11291

Currently Reading

The Mirror and the Light
Hilary Mantel, Ben Miles
Progress: 4 %
Fortunes of War: The Balkan Trilogy
Rachel Cusk, Olivia Manning
The Inner Life of Cats: The Science and Secrets of Our Mysterious Feline Companions
Thomas McNamee, Bob Reed
The Inner Life of Cats: The Science and Secrets of Our Mysterious Feline Companions
Thomas McNamee
Sherlock Holmes: The Definitive Collection
Arthur Conan Doyle, Stephen Fry
The Woman In White
Wilkie Collins
Merlin Trilogy
Mary Stewart
Progress: 612/928 pages
The Mirror and the Light
Hilary Mantel

Recently Added

Memoir and Poems of Phillis Wheatley, a Native African and a Slave - Phillis Wheatley, Melissa Summers
The Diaries of Adam and Eve - Walter Cronkite, Betty Buckley, Mandy Patinkin, Mark Twain
Quidditch Through the Ages - Full Cast, Andrew Lincoln, J.K. Rowling
"You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough." ― Mae West


"The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read." ― Mark Twain


"Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea." ― Robert A. Heinlein


"Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else." ― Judy Garland
Find me elsewhere:
My Leafmarks Profile
Project Hamlet

Reading progress update: I've read 94 out of 380 pages.

L'énigme des Blancs-Manteaux - Jean-François Parot

Expand for images.

 

(Images et texte français en bas.)

 

I'm at the end of chapter 4 now, and things are definitely getting interesting.

 

The first two chapters (not merely chapter 1) were basically exposition, designed to get across that Nicolas is alone in Paris, with nothing to call him back to Brittany and, on the other hand, his job keeping him busy in the capital and providing the key reason for him to remain there.  The second chapter (set in Brittany and explaining why he believes he's left it behind for good) was well-written, though, I thought.  And leaving aside my usual minor eye-roll at the fact that a young, personable recent ex-trainée is being put in charge of a major investigation (bypassing every single more senior professional), at least Nicolas isn't making a complete fool of himself -- and he is actually willing to listen to his more experienced second in command (whom he has asked to be put at his disposition to begin with), so props for that.

 

The action has caught up with (and moved on from) the scenes of the "official" prologue, which we now know happened on the night of Nicolas's arrival in Chartres (i.e., on the doorsteps of Paris) on his return from Brittany, and we now also know the identity of one of the corpses deposited on the road to La Villette -- and can at least guess at that of the second one.  And if I hadn't decided that just around noon was late enough to be getting up, I might actually have continued reading after all ... (which my cats would surely have preferred, seeing as it would have meant more cozy-up-with-mom-in-bed time for them).

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Je viens de terminer le 4e chapitre, et les choses définitivement commencent à être intéressantes.

 

Les deux premiers chapitres (pas seulement le chapitre premier) principalement servent de mise en scène, et sont désignés de transmettrre l'idée de Nicolas seul à Paris, sans rien de le ramener à la Bretagne et, de l'autre côté, avec son métier fournissant son occupation et la raison principale pour lui de rester à la capitale.  Pourtant, le deuxième chapitre (qui se déroule en Bretagne et explique pourquoi Nicolas croit l'avoir quitté pour toujours) est bien écrit, je pense.  Et à part du fait que je suis, comme toujours, un peu énervée de voir un jeune et sympathique ex-apprenti récent mis en chef d'une investigation importante (en dépassant chacun des professionels avec plus d'expérience), du moins Nicolas ne se rend pas ridicule -- et il est même prêt à écouter aux conseils de son officier adjoint plus éprouvé (lequel Nicolas lui-même a demandé être mis à sa disposition), donc ça me rend content.

 

L'action a maintenant repris (et continué) des scènes du prologue *officiel" qui, on sait maintenant, s'est déroulé dans la nuit de l'arrivée de Nicolas à Chartres (c-à-d au seuil de Paris) durant son retour de Bretagne; et on connaît aussi maintenant l'identité d'un des cadavres déposés sur la route à La Villette -- et l'on peut du moins deviner celui du deuxième.  Et si je n'avais pas déterminé qu'il était déjà assez tard, au midi, de me lever, j'aurais bien pu continuer de lire ... (ce que mes chats sans doute auraient préféré, puisqu'il aurait signifié, pour eux, plus de temps de câliner au lit de maman).

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Le Châtelet (destroyed at the beginning of the 19th century) and its location

 

Rue des  Blancs-Manteaux today (screenshot from Google Streetview) and its location -- Le Châtelet is in the lower left corner of the map, on the banks of the Seine.  The exact location of Lardin's house in the rue des Blancs-Manteaux is unclear, as the two side streets mentioned as reference points do not / no longer exist.

 

The locations of Vaugirard (in the southwest) and La Villette (in the northeast), both now incorporated into the city of Paris.  Châtelet is almost exactly halfway between both (former) villages where the "P" of "Paris" is on the map.  (Right-click on the image to see a larger version of the map.)

 


Map of La Villette (1730)

 


Map of Vaugirard (1805)

 

(Neither the present-day La Villette nor the present-day [Blvd. de] Vaugirard recall, even in the slightest, the erstwhile villages.)