TBR Thursday 352…

Episode 352

No drop in the TBR this week, but no increase either – stuck on 168! I feel like I’m spinning on the spot…

Here are a few more that should slide my way soon…

Winner of the People’s Choice

The Murder on the Links by Agatha Christie

Poirot and Maigret slugged it out for the top spot this week, staying neck and neck for so long I thought I might have to exercise my casting vote! However, Poirot sneaked in a couple of late votes at the end proving once again that the Brits are better than the French that Ms Christie is the Queen of Crime! Excellent choice, People! Since I like to run three months ahead with these polls, the winner will be a December read…

The Blurb says: Belgian detective Hercule Poirot is summoned to France after receiving a distressing letter with a urgent cry for help. Upon his arrival in Merlinville-sur-Mer, the investigator finds the man who penned the letter, the South American millionaire Monsieur Renauld, stabbed to death and his body flung into a freshly dug open grave on the golf course adjoining the property. Meanwhile the millionaire’s wife is found bound and gagged in her room. Apparently, it seems that Renauld and his wife were victims of a failed break-in, resulting in Renauld’s kidnapping and death.

There’s no lack of suspects: his wife, whose dagger served as the weapon; his embittered son, who would have killed for independence; and his mistress, who refused to be ignored – and each felt deserving of the dead man’s fortune. The police think they’ve found the culprit. But Poirot has his doubts. Why is the dead man wearing an overcoat that is too big for him? And who was the impassioned love-letter in the pocket for? Before Poirot can answer these questions, the case is turned upside down by the discovery of a second, identically murdered corpse…

* * * * *

Classic in Translation

Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne

One from my Classics Club list. I feel I’ve probably read this before – I certainly feel as if I know the story but it’s possible I’ve only seen the film…

The Blurb says: Professor Liedenbrock and his nephew Axel travel across Iceland, and then down through an extinct crater toward a sunless sea where they enter a living past and are confronted with the origins of man. Exploring the prehistory of the globe, this novel can also be read as a psychological quest, for the journey itself is as important as arrival or discovery. Verne’s distinctive combination of realism and Romanticism has marked figures as diverse as Sartre and Tournier, Mark Twain and Conan Doyle.

* * * * *

Vintage Horror

The Night Wire edited by Aaron Worth

Courtesy of the British Library. Another anthology in their great Tales of the Weird series, and I’m always glad to see Aaron Worth’s name pop up as editor, since he was my original guide into the world of weird fiction…

The Blurb says: A mysterious radio signal reports cosmic doom from an otherworldly location. Photography and X-ray evidence suggests there may be some truth to a sculptor’s claim that he has created a god. A spectral projection sows terror amid the flickering light of the cinema. From the whispering wires of the telegraph and ghostly images of the daguerreotype to the disembodied voices of the phonograph and radio, the new technologies of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries gave their users miraculous new powers – and new nightmares. After all, if Graham Bell’s magical device could connect us with loved ones a half a world away, what was to stop it from reaching out and touching the dead – or something worse?

Tracing this fiction of fear from the 1890s to the 1950s, this new collection brings together the best tales of haunted or uncanny media from classic – and unjustly neglected – writers of the supernatural.

* * * * *

Trollope on Audio

Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope read by Timothy West 

Having loved Timothy West’s reading of The Warden, I couldn’t resist going on to this second book in the Barchester Chronicles. There’s something utterly relaxing about having a great narrator read a much-loved classic aloud to you…

The Blurb says: Barchester Towers is the second of six in the series known as Chronicles of Barsetshire. Narrator Timothy West brings life to the story, begun in The Warden, of Mr. Harding and his daughter Eleanor. It chronicles the struggle for control of the English diocese of Barchester after one Bishop dies and a new one is selected.

The rather incompetent new Bishop, Dr. Proudie, led by his formidable wife, and ambitious chaplain, Mr. Slope, begin to create turmoil with their desire to shake up the church establishment in Barchester with new policies and practices. However, the established clergy of Barchester, led by Archdeacon Grantly, the son of the previous Bishop, are equally determined to keep things just as they’ve always been. Archdeacon Grantly declares ‘War, war, internecine war!’ on Bishop Proudie, but who will win the battle between the archdeacon, the bishop, Mr. Slope, and Mrs. Proudie?

The Guardian included Barchester Towers in its list of ‘1000 novels everyone must read’. Full of humour and extraordinary characters, it is no wonder it continues to be Trollope’s best-loved work.

* * * * *

NB All blurbs and covers taken from Goodreads, Amazon UK or Audible UK.

* * * * *

So…what do you think? Are you tempted?

42 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 352…

  1. I’ve not heard of that particular Poirot – hard to go wrong with Christie however.
    Barchester Towers is a treat because it introduces 2 of my favourite Trollope characters; the very slimy Obidiah Slope and the formidable Bishop’s wife, Mrs Proudie.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think it’s one of the earliest Poirots, and not necessarily considered to be one of the best. But it’s decades since I read it so I really can’t remember anything about it at all.
      Yes I love both Slope and Mrs Proudie too – great characters! I’d really forgotten how good Trollope is and am thoroughly enjoying re-visiting him.


