I've not been very well this week -- nothing serious, just an annoying virus that has me running a temperature and completely off my food (this latter being not at all a bad thing). You'd think this would have been a perfect chance to catch up with my reading, but the first couple of days I didn't feel like it at all, though I have struggled through a rather less than wonderful novel by Robert Goddard called In Pale Battalions. I've read practically all Goddard's intelligent historical crime novels and generally enjoyed them, but this 1988 offering -- set partly in WW1 -- seemed to me old-fashioned, over-written and predictable.
I'm having more luck with an audiobook -- The Fire Engine that Disappeared, by Maj Sjohwall and Per Wahloo, and the 5th of the brilliant 1960s Martin Beck series, of which I've written before. Beck doesn't actually figure very much in this novel, which is mostly about the other officers in his police station, who -- as usual -- bicker, bumble about, go off and do things which are sometimes helpful and sometimes not, and somehow manage in the end to stumble on the solution. Lots of sharp left-wing comments on Swedish society and the state of the world in general -- brilliant stuff.
Mostly, though, I've been watching movies online. Hooray for YouTube which has loads of them, and lots of free ones. Interestingly enough they were all based on true stories. But I've given up on several because I didn't like them -- one, the name of which I can't remember, about a rather nice and pretty housewife in Texas who started working in a massage parlour and became a successful prostitute -- one, with Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor, called I Love You Phillip Morris, which I was surprised to find quite distasteful -- I am far from homophobic but thought they hadn't managed to strike the right note at all -- and one recent one, On The Road, which I was looking forward to but got tired of all the drugs drink and e ndless sex. Oh dear -- I sound like a real prude -- maybe I am.
However I discovered an absolutely brilliant film I'd never heard of -- Temple Grandin. Starring the wonderful Claire Danes, who is so great in Homeland, this is a biopic of a truly amazing woman who has overcome autism to become a Professor at a prestigeous American unversity. Inspiring, uplifting, informative -- one to watch if you haven't already.
This afternoon I am set for My Week with Marilyn, which I've seen before. I'm rather sorry I seem to be getting so much better -- watching films in bed is not a bad way to spend your life.