Jan. 18th, 2016

Placet

Jan. 18th, 2016 11:46 am
jinasphinx: (Sphinx)
I borrowed the audiobook of Gaudy Night from the library and listened to it on my iPhone. It was a little bit of a hassle to import the sound files from the Overdrive folder to iTunes and then sync with the phone, but the worst part was having to contend with the Apple Music app on my phone. Other sound-playing apps have controls like this:



And then there's Apple Music, which does not have an easy "skip back N seconds" button and whose controls are so much smaller:



UI annoyances aside, the audiobook experience was great. I was able to listen during my commute (now that I've given up on the light rail) and during data entry at work. The narrator's English accent enhanced a lot of the pompous discussions among the Oxford dons and lent some added charm to Lord Wimsey the younger.

And the story itself was good; I hadn't known anything about Dorothy Sayers before starting the Wimsey books, so I hadn't realized how much of a feminist nerd she was. I love that she highlighted the double standards of how male and female students were treated and how the women's college is aware of its own precarious situation. It creates a nice backdrop for Harriet's need to maintain her independence. And I loved Wimsey for that moment when he realizes Harriet is in danger and instead of hiring bodyguards for her or trying to stop her investigation, he teaches her self-defense. I was less charmed by the dog collar; I wasn't sure what Sayers was trying to do with that, or if the comparison between a woman and a dog wasn't a thing in the 1920s.

I also wasn't sure how big of a scandal Harriet's well-publicized "fallen woman" status would have been. Obviously it's enough of a thing that she's worried about how she'll be received at Oxford and is used to getting hate mail, but I don't remember the book saying that she was worried she would harm Peter's reputation. Perhaps that would have gone without saying. My only complaint with the book itself is that by the time you get to the ending, it feels anticlimactic, and then it ends abruptly. But that was the case with Have His Carcase too, and probably a convention of storytelling at the time. I've noticed the same abrupt feeling in older movies.

August 2016

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