Sunday, June 24, 2007

Funny, Forsooth!

Title: Reduced Shakespeare: The Complete Guide for the Attention-Impaired [abridged]
Author: Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor

“So what do you need to know about Shakespeare? Just this: The entire Shakespeare industry consists of people simply guessing about who Shakespeare was and what he wrote. Not knowing much about Shakespeare’s life hasn’t stopped everyone from cashing in, filling in the blanks with scholarly supposition when thy can, and simply making it up when they can’t.

It’s a shocking record, and we’re proud to be part of it.”

Briefly, Reduced Shakespeare: The Complete Guide for the Attention-Impaired [abridged] deflates the bloated universe of Shakespearean lore into a small, easily-digestible biscuit of knowledge. Since imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, my review will take list form, as I endeavor to entertain and enlighten my readers with brief, yet insightful, witticisms.

Top Ten Reasons Why Reduced Shakespeare Should Be Read Immediately

10. Your vocabulary will be expanded, as you dazzle your friends with real Shakespearean bon mots such as ‘zounds,’ ‘odds bodikins,’ and ‘whoreson obscene greasy tallow-catch.’

9. After each play summary, the authors provide helpful essay questions guaranteed to spark spirited debate, such as: “Have you ever tricked someone into murdering his spouse? If so, why are you admitting it?”

8. You will learn the difference between an iamb, trochee, spondee, dactyl, and anapest. The authors claim that this will make you attractive to “scholarly members of the opposite sex.” I, however, quibble with this assertion, as such knowledge has not helped me bag any men at all. (Believe me, I’ve tried.)

7. The authors are not afraid to say that Shakespeare “wrote some pretty crappy plays.”

6. You will learn that Macbeth is a cursed play. During every performance in the past four hundred years, something horrifying has occurred. Some theater folk will refer to it only as “The Scottish Play.” So if you do accidentally say “Macbeth” in a theater, immediately find a gun and blow your brains out. As the authors rightly assert, “anything’s better than enduring the shrieks of a bunch of drama geeks.”

5. The number of Carrot Top jokes in this book is disgusting. Seriously, they’re everywhere. It’s horrifying.

4. Did you know that Queen Elizabeth I was a “Goth Valley Girl”?

3. Shakespeare’s favorite sports? The Iambic Pentathlon, Pin the Blame on the Plantagenets, and Serfing.

2. The authors take a big, stinking dump upon the numerous conspiracy theories that Shakespeare himself is not actually the author of Shakespeare’s plays. I found this highly gratifying and ego-stoking.

1. The authors’ own answer to the authorship debate is that Shakespeare was a time-traveler from the future with abilities and powers beyond those of mortal men. When he left the 17th century to return to his own time, he took all his drafts, letters, and manuscripts with him. This clearly explains why no writing in Shakespeare’s own hand exists. Finally, a theory I can get behind!

In short, highly, highly recommended.

P.S. – The Authors are the managing partners of the Reduced Shakespeare Company, and a pair of damn funny fellows.

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posted by Elizabeth at 8:28 PM


Safe Return Doubtful

Title: Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage
Author: Alfred Lansing

“[T]he stern of the Endurance rose 20 feet into the air and hung there for a moment with her motionless propeller and her smashed rudder held aloft. Then slowly, silently, she disappeared beneath the ice, leaving only a small gap of black, open water to mark where she had been. Within sixty seconds, even that was gone as the ice closed up again. It had all happened in ten minutes.

Shackleton that night noted simply in his diary that the Endurance was gone, and added: ‘I cannot write about it.’

And so they were alone. Now, in every direction, there was nothing to be seen but endless ice. Their position was 68 38 ½’ South, 52 28’ West – a place no man had ever been before, nor could they conceive that any man would ever want to be again.”

The story of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition is one of the great adventures tales of all time. Led by Ernest Shackleton, the expedition’s goal was to become the first party to cross Antarctica. But the men never even made it ashore. Before they hit land, their ship became trapped in the ice pack of the Weddell Sea. Eventually, the pressure ground the vessel to splintered smithereens, leaving the men stranded in the middle of one of the coldest, most desolate places on Earth. Certain death seemed imminent.

But that was not to be. It took over a year, but Shackleton succeeded in leading his team over the 850 miles of ice and water that separated them from civilization. Twenty-seven men were part of the expedition. Each and every one of them survived.

