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Still Life (2005)

por Louise Penny

Outros autores: Ver a secção outros autores.

Séries: Chief Inspector Armand Gamache (1)

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
6,6804241,407 (3.84)796
Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec and his team of investigators are called in to the scene of a suspicious death in a rural village south of Montreal. Jane Neal, a local fixture in the tiny hamlet of Three Pines, just north of the U.S. border, has been found dead in the woods. The locals are certain it's a tragic hunting accident and nothing more, but Gamache smells something foul in these remote woods, and is soon certain that Jane Neal died at the hands of someone much more sinister than a careless bowhunter.--From publisher description.… (mais)
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» Ver também 796 menções

Inglês (414)  Francês (2)  Espanhol (2)  Holandês (2)  Sueco (1)  Finlandês (1)  Alemão (1)  Polaco (1)  Todas as línguas (424)
Mostrando 1-5 de 424 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Pros: A decently complex mystery that convincingly leads investigators down a number of productive and unproductive paths; an excellent lead character (Gamache); a setting whose individual locations are vividly portrayed; a rather compassionate, people-positive worldview on the author's part. I can see why people like the books. They imply that the world is full of really nice people, plus a few baddies who only need to be found out and taken care of.

Cons: Prose. Even allowing for this being the author's first novel, the writing is poor. I suffered particularly from excessive point-of-view switching — three characters may share their internal monologues in the course of a single page, and the change is not always clearly signaled. Most often it's the viewpoint of the first character mentioned in the paragraph, but not always. I was particularly confused when one paragraph started off with Beauvoir closing a gate and continued with a mention of what Gamache was thinking, momentarily leading me to believe that Beauvoir was telepathic. I finally decided to roll with it and to try to figure it out from the context, while assuming that some of the value judgments were actually the author's. Pronouns were no help; "he" might refer to three different people in three successive mentions.

Do I sound like a persnickety grammarian? Maybe I do, but my point isn't the grammar, which is technically correct. It's that the writing style is ambiguous and vague where the author presumably intends it to be clear. This vagueness extends to the village of Three Pines. As I said, the locations are vivid, but the village as a whole never comes into focus. We're told there are four main streets radiating out from a center green. But we meet only about twelve or fifteen people, and three kids. Is this a village of 200? 1000? 10,000? Who can tell? (Five years ago I read the sixth book in the series, which was no clearer on this point.)

Many of the characters are one-note. The unsympathetic characters, in particular, seem to have no redeeming qualities at all, and it was grating to read about them and their petty, cartoonish thoughts. (In this novel, little is shown through a character's actions. Instead, interior thoughts serve as unceasing exposition, while the plot is driven largely through dialogue. Overall, I'd say there's a paragraph of inner musing for every line of dialogue.) Another character showed astonishing emotional intelligence in one scene, and then for the rest of the book was childish and cruel, which I could never reconcile. Maybe Penny intended to arouse the reader's suspicion of this character as a suspect.

When we do meet the murderer, we get the murder-speech in which he or she (no spoilers here!) describes all of the murder plans and justifications, past and present, while in the midst of trying to complete the fraught task of laying hold of and killing the latest victim. A fine multitasker.

