Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Oh look! Links!

There now, that wasn't so bad, now was it?

Since a certain rpc brandished his virtual cattle prod and guilted me out with pithy comments and killer jpeg evidence, you may now gaze with awe and wonderment at the shiny new links featurette to the right.

As work still has the bigger cattle prod, these are simply the first few that I dragged out of my Favorites "Stuff" folder and off the top of my head. I've left out others 'cos I thought some people might prefer to keep low on the radar. If this is you but you're feeling rather more extrovert than I suspected, or you feel a glaring lack in the shape of your own or someone else's site please advise me of this deficiency. 'Specially if it's to do with link sluttage about which I am woefully ignorant.

Feel free to use or abuse the means of your choice to communicate this: email, post, carrier pigeon, two baked bean tins linked by a bit of string, or coasting in on psychic waves.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Sign here, please.

And can you make the cheque out to Plight of Enterprising yet Righteous Iguana Lovers?

As the post below indicates, I popped over to London for the bank holiday weekend. In between other stuff, I did manage to fit in a quickie visit to the ever-wonderful Murder One.

This unassuming crime-and-mystery specialist bookshop on Charing Cross Rd. has a secret identity. The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes dust-jacket that is this store's façade coyly conceals a shiny cover featuring a half-naked DeSalvo in leather chaps staring blankly soulfully into the distance above a maiden's wildly flowing locks and be-bosomed embrace in a field of daisies. Dunno how they cram so much into such a tiny room, but theirs is the most up-to-date romance section in the whole of London Town. And they even stock a large section of Ellora's Cave novels (which sell like veryhothawtmancakes).

Borders might have more books and a café, but stock turnover is really slow and their selection doesn't venture far from the calmer waters of the bestseller lists. Forbidden Planet stocks interesting paranormal/sci-fi stuff, but a few of their check-out staff are hideous sci-fi/fantasy snobs who appear to believe that romance readers are so dumb that blatant sarcasm sails over their heads as if buoyed on secret amnesiac baby wings. (props to SBSarah for that genius bit of phraseology, btw) There is no snob like a genre snob. Go shag an elf, dudes.

Back round the corner in Murder One, and the real reason for this post. They're setting out the bunting to announce the visit of Jaid Black, romantica writer and founder of Ellora's Cave for a book-signing on June 4th. I'm normally a bit ehhh… about the whole "meet the author" thing*, but in this case if it weren't for this small matter of geography, I'd be inclined to pop along. She's a pretty interesting businesswoman from what I've been reading lately and rumour has it that she's going to bring along two male models. And then there's that business of calling another author a pickle which I'm absolutely not going to mention. So there you have it.

*Apart from seeing Jean Little read at the public library when I was 8, (how much did I love From Anna at that age?), I did go to their Jo Beverley one. Mainly to fly the flag for her last book's Canadian setting, bug her about historicity and make her say rude words. But that is the sum total of my willing attendance at this sort of thing. What can I say? I'm a fan of books, not authors.

I'm leeeeaaving on a jet plane…

…but only if I get on the right train.

Curse you e-tickets! Curse you flexible online air travel bookings! You who once made me hurl myself halfway across London in evermore frantic forms of public transport after I realised I'd forgotten my passport on the way to Heathrow because this system removed the vital, "Ticket, Passport, Money" pre-flight check from my travel routine.

You have done it again! Lack of printed-out ticket thingy meant I failed to note the more precise details for my flight back from London in my diary. This caused me to idiotically assume that my departure was from the same airport at which I arrived on Friday evening. Oh foolish, foolish mortal! For is it not true that the 1830 flight to Prague leaves from Gatwick (veryfarsouthofLondon) NOT STANSTED!?! (quiteawaysnorthofLondon).


Thank you to the lovely staff at Czech airways who let my wild-eyed staring self onto their plane last night without a qualm or even asking for my first-born as payment. I truly swear the armrest cover had already come off before I went anywhere near seat 7C.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

What's big and round and not a cobblestone?

Mel was foolhardy enough to actually mention the Prague-ish? -esque? -žky? bookshops in her comment. I'm going to take this as blatant encouragement to write about them. So there. Here's the first in what may or may not turn out to be a series of occasional bookstore reports hot from the mean streets of the Big Palačinky (trad. Czech pancake).