Many authors have told the story of Shackleton and his men. But Alfred Lansing’s account, published in 1959, has become the definitive classic. It’s inspiring, horrifying, and quite disgusting. The sheer amount of suffering these men endured on their journey is unimaginable. They were cold, wet, starved, and filthy for well over a year. One of them even developed a boil the size of a football on his arse.

Many parts of the book are nightmarish. Shackleton’s men were marooned on ice, not solid land. When summer arrived, the very foundation beneath their feet began to melt away. They had to wade through slush as they scrambled from floe to floe with their gear. If the ice broke up beneath them, they would’ve been plunged into what would almost certainly be an icy, icy death. Brr.

At one point, Lansing’s account even had me in tears. I won’t spoil it for any of you, except to say that while all of Shackleton’s men survived, Fido did not.

What impressed me most about the book, however, was the comradeship that developed among Shackleton’s men. With one or two exceptions, very few petty feuds and jealousies developed. Indeed, the men seemed almost obscenely chipper throughout much of the ordeal, and their attitude appears to have been the perfect epitome of British “keep a stiff upper lip” stoicism. In fact, it was so admirable that I often found myself wondering whether Lansing had whitewashed some of the more personally unpleasant aspects of the voyage in order to preserve its inspirational message.

Overall, however, anyone looking for an introduction to the story of the Endurance should pick up Lansing’s book. At the very least, go online and take a look at some of the expedition pictures. Shackleton took a photographer with him, and much of the journey was captured on film. They’re pretty amazing to see.

I’ll conclude with a newspaper advertisement that has been attributed to Shackleton:

Men Wanted: For hazardous journey. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success.

The above may very well be apocryphal. Regardless, it aptly fits the spirit of the Endurance legend.

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posted by Elizabeth at 4:35 PM


Flying High

Title: West with the Night
Author: Beryl Markham

“‘When I am circumcised and become a Murani,” Kibii said, “and drink blood and curdled milk like a man, instead of ugali and nettles, like a woman, I will find whoever it was that killed my father and put my spear in his heart.’

‘You are very selfish, Kibii,’ I said. ‘I can jump as high as you can, and play all our games just as well. I can throw a spear almost as far. We will find him together and put both our spears in his heart.’”

West with the Night is the autobiography of Beryl Markham, who achieved fame when she completed the first solo transatlantic flight in the east-west direction. It was a historic flight, even though it did end when a frozen fuel line made her plane nose dive into a Newfoundland peat bog.

While the title of Markham’s autobiography references this feat, her description of the flight itself is not the most gripping part of the book. How could it be? No matter how dangerous the undertaking, there’s only so much drama that sitting in a cockpit for hours upon end can generate. Even the crash itself is rather anti-climactic. No, forget the chapters on aviation. The real winning parts of this book are the stories Markham tells about her life in Africa.

Markham was born in England, but grew up on her family’s horse farm in Kenya. Masai warriors (Murani) taught her how to track and hunt wild game, and the young Beryl became proficient at spear-throwing. She killed a black mamba snake, and was even mauled by a lion one day. This is definitely an exciting life, even though she and Kibii never did avenge his father's murder. I found that somewhat disappointing.

Still, there are plenty of thrilling stories in this book. Markham grew up to become a famous pilot and horse trainer. When she was only 24-years-old, her horse won Kenya’s biggest stakes. And she takes you with her as she flies the desert, scouring the landscape for a fellow pilot who’s gone missing. No reader could be bored by this.

There’s some controversy about whether Markham herself actually wrote West with the Night, or whether the real author was her third husband, writer and journalist Raoul Schumacher. The presence of similes involving Eton school boys makes me believe that Schumacher – even if he didn’t actually write it – at least had a hefty amount of input. But really, does it even matter? West with the Night remains a terrific read, thrilling from start to finish. It’s a recognized classic of adventure writing, and definitely worth the time of anyone interested in Africa or aviation.

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posted by Elizabeth at 2:36 PM


Sunday, June 17, 2007

Not If He Was the Last Guy on Earth? Really?

Title: Y: The Last Man, Vols. 1-3
Authors: Brian K. Vaughan, Pia Guerra, and Jose Marzan, Jr.

