Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Better Than Horror

Therese Raquin so far this is better than any horror novel I have read. 

The lovers have done the deed, or rather Laurent murdered Camille and Therese looked on.  It was quite awful and I immediately thought of The Talented Mr Ripley as it was the same scenario - out on a rowing boat. Laurent doesn’t really love Therese, he loves what she represents – something to abate his desires and a means to an end.  Laurent is a peasant; we are constantly reminded of that – his manner, his thoughts and his bearing.  He is also lazy.  Ultimately he just wants to live an idle life, but he needs an income and if he marries Therese all her inheritance (the haberdashery shop and old Madame Raquin's savings) will pass onto him.  What an arse. 

For two weeks after the murder, Laurent visits the morgue and views all the bodies that have drowned in the Seine (there seems to be a steady flow, pardon the pun), for he can’t rest until he knows that Camille has been identified and buried.  Zola certainly doesn’t gloss over this scene.  It is horrific, and even more horrific is the thought of those who come to view the corpses for the fun of it.  Unnatural death is ugly and Zola has recreated this to great effect.

Therese’s behaviour after the murder alarms Laurent and he decides to keep his distance until things settle down.  Therese is certainly hysterical and unsettled at first and as time goes by Laurent takes a mistress, grows portly, and finds himself quite contented and he begins to wonder how he let Therese take hold of his passions in such a way.  Then he considers that perhaps he won’t marry her, but his guilty conscience kicks in reminding him that Camille would have died for nothing.  There is one other thing to consider too, if he jilts Therese she might give away their secret………

This is wonderful, I am savouring every word.

I’ve started a Caffeine and Chapters themed read The Book of The Dead by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child.  I know it won’t be a great read, but it’s started out okay (I really enjoyed Preston’s Blasphemy).  This is the Same Title Different Book theme.  The other book I chose was The Book of The Dead by Patricia Cornwell, but I gave up halfway through a little while ago.  I’ll try to finish it, or I’ll get another one with this title.

I’m halfway through The Shadow out of Time by Lovecraft.  You can’t beat him, it’s so over the top but he takes it all very seriously.  He loves to use words such as ‘monstrous’, ‘unhuman horrors’, ‘abyss’ and ‘cyclopean’!

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