According to the guidebook, the Globe is the grand-daddy of foreign-language bookshops in Prague, so this was my first stop. Used and new books, internet access, a café/bar and late-night jazz.

Digression alert.
(Which reminds me. I'm currently using the Radio 3 Miles Davis specials to cling onto sanity. Since I'm a complete ignoramus when it comes to jazz, I didn't really know his music before, but bloody hell is it ever stop-me-in-my-tracks good. Even better, it's given me the excuse to hide in the corner and pretend I'm wearing shades, my silence only broken by the occasional whispered, "Cool, daddy-o." and "Nice." [note authentically jazz-cool lack of exclamation marks] If you hear someone lazily snapping their fingers during a particularly good bit, it wasn't me. I could never be so gauche.)
End digression.

The Globe's big selling point is their range of eastern European lit-fic in translation, and it is rather impressive. But at the moment, my brain is so fried that all I'm interested in is the one about the penguin. Maybe after I've had some sleep I'll move on up to golems.

Genre-wise, good on mysteries, less bountiful when it comes to romance, sci-fi and fantasy. There are bags to hand in and a flight of stairs to ascend to be able to browse among these hallowed shelves. They call them "pulp fiction" and there's nothing out of the ordinary among the new stuff in this section, unless a tonne of Maeve Binchy comes as a bolt from the blue. Pretty light on authentic glossy American man-titty, but not surprising given the literary vibe of the place. Cassie Edwards quota is a very low four, including at least three copies of Thunder Heart, as I recall. By the way, you wouldn't believe the places I've found her books. I'm beginning to suspect she aims to become the romantic fiction equivalent of the Gideon bible. Her stealth distribution fills me with awe and not a little dread. Check your nightside table next time you're in a hotel, folks.

Of course, a lot of their fiction stock is "lightly used" (trade-ins for internet and book credit only). So if I spend much time shopping for bargains here, I'll likely have to expand my reading horizons further. Or not. It does depend, but in many cases I can't help but conclude that people hardly ever sell on books that they really like. Unless someone's been clearing out houses, the majority of what's available can often be a little, ermmmm… uninspiring? Although repeat visits do often pay dividends and since this place feels like someone's cosy front room, it's a lovely place to browse.

Catherine Cookson rating* (traditional for used-book stores): small shelf of thirty-odd books on special for 100 Kc (approx. £2.50/$4.00US) each.

*Incidentally, for those of you making comparisons with Cassie E, the ubiquity of CC's books doesn't make her the Gideon bible, but a force of nature.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Of Spice and Jam

I'm currently working like the proverbial thing-working-very-hard-which-I'd-think-of-if-only-my-brain-were-not-completely-cabbaged-but-whatever-it-is-it's-probably-covered-in-sweat-and-has-loads-of-other-things-standing-around-it-shouting-"Work!"-"Work harder!"-"Do more stuff!"-"Now!" So I haven't had much of an opportunity for sight-seeing of late. Unless my late-night tours of Prague metro stations counts. (Rather cool 70s effects with coloured metal, but as it's of Soviet construction I'm still looking for the "productive peasants" murals. Or would that be too much like rubbing salt into an open wound?)

Luckily, last weekend they let me out and I was able to sample the delights of the "Big Knedlik" (trad. Czech potato dumpling) for myself. As is my wont, I spurned the delights of the "In the Footsteps of the Kings" walk and "Big Bohemian Beer Tour" as a way of getting to know the various districts that make up the city centre. Instead, went for the self-patented "Look for every possible bookshop that might stock languages I read armed only with a crappy guidebook map" tour.

Fortunately along the way, I managed to stumble across several other things which are possibly of greater interest to visitors.

1. A nun in a really cool wimple of the type I have never seen before. Nuns are always a bit shocking, and more than a little spooky. Now I need to find a nun-spotter's book that helps you identify the order by the habit. Bit like the cut of a tonsure and robe tells your Franciscans from your Benedictines, y'know.

2. Cobbles. Many many cobbles. Round cobbley ones.

3. Turning a corner and come across some big-ass ancient gatehouse you weren't expecting 'cos you haven't read the guidebook yet. I like surprises.

4. Very good coffee, of the type drunk out of paper-thin porcelain cups with gold trim by fashionably elegant women of a certain age. They're the ones with immaculate coiffures who look unbelievably soignee in leopard print and big gold jewellery. Maybe it's the tailored cashmere?