I'll stick with Ross Macdonald. ( )
  john.cooper | Feb 26, 2024 |
Perhaps I shouldn't have started with the first one. It seemed a logical place to start, the first book in a series, but, beginnings can be weak. I'd certainly throw this book up as evidence. The writing is amateurish, the logic often nonsensical, the characters stock and uninteresting, and the pace way too slow, given all that. So I will now amuse myself with the blockquote tag and some animated gifs.
Peter neatly unfolded first one corner of the paper then the other, smoothing the creases with his hand. Clara had no idea a rectangle had so many corners.
Clara got up and walked slowly to the work on the easel. It touched her deep down in a place of such sadness and loss it was all she could do not to weep. How could this be? she asked herself. The images were so childish, so simple. Silly almost, with dancing geese and smiling people. But there was something else. Something just beyond her grasp.
I'm an artist, have been all my life, and I couldn't do that. But there's more to it than that. There's a depth. Though I've been staring at it for more than an hour now and that shimmering thing hasn't happened again. Maybe I'm too needy. Maybe the magic only works when you're not looking for it.
"Focus, Beauvoir. Jane Neal was killed by a forty-year-old arrow. When was the last time you saw a biker with a bow and arrow?" It was a good point, and one Beauvoir hadn't thought of.
She leaned in closer and saw there was a sticker attached to the mirror. On it was written, 'You're looking at the problem.' Nichol immediately began searching the area behind her, the area reflected in the mirror, because the problem was there.
At past openings only the artists themselves and a few scraggly friends would show up, fortifying themselves with wine from boxes and cheese produced by a board member's goat.
Since the events of that horrible night he'd retreated completely on to his island. The bridge had been destroyed. The walls had been constructed. And now Peter was unapproachable, even by her. Physically, yes, she could hold his hand, hold his head, hold his body, and she did. But she knew she could no longer hold his heart.
( )
  lelandleslie | Feb 24, 2024 |
Crime
  BooksInMirror | Feb 19, 2024 |
Aux abords d’un petit village québécois où tout le monde se connaît, Jane Neal est retrouvée morte de ce qui semble bien être un accident de chasse. Un roman policier d’ambiance lent et léger dans lequel je n’ai pas réussi à entrer tant les personnages m’ont paru peu incarnés, l’intrigue flottante et la fin mal ficelée. Dommage, je ne lirai pas les volumes suivants. ( )
  Steph. | Feb 16, 2024 |
fun cozy village mystery, set in French Canada. Would read her others. ( )
  suedutton | Jan 26, 2024 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 424 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
The beauty of Louise Penny’s auspicious debut novel, STILL LIFE, is that it’s composed entirely of grace notes, all related to the central mystery of who shot an arrow into the heart of Miss Jane Neal,...
 

» Adicionar outros autores (2 possíveis)

Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Louise Pennyautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Cosham, RalphNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Davies, RhysIlustradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Eggesvik, AstridTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Kõrgvee, EdeTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Nagano, KiyomiTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Ram, TitiaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Ruiz Jara, BeatrizTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Saint-Germain, MichelTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Salminen, RaimoTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Stumpf, AndreaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Tse, EdwinDesigner da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Werbeck, GabrieleTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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This book is given, along with all my heart, to Michael
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Miss Jane Neal met her maker in the early morning mist of Thanksgiving Sunday.
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She also felt a stirring that suggested she didn't actually like her son. Love, yes. Well, probably. But like?
Evil is unspectacular and always human, and shares our bed and eats at our own table. (From the third verse of 'Herman Melville' by W. H. Auden, quoted by Jane Neal in chapter one)
Every year the hunters shot cows and horses and family pets and each other. And, unbelievably, they sometimes shot themselves, perhaps in a psychotic episode where they mistook themselves for dinner. It was a wise person who knew that some hunters -- not all, but some -- found it challenging to distinguish a pine from a partridge from a person. (Chapter 1)
[Gamache is talking with Myrna Landers]

'The funny thing about murder is that the act is often committed decades before the actual action. Something happens, and it leads, inexorably, to death many years later. A bad seed is planted. It's like those old horror films from the Hammer studios, of the monster, not running, never running, but walking without pause, without thought or mercy, toward its victim. Murder is often like that. It starts way far off.' (chapter 7)
"There are four things that lead to wisdom. They are four sentences we learn to say, and mean."

I don't know.

I need help.

I'm sorry.

I was wrong.

(p. 81-82)
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Wikipédia em inglês (1)

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec and his team of investigators are called in to the scene of a suspicious death in a rural village south of Montreal. Jane Neal, a local fixture in the tiny hamlet of Three Pines, just north of the U.S. border, has been found dead in the woods. The locals are certain it's a tragic hunting accident and nothing more, but Gamache smells something foul in these remote woods, and is soon certain that Jane Neal died at the hands of someone much more sinister than a careless bowhunter.--From publisher description.

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