  2. Barchester was my first ever Trollope and I thoroughly enjoyed it; I can vouch for the first two on your list too, though Links is not quite my favourite Poirot. The Verne too, its been ages since I read, but it was fun.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m looking forward to hearing what you think of the Trollope – I’ve started with the Palliser novels, not the Barsetshire ones, but I am looking forward to getting to it in some dim and distant future!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’d forgotten how much I enjoy Trollope – it’s been many years since I read any of them. And in my usual way I now can’t remember which ones I’ve read and which ones I haven’t, so I think I’ll just have to read them all! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I read Murder on the Links ages ago. But now I’m wondering if I need to reread it. I’ve seen movie adaptations of Jules Verne’s book, so it tempts me to read it.
    I’m glad you’re holding steady on the TBR!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I read it many years ago too but really can’t remember anything about the plot now, so it will be like reading it for the first time again! And with the Verne I honestly can’t remember if I’ve ever read it or if I only know it through films and TV adaptations. I’ve recently enjoyed other Vernes though so I’m looking forward to it.


  5. I went through an extensive Trollope phase at one point (The Palliser novels; The Barsetshire novels; and lots of strays that didn’t fall into either series. My choice (of course) is Barchester Towers! I think it’s one of Trollope’s best; as Bookertalk says, it the characters are just so great.
    Although I adore SF and fantasy, for some reason I don’t read much of the vintage works that pre-date, say, the mid-1950s; so for Verne and Wells I’ve mostly just watched the movies. That vintage horror collection does look intriguing and, as for Dame Agatha, well, does it sink me below reproach to say I’ve only read a few (and generally prefer works by Barbara Vine and/or P.D. James)?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, it sinks you completely beneath reproach! The only way to redeem yourself is to read 20 of them immediately and go on reading until you love them! 😉
      I also read tons of Trollope at one point many years ago and had really forgotten just how much I love his writing. I think The Warden is probably my favourite but I agree Barchester Towers is a great book. The character of Slope is what makes it special – he’s so wonderfully awful! I enjoy the older SF writers much more than more modern ones so Wells and Verne are both exactly my type of writer. Verne of course is very reliant on a good translation which doesn’t always happen, but I’ve got a version that I think ought to be good. We’ll see!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I loved Barchester Towers – probably my favourite in the series! I think I’ll have to put more Jules Verne on my next Classics Club list. So far I’ve only read Around the World in Eighty Days, which I really enjoyed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have a real soft spot for The Warden, but I agree Barchester Towers is a wonderful book! I’ve read two or three of the Vernes now and really enjoyed them. He can be a bit wordy but the imagination makes up for it.


  7. Lots of good stuff here! I really need to read the Verne (for my CC list) this next year. I remember loving the movie. I’ve already put The Warden on my list, so maybe you’ll convince me to add this Trollope, as well.

    I can’t stop watching that GIF.


    • I was laughing at my own list this week – the most recent one is the Christie! I really must try to get back in touch with modern life at some point in time. 😉 I’m not sure if I’ve read the Verne or just seen the movie, but I’m looking forward to it. And I’m really enjoying revisiting Trollope – I’d forgotten just how much I like his writing.
      Haha, I am assuming that the gif is not real – it would be tragic if that woman had really fallen below the ice and we were all giggling at her… 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m delighted the Christie won! I haven’t read this one, so of course, I have to get my hands on a copy. Haven’t read the Verne either (gee, how did an English major escape reading all these classics?!?) Still giggling over the meme — poor skater looks like a screw going into wood!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Secretly I’m delighted that Christie won too, but don’t tell anyone! 😉 The Verne should be fun too, I hope. Haha, I’m really hoping that somebody created that gif, and that poor girl didn’t really fall below the ice… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I read The Warden in book form and, after your recommendation, tracked down a Timothy West narration of Barchester Towers – what a delight! The description of the historical context, the characters and the narration were engaging and enjoyable and I wasn’t ready to leave Barchester when it ended. Luckily there are another four books in the series!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Isn’t Timothy West a wonderful narrator? I’m so pleased to see that he has narrated so many of the Trollope books! I know that I read The Warden and Barchester Towers several times in my youth but I honestly can’t remember if I’ve read the rest of the books in the series. so I’m looking forward to getting to them. What a pity I didn’t include all these books on my Classics Club list! Oh well, never mind, I’m sure I’ll be able to fit them all in anyway… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  10. This is a fun Christie and the Suchet TV version is a treat too. Your Trollope pick brings back wonderful memories of reading all the Barchester books, a thoroughly enjoyable experience with those unforgettable characters!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s so long since I read this Christie that I don’t remember it at all, which is always a bonus! I’m really enjoying revisiting Trollope – I had forgotten just how much I enjoyed his writing. And it’s a delight to see that Timothy West has narrated so many of them!


    • These horror anthologies are always fun. The quality of the stories can be variable but there’s always a high percentage of good ones. Glad to hear you enjoyed Murder on the Links – it’s so long since I read it that I really don’t remember anything about the story, which is always a bonus! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  11. So this is a bit of an aside, but the Agatha Christie book sounds very similar to a true-crime case here in Canada that’s gotten lots of attention, and I believe a few books have been written about it / are in the works. A billionaire and his wife Honey were found murdered in their Toronto mansion, and their haven’t been any arrests for years. There were rumors they had a rocky marriage and it was a double suicide, but many people have argued against that theory…


    Liked by 1 person

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