5. Delis which smell gorgeously of spices and cured meat. They stock tubs of creamy salads and open-face sandwiches piled high with meat, eggs, mayonnaise and cheese like edible works of artery-fuzzing art.

6. Poppyseed stuff to eat! There is no way I'm going to pass a test for opiates after living here. Poppyseed-jam-filled pastries abound like so many abounding things. Delish… especially with no.4. If my dietary practices go according to plan, I intend to return to Blighty in a few months as one giant poppyseed.

Hungry now. Going home for tea.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Lordi, Lordi, Lordi. Eurovision. Heheheheheh.

What? You really thought I wouldn't do that, didn't you?

Thanks to Anonymous no.1 for kindly updating me about the most recent Eurovision song contest winner. In case you don't sit with eyes glued to the telly as Mr. Wogan presents the annual Euro-pop shindig in his dulcet Irish tones (so soothing), this year's winnah was a Finnish monster rock band. Quite literally. Sporting scary Halloween masks and fright wigs, they wROaaaWwwCKed their way through the charming ditty "Hard Rock Hallelujah". Really. It's on radio 2 "listen again" and everything. Terry Wogan does not lie.

I don't know whether to laugh or weep tears of salmiakki into my Nalle porridge and lingonberries. Probably laugh with great abba-ddon. Especially since they received something like the highest number of votes ever.

Anyhow, lead singer Lordi accessorises with devil's horns in his hair (always good for disguising a growing-out perm), red-eyed skulls on his kneecaps and a battleaxe microphone. So whyohwhy does my mind now drift inexorably towards thoughts of He-Man's arch-enemy, Skeletor? (click on "Accessories" for the full glory). I have no idea, but Lordi has the poweeeeeeerr. The poweeeeeerr to overturn years of Euro-cheese and defeat the combined forces of Lulu, Dana International and Bucks Fizz. Boom Bang-a-Bang, dudes. Boom, Bang-a-Bang, La la la and Diggi Loo-Diggi Ley.

Friday, May 19, 2006

U Stink But I Luv U

No, Grandma, I haven't been kidnapped by a handsome red-silk-shirted gypsy with flashing dark eyes and a gold hoop earring and carried off to the wilds of Moravia. Promise.

Sorry, I did promise to resume normal service at start of week, but severe overwork has paralysed my mental digestive system. Minimum twelve-hour days would block up anyone's thought processes. And then, whenever I get five minutes to spare, along comes one of those kick-ass online dust-ups. Just following the innumerable spin-offs, debates of varying cordiality and interesting little tangents around the corners of the blogosphere I frequent has been a major distraction for a tired mind.*

From reasoned debate couched in prose so eloquent I desperately wanted to agree with every single word written; to lethal strikes by black-pyjama-clad literary ninjas; to bookish barrages by battlefield alliances: it's all been so very entertaining. (hey look - semi-colons, probably improperly used!) I've been quite happy to wallow in it all, because the sheer volume of opinion is quite overwhelming.

Some of the posts have left me slack-jawed in admiration, some have just left me slack-jawed. But all of it has been food for thought, which is lovely. One thing that strikes me is that when adults look fondly on a child curled up in a corner with a book and think, "Oh, how lovely and quiet she is", they are being woefully naïve. Think about that, Mrs. B., when your sprog eats reads that copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar I gave her. Just think about it.

'Cos y'know, if a person loves to read, whatever they love to read, they're going to care about it. That's why it evokes stronger passions than, say... oh hell, when it comes down to it, people cherish the oddest things and enjoy the most bizarre activities. Pick almost anything and you'll find internet forum, study group, club, association or secretive underground network that caters to aficionados. Although sometimes this plunges joyfully into the sort of loves whose names I dare not speak of. To surf is to know I'm a prude.

Giving a shit about something for no other reason than that it speaks to you is a very human trait. It's all bound up the way we see ourselves and create identities. But if people care enough about anything to seek out others with similar tastes to discuss it, you're bound to encounter strong feelings. Express any opinion and you'll probably step on someone's toes. On a bad day, you'll smudge their freshly-applied Brazenberry Shimmer polish too.

