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Been a while…

May 1, 2023

… since my last “Sunday dinner with”. Between HBO and PBS there’s just been too much good stuff on the telly Sunday evenings. 

Speaking of which: Succession. Every time I watch it I think at least one scene cannot possibly have been scripted. People may talk like that, but no one writes like that. A Google search reveals that, yes, many scenes are improvised and have been since the first episode. According to this Guardian article (which includes 22 other things to know about the show): “Unusually for a drama, the Succession cast are given freedom to improvise. This began on the pilot episode as it is director McKay’s preferred way of working. Logan’s 80th birthday lunch was entirely improvised, as was Kendall’s bathroom breakdown. The actors now shoot each scene as scripted, then do alternative takes where improv is encouraged and they add comedic flourishes.”

Anyway, I did actually sit down to “dinner with” last night.

I’ve been waiting for the price to drop on the latest Strike novel, which it finally did recently. Man, this thing is a brick – 900+ pages, like the previous one. Holding it up to read in bed must be helping my upper body strength. 

Last time around my friend Krys, who worked in publishing all her life, commented that the book could easily have been cut by 400 pages if a decent editor had been allowed anywhere near it. I didn’t necessarily agree. I didn’t find myself at any point thinking “come on, come on, get to the point”. Although, sure, maybe it could have lost 100 pages.

This time round I’m a lot more with Krys. Too much bloody description of things. And it’s hard to read. Not just holding it up. The main plotline is about cyber bullying and Rowling has included pages and pages of webchats, sometimes three simultaneous ones in columns on the same page. Gawd. I get it. People hiding away in moderated chat rooms saying awful things. Not sure how else she could have done it, but this was a mistake. A friend who read it on an e-reader just told me she nearly lost her mind. I can imagine.

And then there’s the whole for fuck’s sake isn’t it about bloody time for, you know? This is getting to be like Ranger and Stephanie Plum.

Still, complaints aside, I am engaged in the story. And with 750 pages left, it will keep me going for a while.

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