Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Reading while crossing the Atlantic - or Pacific?

I've discovered some really interesting  authors at various airport shops, ones whose writing I've tracked down, even after the flight.  Through flying to the three corners of the earth, I've found Ian Rankin, Vikram Seth, Clive Cussler, Lee Child, James Patterson, Tom Clancey, Harlan Coben and Robert Ludlum among others.  Some are adventure fiction, stuff I read and leave on a bench  in some far airport, but then, there are the  keepers.

Seth and Rankin are keepers:  I remember buying Seth's A Suitable Boy in Singapore as it was thick and looked as if it would last on a long flight to SFO.  Marvelous, wandering story of Indian family life.  Rankin, all of whose books I've now read, is the creator of a   disillusioned detective, Rebus, who worked  the streets of Edinburgh; writes well and with love of the character and city. 

Cussler does imaginative adventure stuff, with  two pals working in a government maritime agency.  A diver himself , Cussler is at ease when it comes to nautical themes.  On occasion he gets to places I've been and that's really fun.

Clancey and Ludlum do the thriller-spy bit that have you big into all possible conspiracy theories.  Clancy has Jack Ryan and Ludlum has Jason Bourne.  Movies have been done based on books  from both authors - I like the books better than the films.

Coben is another matter:  a literate juicey mystery writer with really well drawn  characters and a cut above most.; for the airplane reader, an added bonus  that the books are long.    Now, Patterson's lead character is usually a African-American  psychologist-detective though he also has a series based on a female San Francisco  dectective that has become a series on TV -  again, books are better than the series.  

Lee Child's hero is Reacher, an outsized loner,  ex MP,  who goes around solving unbelievable screw-ups in a rather direct manner. 

I'm off again, to the UK this time, so it won't be an unbelievably long flight.  I picked up at the Library's free and resale bins, a paperback Coben and  Ludhum, which should get me to LHR and maybe, return.  And always carry the pocket edition of 7  Pillars, my bible. 

1 comment:

Rahul said...

I share the same views. Liked your blog very much.