It's all well and good to explain that it's just a criticism of the thing, the book or whatever, and not the creator. But at the end of the day, someone's spent time and effort in the creation. It's part of them so the wrong opinion can sting. But someone's also spent time and effort in the reading. Not as much as the writer, but still, we care. Enthusiastic readers don't take an unquestioning approach when they read, thinking is integral to generating that sense of wonder which comes about when we encounter something truly great.

All of which has been said before at some point, somewhere. There's no easy way out of this sort of dilemma. But I also wanted to point out that just because I criticise something doesn't mean I don't love it. For one thing, I'm very conscious that my opinions are influenced by a host of other factors. It's probably not fair, but it's how my head works. I just can't provide an impartial analysis of a text that's meant to do more than inform. Mood will come into it, as well as my own opinions on other matters. And I'm woefully inconsistent.

There are books I loved once that I suspect would give me strong reservations now. Similarly I now love some books that I previously disliked. Clearly the books themselves haven't changed, but I have.

At the end of the day, I just want a good book. But I can't define what this is. I can't come up with a list of guidelines for the aspiring author. If I could, I certainly wouldn't be doing what I do now. All I can say is that I've never found the perfect book, but the books I love aren't perfect. I know it, but for mysterious reasons beyond my ken, I just don't care.

*Will add links later. Kinda busy to hunt them out.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Ha! Call that a commute, do you, Prague? I'll show you a commute. Try the Northern Line.

Sleep on the sofa and then you fall over. I'll be glad to get a real bed (Wednesday, apparently).

I'm in that odd state caused by sleep deprivation where colours shimmer slightly on the edge of my vision. My caffeine/sugar intake has to be calibrated with the utmost precision. It balances on a delicate knife-edge between helping me function as a semi-coherent human being and not. Just not. Mainly I twitch. It can lead to disaster.

However, the good news is that I have now packed, shipped, cleaned, inventoried, farewelled, moved, flown, moved in, arrived, hot-desked, VLANed, allocated, oriented, planned, collected and avoided staring rudely at a parti-coloured female mullet. But before I go thinking I'm a superior being and all, I suspect I may have done most of this wrong. Perhaps staring is a form of compliment?

And Subservients D. Boilerplate? I appreciate your sentiments. Really, I do. But I think you might get a more favourable reaction if you emailed someone of the opposite gender. I lack the equipment you appear to require.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Moving swiftly along

And I am. The list of things to do grows ever shorter, to my relief. But I think I'm developing an allergy to packing tape and double-walled corrugated boxes. Fortunately, there's always the joy of bubblewrap to compensate. In addition to the normal variety I've managed to get my grubby paws on some in a delicate shade of pink with extra-large bubbles. And there's leftovers! Tonight, Josephine, tonight...


Anyone left feeling a little twitchy after the above and lacking the appropriate accoutrements could do worse than try here.

POP! POP! POP! (Damn, one of those disappointing semi-deflated ones. When will I ever learn?) POP! POP! (ooo a nice big fat one) POP!

PS. Hopefully some semblance of normal service will return on Monday.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Do you expect me to talk?

No, Auntie Peril, I expect you to polka. Mwahahahahaaaaa!

Behold me, seated in a flawless lotus position observing the spiritual ebb and flow of the universe. Ahhhh blogger. She go up, she come down. She go up, she… pffft.

Thus, the karmic wheel brings about harmony. The merging of yesterday's post about words with the Vltava blue thread of things Czech. All posts are one. I am one with my posts. The one is a post. I post the all one. Ommmmmmm...

And so we come to fascinating Czech fact number one (ommmm...). One (ommmm...
...Oh sod it, this is getting annoying) already related to me by three persons of Czech origin in the last week, so clearly grounds for some excitement. Robot is apparently derived from the Czech word robota - "to work", and coined by the famous Czech playwright Karel C-withalittlehookthing-apek in his 1920 science fiction play R.U.R.

Clearly, the over-confidence of my informants has led them to reveal a nascent scheme to cunningly infiltrate the English language with words from the Czech lexicon until it is completely taken over by unpronouceable consonants with agglutinative tendencies. Oh the humanity!

Aghast at the evidence of this linguistic plot, I have investigated further (via Wikipedia) and discovered yet more instances of Czech adulteration of the English language, nay even culture. To my horror, it seems that any anglophone using the following sentence is speaking 25% Czech:

After Frantisek lost his howitzer, he only had a pistol, so he traded his semtex for a pilsner to drink and then danced the polka with Ivana Trump.