Recently, this blog has been debating the qualities a man should possess. Must he be wealthy, handsome, sarcastic, brilliant? Must he swashbuckle like Errol Flynn aboard a pirate ship, or be suave like a young Sean Connery? Should all real men, if they can manage it, be half-fish?

Well, sometimes, a guy need do only one thing to make the ladies swoon:


In Y: The Last Man, a mysterious plague kills the planet’s entire male population, except for a young man named Yorick and his monkey, Ampersand. Lucky guy…so one would think.

Civilization descends into chaos. Planes crash, markets collapse, and the Secretary of Agriculture becomes the United States President. Some women, claiming that the plague was an act of God, form a motorcycle gang, cut off their left breasts, and call themselves Daughters of the Amazons. Oh, the horror, the horror.

The plague’s origin remains unexplained. The only clue is that it had something to do with an ancient artifact called the amulet of Helene and a geneticist named Dr. Mann, who impregnated herself with her own clone. All the men died while Dr. Mann was giving birth, including her baby. Science fiction is so damn cool.

A smart-mouthed slacker before the plague, Yorick suddenly finds himself the world’s most valuable commodity. He teams up with Dr. Mann and Agent 355, an operative for a secret government agency. The three of them set out for California. Dr. Mann has a lab there, where she will experiment on Yorick in an effort to determine how he survived.

Along the way, they clash with roving bands of man-hating Amazons, who know of Yorick and are determined to kill him. The Israeli military is also trying to kidnap Yorick, for reasons not yet been revealed. Small surprise then, that Yorick and company have only made it to a small Ohio town by volume 3 – a small Ohio town comprised entirely of escaped prison inmates!!!

Ok, ok, enough with the socio-political mumbo-jumbo. I’ll get on to the fun stuff.

Naturally, every woman who meets Yorick wants to jump his bones. Even Agent 355, beneath her icy operative exterior, has a yen for him. She calls his name in her sleep.

But Yorick – and I’m sorry to disappoint everyone – steadfastly refuses to provide “stud services.” (His phrasing, not mine.) His only goal is to find his overseas girlfriend, Beth, who has been frolicking through the Australian outback in Daisy Dukes, a bikini top, and combat boots. In other words, she’s an anthropologist. As Yorick’s constantly explaining, he’s more than happy to get to work preserving the future of mankind, but the only person he plans to do that with is Beth. Selfish little bastard.

Yorick does have a brief fling with one of the ex-prisoners, a former drug addict named Sonia. They both know the correct lyrics to “Fame,” and so indulge in some chaste lip-locking while chopping wood in the forest. But Sonia demurs, claiming that Yorick is too good for “someone like her.” Soon after, Sonia is shot by one of the Amazons. The killer, in fact, is Yorick’s own sister, Hero. She used to believe in free love, but apparently has had a change of heart. This all goes down in Volume 2. In Volume 3, Yorick mopes and has a beard. I guess this means the experience left him tormented or something.

Overall, The Last Man is great dystopia fun, with an added twist of gender politics and social commentary. I’ve never read a graphic novel before, but I’m intrigued by this one. I won’t buy the future volumes, but I’m willing to sit in a bookstore coffee shop for a few hours reading them. Is that wrong?

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posted by Elizabeth at 10:03 PM


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Brilliant, sarcastic... what more could you want?

Title: The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell, volume 1
Author: Bertrand Russell

That's right, folks: volume ONE. Of three. You gotta love a guy who can write extensively about himself to the point where it fills three volumes.

I've recently become quite interested in Russell and am slowly meandering my way through other such fun books as Why I am Not a Christian and Unpopular Essays. Not exactly your standard light reading, so it's taking me a looooong time.

I never thought I would like philosophy. At all. But I adore Russell. He's funny, sarcastic, logical, blunt, brilliant, rational.... and rather open. Who else would include information about his youthful masturbatory tendencies in his own autobiography?

Apparently his early Christian upbringing left him with a little guilt in relation to such... activities.

It's also fascinating to discover the various brilliant minds with whom he associated. He had T.S. Eliot as a student. How much fun it would have been to be in his social group!

I must confess, I started this post back in February and forgot about it, so I can't remember much about the book anymore (which is why I made such a poor English major - I promptly forget most of what I read). I do recall that he wrote very openly about his unfaithfulness to his first wife.

But overall, Russell is an entertaining fellow, and hopefully soon I will pick up one of his books again. I don't think I will read the other 2 volumes of his autobiography, however.

