Wednesday, 15 February 2012

The Riddle of the Sands - Erskine Childers

This book was described as one which 'never loses pace' by the Independent on Sunday. It's fairly accurate, the book doesn't ever lose pace, it does however take a while to pick it up. I think it was around Chapter 12 before I felt that there was any progression within the story.

I felt that while the earlier chapters were necessary to the plot they could have been combined to increase the speed of it; for example the first Chapter describes Carruthers receiving a letter from Davies, and in the second he collects some items which he was asked to bring. If I'd been using my dad's 50 page rule this book would have been gone before it reached the good bits, and I think that's a shame.

My other criticism of this novel is that it has too many technical details for my taste. They are relevent to the story but I don't think there really needed to be so many... This is just personal preference, I'm sure the details would appeal to many men and boys, especially those from the era in which it was written. However it's definately possible to tell it was written by someone who, like Davies, is an enthusiast.

I really enjoyed this book, once it gained pace. I became involved with the characters and because of the emotions I felt for them felt that the ending was a bit too abrupt, I would have liked to have eased out.  I think to have made it perfect for me I would have needed a few more chapters at the end and a few less at the beginning.


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