If you count "Ivana Trump" as entirely Czech, based on her place of birth rather than her married name, the level of impurity actually rises to 28.6%.

Ladies and gentlemen, a dark cloud is arising to the east. One which might eventually swamp and destroy our linguistic heritage. We must stand firm against the tide of corruption. No more can we so-innocently wear soft contact lenses (invented by Prof. Otto Wichterle in 1961) to avoid steamed-up spectacles while performing an energetic polka and then refresh ourselves with a bottle of pilsner or hot drinks sweetened with perfect cubes of sugar (invented in Dac-withalittlehookthing-ice in 1843).

No more can we look with uncensorous eyes upon those haircuts which feature short tops and lengthy backs. For is not one Finnish term for the mullet, "tsekkitukka", or literally "Czech hockey hair", referring to the popular style sported by hockey players of this country?

Beware! I have seen the future, and it is Czech.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Getting a bit verbal

Several incomplete rants are stored up and simmering nicely on the back-burner while I pack. In the meantime, in honour of the rain bucketing down over London, here are some words that are really satisfying to either say or write, regardless of meaning:

Llangollen (with your best imitation of full-on welsh pronounciation)

And as a nod and wink towards future temporary abode: defenestration

Maybe it's a Greek thing, maybe it's a weird spelling thing. Anyhow, other suggestions very welcome.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Still here... uh, there... well kinda in-between

Flat found. Yay! Anything else that might be distantly connected to the moving process? Undone. Procrastination makes life very dramatic. So unless I mysteriously develop the ability to write concisely, posts may be thin on the ground for a couple of weeks.

In the meantime, one thing to miss about the UK: Tabloid press flashes of brilliance. I'm not being ironic. The Sun is now calling the deputy PM, "Two Shags" Prescott. Just glorious.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Perfect Peaks

Back to Swiss geometry. First it was chocolate triangles shaped like mountains, now it's glass pyramids. It's like the circle of life in blog form. Such poetry.

I have always had a sneaking fondness for the Swiss and Switzerland. How can anyone who isn't trying to recover their family's missing gold not like the land of the cuckoo clock? All that clear mountain air has birthed many a fine thing, including delicious things to do with potato and egg (mmm… roesti), the setting for the "Swiss Chalet" school books and the mighty pump turbine.

Their cleanliness and efficiency leaves me slack-jawed with awe. Their carefully dusted shrubberies are filed and manicured to perfection. And as for the trains… Well, when the timetable says the train will arrive at 10:57, it arrives precisely at that time. It leaves exactly 2 minutes later. The journey will take exactly 19 minutes, no more no less.

Between them, National Rail and the London Underground have twisted my notions of time to the point where those pesky minutes and quarter-hours are mere details to be brazenly swept aside in the great march of history. A train will arrive, at some point, somewhere. And thus there is public transportation. Minutes on a station clock indicate probabilities, not the degree of waiting time. But the Swiss? They actually care about these seconds and minutes as they tick by with mesmerising precision. It's quite fascinating.

But this level of attention to detail has a darker side. The Zermatt tourism authorities have announced that they intend to perform mountain augmentation surgery on Little Matterhorn. Its summit will be enhanced by the addition of a 120m glass pyramid. It seems they are concerned that Klein Matterhorn is overshadowed by its bigger brother. Isn't it nice that its long-held inferiority complex and peakiness anxiety can at last be resolved through the miracle of modern engineering? And at least we can trust them to keep the windows clean, even if David Blaine decides to pay a visit.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Lies! Lies! It’s all damned lies!

Or was that really flies? Maybe it’s all flies? Or pies? I quite like a nice flaky crust.

Spoilers abound.

Back in my time of knee socks, pleated kilts and regulation bloomers (Remove those filthy thoughts from your mind, I was a very frog-like child and not at all attractive) I was completely obsessed with whodunits. And as far as I was concerned, Dame Agatha Christie was absolutely the bee’s knees. For one thing, she’d written so many books there was a strong possibility that I would never be able to read them all. Sadly this was not true, but at least it took about two years to track down all of them.