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posted by Kate at 3:29 PM


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Pondering the Quarterlife

Title: Twentysomething Essays by Twentysomething Writers
Editors: Matt Kellogg and Jillian Quint

Nothing like twenty-odd essays written by individuals in their twenties to make you contemplate your own twenty-some years of life. These essays will make you think, make you thankful you aren't in some of the situations described, make you feel like you really have not done all that much with your life, and make you start to think about all that is ahead.

From sitting around a table smoking and contemplating life, to dealing with rape, to being a nude model, to moving to New York to become a writer, to surviving the death of a significant other, to having a child - this book covers such a range of possible lives in one's twenties.

One of the essays discussed the New Life versus the Old Life, and how the New Life doesn't always end up being as great as one expects it to be. This particular essay really resonated with me as my friends begin the foray into the New Life of marriage and the all-too-soon-no-matter-how-much-I-wish-it-would-hold-off-a-while land of parenthood as they leave behind the Old Life of singledom and its benefits. How much will their married lives fulfill their expectations? How disappointed will they be?

It also made me think about jobs - how many of us will wind up taking less desirable jobs than the ones we'd aimed for? After reading this, I realize how truly lucky I am to be in the profession I intended to be in. Yet, how many of us will find ourselves in the professions we want, only to discover that maybe they aren't what we really want after all?

This book is a good read, and kudos to the college who has made it their freshman required reading book (apologies but I cannot remember who you are). I only hope my college will pick something equally interesting and entertaining for our freshmen.


posted by Kate at 7:56 PM


Monday, June 04, 2007

...but then I got high

Into Thin Air
Jon Krakauer

In the spring of 1996, Mt. Everest claimed twelve lives. Jon Krakauer was there at the beginning, when the mountain known as Sagarmatha to the locals took the first victims of the year, including two experienced guides, both of whom had summitted before.

Krakauer happened to be on that trip to document a more standard ascent of Everest for Outside magazine. Thus is made an important point: there is no such thing as a standard ascent of Everest.

Into Thin Air examines Everest from all angles long before documenting the events of May 1996, starting from the discovery (by very careful trigonometry--go, math!) that it was the world's highest peak and the near-immediate decision by a long line of adventurers to try to reach what became known as The Third Pole. Many turned back. A few died in the attempt, including some very accomplished and well-known alpinists.

There has been a lot of debate in recent years about whether the peak has become too commercialized, reduced to an instrument of commerce for the countries of Nepal and China, and the guide companies who escort their clients to the top. Are too many people visiting Everest? Will the trash they leave behind forever sully this dominating landscape? Have guide companies made it too easy, too accessible, and too commonplace to reach the summit? These are questions of not just fact and consequence, but ethics and spirit. If it becomes too easy to climb the most imposing mountain on our planet, then how will true mountaineers distinguish themselves from the rich tourists? And if the mountainside becomes littered with discarded oxygen bottles, will anyone still want to visit?

None of these stones are left unturned; Krakauer has doen extensive research and interviews to provide background, history, and haunting medical information about the effects of high-altitude climbing on people in general, and his party in particular. Most of the people who have recommended the book to me or saw me reading it somewhere have remarked that it would change my mind about ever wanting to climb Everest. In a way, they were right, but not for the reasons they thought: I was never that interested in climbing Everest. Part of me did for the same reason as Hillary--I hadn't done it, and it seemed like a unique venture, so why not? But the rest of me was disappointed that it had become so commercialized. It seemed that any reasonably fit person with the time and money to devote to the trip could do it, and in fact at least one of the expert guides detailed in the book makes the same claim. The people who told me to read the book expected that it would convince me not to climb. It should have. The experiences of the parties on the mountain from May 10-11 of 1996 were harrowing. Hell, just reading the book is enough to make you want to hide somewhere at tropical sea level with a blanket and a hot mug of something tasty.

