Monday, January 27, 2014

Stephen White

From the first...



To the last...



I'm a fan, as is CA. We've read each one along the way, and in 2007, I re-read the backlist.


We've grown intrigued by Boulder and the Front Range, internalizing locations and details. Visiting twice over the years, and recently with ideas of living in that area part-time.

I've loved the characters, their struggles and stories. Lauren's MS; Sam's bravado; Alan's ethics and loyalties. Raoul and Diane. Adrianne and Peter. Jonas and Grace.


I haven't loved the trajectory toward this last in the series of 20. Starting with Peter's startling demise and shocking deceit. Angry at the destruction of Lauren's character. The internal kind of character; not the invented person.


I'll miss Alan Gregory. My assumed knowledge of psychology and psychosis is built more than a little from these novels. I do love the mix of psychology and storyline. Much more interesting than spies or police procedurals.


The series is done. Like Patricia Cornwell stepping back from Kay Scarpetta, the time has come for Stephen White to give Alan Gregory a clean break. I don't expect a future resurrection, but I hope for more novels with Boulder and the Front Range as a main charcter.


Trains and Lovers

This is a story of four people, all strangers to one another, who met on a train, and of how love touched their lives, in very different ways. Love is nothing out of the ordinary, even if we think it is; even if we idealise it, celebrate it in poetry, sentimentalise it in coy valentines. Love happens to just about everyone; it is like measles or the diseases of childhood; it is as predictable as the losing of milk teeth, or the breaking of a boy's voice. It may visit us at any time, in our youth but also when we are much older and believe we are beyond its reach; but we are not. It has been described as a toothache, a madness, a divine intoxication--metaphors that reflect the disturbing effect it has on our lives. It may bring surprise, joy, despair and, occasionally, perfect happiness.

Trains and Lovers

Alexander McCall Smith


Great writing. Obvious contradictions. Love is certainly not ordinary. The complexities of love have enlivened centuries of literature, music, drama... Wars and crimes of passion are fueled by love and its opposite. Love is the driving force of all nature. Love is elusive; sometimes fleeting. We hunger for its constancy; fulfillment. We yearn for perfect love. Expect divine and expansive love. Yet, flee from Divinty. Perfect love casts out fear.