Questions from Weekly Geeks

Weekly Geeks last week was about asking other bloggers questions on their up-coming reviews. I had posted that I was reading Playing with Fire (see review below this post) by Peter Robinson, and with this post, I shall try and answer those questions asked.

Jacqueline asked: What’s so great about the Inspector Banks series?

Well, I think that basically I like him. I like Inspector Banks, and I also think he is a little sexy. Usually, when I read a mystery/thriller, I do not want the main characters to have too many personal problems, because sometimes that takes over the story and the plot, and I find that annoying in mysteries. I read other genres for that kind of dilemmas. Inspector Banks is not flawless and he does have a lot of problems, but for some reason I don’t find it annoying in this series. And it never takes over the main plot, but it sort of weaves in and out of the plot in a natural way. So that is one reason the series is great. Another reason is that I find it well written and a third reason is that for the most part, I like the plots. There is not a lot of forensic detail, which is something I usually like, its more classic police procedure. Inspector Banks thrillers are not cosy mysteries, but they are not extremely violent either, and I think that they are very entertaining.

Dorte H said: It will be interestering to hear what you think about Playing with Fire. It is the only Peter Robinson I have read so far. I havenĀ“t checked my review, but as far as I remember I found the translation rather disappointing, and decided not to read him in Danish again.

Dorte, you can read my review below this post, so I will not repeat what I thought about it. I will repeat though, that it wasn’t the best of the series that I’ve read. But I would also like to comment on being disappointed with Danish translations, because that is a pet peeve of mine. I am not by any chance a translator myself and I am not saying that I can do a better job. But I have almost given up on reading English books in Danish. Translations often suck big time. I have, once or twice, picked up a book in English which I had previously read in Danish, and realized that I really liked the book, much to my surprise because I hated it in it’s Danish translation. A good translation means the world! Good books can turn horrible in the hands of the Danish translators. But let me say that I am aware that we have many great translators as well! Its just that “secondary” literature like thrillers and mysteries are often translated by amateurs or pros being in a hurry.

Julia asked: Do you like all the details about his subject matter that Robinson is known for?

I am not exactly sure that I am understanding Julia’s question the right way (due to language barriers). But generally speaking, I find Robinson’s writing style to be balanced – we do not get too many details and descriptions about main characters and we do not get too little. I like it that it is a series, so that we do not need to have the life-story of all characters presented in one book, crammed into the pages, taking away focus from the plot. Come to think about it, some books may be more detailed than others in this series, but I haven’t been annoyed, LOL, so I guess you can say that I like it.

Gautami Tripathy asked: I am yet to read Robinson. Do you think I will like his books? What does he write about?

Robinson writes mysteries/thrillers, and after having surfed a bit around your blog, I am thinking that you have a broad taste in books and genres. Much like myself. Even though the Inspector Banks series is not a cosy-mystery series, I think you will like it, based on what I think is your reading-tastes ;o)
The image is from the flickr photostream of sixheadedgoblin.