Instead, it made me want to rise to that challenge. Perhaps it's my stubborn, determined nature, or my inherent deisre to do all the things I haven't yet done and see all the places I haven't yet been. Maybe it's some underlying self-destructive tendencies, because the strongest impression the book gave me was that even on a good day, even in the best of conditions, you don't climb Everest so much as pick a month or two to allow the mountain to slowly try to kill you. It robs you of sleep, oxygen, energy, heat, brainpower, and will. You hunger but can't keep anything down. You tire but can't sleep. You thirst, but have to melt snow before you can drink anything, and the entire time winds try to force you off the arete, snow and ice block your passage and assail you from the heavens, clouds obscure your vision, and when the sun does make it through, the reflection off of all the towers of ice threaten to cook your brains out of your head. The thinner atmosphere allows solar radiation to pummel and blind you even as it slows your progress with slow suffocation. Low oxygen levels mean more than gasping for air; it means you're more vulnerable to all of the mountain's previously mentioned threats, and your hypoxia-addled mind has even more trouble than usual handling those dangers. Ironically, the book made me want to climb Everst, just to see how far I can push myself. When you get right down to it, it's the only reason anyone climbs it. For that matter, it's the main reason I do almost anything.

Equally interesting to me was the epilogue and extended afterword (I read the 1999 printing) which detailed the aftermath not only in the lives of the survivors and the victims' families, but in Krakauer's extended literary debate with Anatoli Boukreev (one of the guides) and G. Weston DeWalt (an author who wrote Boukreev's story of the same incident), which raises questions of responsibility, fault (yes, those two are different), and journalistic ethics. Boukreev and DeWalt argue that Boukreev is without blame in the deaths on Everest, and disagree with Krakauer on some key points. Krakauer, though he mentions where Boukreev may have gone wrong, is also quick to point out throughout the book that Boukreev also played the role of hero, playing a vital role in rescuing at least two climbers. Krakauer is also needlessly hard on himself. He makes it absolutley clear, repeatedly, that he feels the deaths of two climbers (and emotional trouble for the loved ones of one of those climbers) is directly due to his own inactions. But for all the great deeds he performed during the climb, which played key roles in saving many other climbers, he only mentions them as a matter of course, as part of a complete recording of facts. DeWalt mentions only Boukreev's heroism, and then proceeds to defame Krakauer's character at every opportunity, even after Boukreev and Krakauer reconcile.

Jon Krakuer knows that the events of that climb will always haunt him, coated in the guilt he carries. After reading his story, it is only too clear why, though I feel he's too hard on himself. Such is the burden of survivors. Jon, I hope you can find some kind of peace. And maybe some day I'll have the opportunity to meet you and tell you in person that you saved more lives than you lost.

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posted by reyn at 6:17 AM


Friday, June 01, 2007

ooh, a punny title

Title: Ricochet
Author: Sandra Brown

There’s a whole lot of intertwined characters here. Duncan, the “hero”, is a cop. Savich is the local crime boss who buys off most people in power and kills anyone who could get him in trouble; he and Duncan are essentially mortal enemies. Cato Laird is a local judge; Elise is his gorgeous wife, who used to be a topless waitress. The book opens with Cato declaring a mistrial and Savich going free, to Duncan’s dismay. Duncan sees Cato and Elise at a gala of some sort that evening, and he rather lewdly propositions her.

A few days later there’s a random shooting at the Laird home – Elise shot and killed an intruder, and Duncan and his partner investigate.

As you may expect, there’s lots of twists. The biggest one is that Elise thinks Cato’s trying to kill her; she married him because she knows he and Savich are working together, and they killed her half-brother because he was going to be an informant, so she wormed her way in to get evidence on them. Obviously, she never loved Cato, which clears the way for the romance between her and Duncan.

There’s a ridiculous bit at the end where everyone thinks she’s dead, drowned and lost in the river, until she reveals herself to Duncan, and then they set up a sting to bring down Cato and Savich, which is successful, and then they live happily ever after.
Somewhat confusing; an interesting group of characters, none of whom I’m ever likely to meet in real life.


posted by ket at 10:47 PM


Collectible Teapots

Title: Bidding For Love
Author: Katie Fforde

Flighty socialite Flora inherits 51% of an antique/auction business from a distant uncle; she travels to the English countryside to immerse herself in a business about which she knows nothing, and locks horns with her distant cousin Charles, the owner of the remainder of the business. Charles is engaged to the entirely unsuitable Annabelle; Flora ends up living for a while in Annabelle’s parents’ hunting lodge or something like that. Turns out that William, a totally hippie-like painter, also stays there when he feels like it, and lives in the woods the rest of the time. Flora works her way into the hearts of the locals (joins the church choir, etc.), and by the end of the book, she’s a relatively decent antiquer/auctioneer who’s engaged to or married to or banging Charles; Annabelle ran off with William the crazy guy.

