in time to the Golden Age of the English Detective Story,  entering the world of Hercule Poirot, Captain Hastings, Miss Marple, Lord Peter Wimsey, and Harriet Vane. I last wore my dinner suit in 1970, the night England lost 2-3 to West Germany in the World Cup, so the chances of fitting into it and enjoying dinner at the luxurious Burgh Island Hotel are slim. Pity it looks a fantastic venue.

But never mind there is another iconic modernist house in Devon. High Cross House completed in 1932, and designed by the Swiss-American architect William Lescaze for William Curry, the first headmaster of Dartington Hall School. High Cross House has been described as an example of brutalist architecture, and a simple sleek machine for living. I have always thought the design unsuited to Devon’s climate and that  it would look much more comfortable on the California or Florida Coast.

Although when one enters you can imagine Hercule Poirot sitting in the uncomfortable chairs, the harsh modernism makes me feel I should be volunteering to fight in the Spanish Civil War, and that Hermann Goering and Albert Speer will come through the door at any moment.