Big digression:

Incidentally, I seriously intend to name a child after her. Preferably a boy. Not mine, of course. I’m waiting for one of my more baby-inclined friends to pop one out for the third or fourth time, by which time the novelty will have hopefully worn off. Then all I have to do is get them drunk (apparently quite easy when a person hasn’t had a night’s sleep for over 5 years) and forge the paperwork. If I keep quiet and things go according to plan they might not notice until the kid starts school, by which time it’ll be too damn late. Hell, if I give them enough red wine and promise to baby-sit for an hour or two, they may even do it willingly.

Back to the carving board:

In many ways Dame Aggie stuck to the tried-and-true (most reassuring for an 11 year old). Her prose was a bit clunky, her characters mainly paper cut-outs and her setting was a world that no longer existed (if it ever did), but her real appeal lay in the puzzle. The true game was always between her and her readers.

In this, she had no mercy. She gleefully messed with our minds. She supplied clues and red herrings with equal generosity. Locked room mysteries, copycat murderers, faked deaths, a sleeper car full of murderers trapped in snow en route from Istanbul. Even Poirot killed someone once. But in the eyes of many the plot twist at the end of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd was a trick to far. The narrator had dunit and this was a flagrant violation of the rules. Dame Aggie had cheated.

Roll forward many, many decades and the cries of “Shame” and “Not cricket!” (it had been the 1920s) were only distant echoes by the time I plucked this book off the library shelf. My biggest concern initially was what had happened to the usual narrator, Captain Hastings, but I persevered with this Dr. Sheppard chap. And then, about three pages before All Was Revealed, I worked out that he was the murderer. No, really. I did. And I absolutely loved it. I loved that I’d outwitted Dame Aggie by a nose. I loved her audacity. I loved that fair play had gone out the window. It was bloody brilliant.

What, you may ask, has this to do with the price of two teacakes and pot of orange pekoe? Well, I could talk about how Dr. Sheppard is a classic example of the unreliable narrator. He deliberately tries to mislead the reader; not by lying but by omission and clever wording. I could talk about how others of his ilk bob about in the sea of literature, from Huck Finn to Humbert Humbert to Verbal Kint. Some are unreliable because they lie, some because they are naïve or lack self-awareness. They’re not necessarily unsympathetic, either. In many cases, the character’s own limitations mean that the reader can detect more about what is going on in the story than the narrator who describes the events.

But in addition to being unreliable, Dr. Sheppard also writes in the first person. In fact, there’s quite a persuasive argument that anything written in the first person has an unreliable narrator. And this is where my wonderings have taken me. A while back, there was an interesting discussion at Maili’s about first person point of view in novels. I’ve been reading a few books like this lately and it occurred to me that while I don’t rely on the narrator to provide the whole truth, all of the time, it really winds me up if their inconsistencies as a narrator aren’t consistent with their character.

I should probably add that if there is no information to the contrary, I always assume that I’m going along with the narrator for the ride, not reading her memoirs. So really obvious foreshadowing of the “If only I had known then…” type squeaks chalk against the blackboard of my mind.

Similarly irritating is when the narrator deliberately doesn’t detail her own actions or things she sees when they will lead to critical plot developments. In other words, moments like, “We got together and discussed our super-secret, cunning and highly surprising plan that night. The next day…” Notice I’m not dying to read on now. This is one heap-big lazy-ass way to keep the suspense going. I am left befuddled. Why would this narrator leave out this information? After spilling her guts about the most personal details imaginable, she leaves out her cunning plan? It feels like the narrator’s been gaffer-taped into a chair while the author comes in with a big eraser to rub out anything that might give away the Big Secret Surprise.

If it really is the case that the events are meant to have been written about after they occurred, then this needs to be a bit more apparent. Laying off the whole rhetorical, “What could possibly happen next?” would probably help, too. It’s just plain weird if the narrator flits back and forth in time like this.

It's more noticeable when it comes to books written in the first person, because the narrator and the character are one and the same. But books written in limited third person aren’t immune either. In this case, it’s sometimes harder for me to put my finger on it on first reading, because the distinction between the author and the narrator is less clear. But if the camera this time is situated behind a character’s shoulder and occasionally peeks into their head, it still can’t just switch off or forward/reverse-wind for no apparent reason. Because then it feels like some pesky author is playing silly buggers with the remote control. And that will make me wonder who’s telling it when to peek and when not to. Which will make me pay a bit more attention to other loose threads, or maybe pick at them a bit. And before you know it, the whole thing will just fall apart, which is no fun for anyone.