Had a hard time getting into it – it’s so much easier when you can identify with the characters…


posted by ket at 10:44 PM


who needs vampires, anyway?

Title: Sleeping with the Fishes
Author: MaryJanice Davidson

So I think I read something involving vampires by this author once long ago. This one? It might beat vampires.

Fred (short for Fredrika) is a mermaid. Apparently her mom was kindof drunk and hooked up with a merman, resulting in Fred; Mom and human dad are still total hippies (Mom’s name is “Moon Bim”, and dad’s another hippie totally cool with raising a mer-man’s child). Incidentally, Fred has legs on land, and a tail and gills underwater. And green hair at all times. She’s a marine biologist, and works at some huge aquarium.

So some crazy dude shows up at Fred’s house, saying he’s High Prince of the Black Sea, and he out to take out the human race for polluting the water. Artur’s the stereotypical royal, out of touch with reality and common folk.

And Fred’s also dealing with Thomas, another scientist from the aquarium; he accidentally saw her in mermaid form when she went for a swim with some of the fish she takes care of. He joins the fight with her and Artur, and both of them are fighting over Fred. I think he’s also independently wealthy.

Fred’s best friend Jonas is a total metrosexual with a secret thing for her uptight boss, Barb, who thinks he’s gay. He disabuses her of that notion, and they spend a few days in bed.

Fred and Artur take a swim through the bay, find the problem (sewage!), then they and Thomas deduce that it’s coming from a new hotel. They go to confront the owner, who happens to be Barb’s ex-husband, who goes crazy – apparently it was some weird scheme to get back at Barb? Whatever. He dies. And the book ends with Fred debating between Thomas (yes! Dorky and rich! Go for him!) or Artur (ok, probably a better body from all the swimming, but a terrible personality).

I’m not entirely sure if I’m looking forward to a sequel…

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posted by ket at 10:42 PM


Dead On

Title: Dead in the Water
Author: Carola Dunn

First up, check out this post for background – for once, I managed to start a series with the first book! That’ll make this one much easier.

Daisy’s visiting some distant relatives to cover a rowing championship of some sort. The spoiled second son of a lord who’s a total asshole dies, and Daisy manages to figure out everything (though it probably helps that Alec, who got roped into investigating because he’s there, tells her everything he gets from interviews and stuff).

Still a cute series, and I still want all the clothing the women wear.

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posted by ket at 10:40 PM


Last Red I'll Read

Title: How Nancy Drew Saved My Life
Author: Lauren Baratz-Logsted

That’s it. I officially give up on things published by Red Dress Ink. They always end with the main couple having the possibility of having a relationship, and the heroine “discovering herself”. Screw that. If I’m reading fluffy books, there’d better be some “happily ever after” involved.

Charlotte’s an unambitious ditz who worked as the nanny to an ambassador’s kids and had an affair with the ambassador for a few years. It would have continued had she not thought she was pregnant, and he wanted her to have an abortion and keep the status quo. Turns out it was a false alarm, but she got all upset and left.

Then she goes and finds another nannying-for-an-ambassador job, this time for the ambassador to Greenland, where she promptly moves with the kid. At least this time the ambassador’s not married, because she promptly starts an affair with him. There’s some drama involving his supposed romance with a famous actress, but it turns out that’s all a ruse, because she works for the Russian mafia, and she’s trying to kidnap the kid, who is secretly the princess of some former Russian nation and not the ambassador’s kid – he’s former CIA. And then she thinks she’s pregnant with another illegitimate ambassador offspring, and it turns out she is, and the book ends with her addressing the reader and talking about how she’ll raise the kid herself, and maybe re-start a relationship with the ambassador/CIA agent. Riiiiiiight.
And the whole Nancy Drew thing? She read the entire series before heading to Greenland, in the hopes of being more “intrepid and courageous”, but it seems like they just resulted in her doing stupid things like trying to get into locked rooms in the middle of the night and falling out of church belltowers. And the author seems to think that all Greenlandians regard Nancy Drew as their hero (which may be true – I don’t have the slightest idea – but it seems a bit too absurd to be more than some silly plot point).

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posted by ket at 10:28 PM