This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Saturday Rave: Good Morning Midnight by Reginald Hill.

Good Morning Midnight is the title both of a poem by Emily Dickinson and a novel by Jean Rhys

It's also a novel by Reginald Hill.

I was lucky enough to read a lot of Reginald Hill's Dalziel* and Pascoe books backwards. That's not to say I started at the last page and turned the backwards to the first, that would have been bonkers; no, I started with The Death Of Dalziel and then, amazed and delighted, read every other Dalziel and Pascoe I could find in the library. I just happened to come across them in the reverse order of their publication. 

It meant I saw all sorts of links between the books that would be hidden to anyone reading them in the order in which they were published. Amazing, as I said.

I can't believe I've not written about the Dalziel and Pascoe books here before. They're marvellous. Good Morning Midnight involves an apparent copy-cat suicide where a book of Emily Dickinson's poems is left at the scene of the crime. 

If it is a crime.

Does that sound too grim? Reginald Hill doesn't turn his face away from loss and grief, but there's plenty of fun to be had as well. Here he introduces two characters who are having lunch in a very exclusive Gentleman's Club.

'He was a short man, very stout, even his head was stout, and almost completely bald, a deficiency he balanced by wearing a Harris tweed suit so hairy, you could have sheared it and got yourself a matching rug.

As if chosen deliberately for contrast, the other man remaining at the table was very thin, very tall, and so smooth of person and suit that a housefly would have found it hard to land on him...

[Kafka] glanced round the gloomy dining room. It was the size of a small cemetery.'

I mean, tell me: what's not to love?

Word To Use Today: Harris. Harris is the south part of the Scottish island it shares with Lewis. The name may come from the Old Norse Hérað, an administrative district, or the Norse Hærn, meaning higher - which it is, than Lewis.  

*You say it dee-ELL.

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