Trailer ñ Ha'penny PDF by à Jo Walton I don t read too many thrillers, but this one reminded me of the experience I would have with them as a teen, usually resorting to a thriller after I d read through my stash and had to borrow books from camp friends Summer, days before smartphones or personal computers , hardly any TV, no work school, reading hundreds of pages a day.
It was a bit pessimistic than I like my books, but once again, perfectly fitting for 2016, reminding us of the danger of letting excessive fear guide your choices Fascist Europe looks so very believable in this, and the evil so extreme and yet so easy to pretend not to see it see also, 2016 I loved the characters and, most importantly, the mood The book is atmospheric and an ultimate page turner I loved the relatioships between the sisters whenever Walton used the sisterhood to introduce retardations, it was captivating for me maybe due to my own large family I do have quite a few siblings I was less convinced by some aspects of the plot view spoiler the police seemed terribly ineffectual to me, and the fact that the plot was being investigated by the police rather than any special force seemed strange, although perhaps time appropriate Still, shouldn t they have read files on all the remaining actors hide spoiler I m afraid I got a little sloppy, back in 2008 I did not write a separate review of Ha penny when I read it the first time Instead, I just mentioned it as an aside in my original review of Farthing But that was an oversight, I ll admit, one that does the central volume of Jo Walton s Small Change trilogy a significant disservice Ha penny very much has its own voice, and deserves to be considered on its own.
It is a darker work, this middle third Ha penny is set just a few weeks after the end of Farthing, but the national situation has already become much worrisome, even if most of the English living in the shadow of the Third Reich can still convince themselves that things aren t yet so bad as they are on the Continent The recent murder of James Thirkie is still a fresh topic, but not one that concerns Viola Lark very much Despite her direct connection to the Farthing Set through Thirkie her late sister Olivia was his first wife Viola is much involved in her own career as an actress, the career she left her family and changed her name to pursue Viola s just landed a plum role, as Hamlet cross casting is all the rage in 1949 London and that part will be commanding all of her attention for the next several weeks So it s devastating news when Lauria Gil, who was to have played Hamlet s mother Gertrude, manages to get herself blown up by a terrorist bomb in her very own sitting room.
Inspector Carmichael of Scotland Yard and his able sergeant Royston are put on the case, which quickly takes a turn for the sinister and inexplicable And Viola turns out to be much involved in Lauria s fate and the reason for it than she ever wanted to beI know why I didn t review Ha penny on its own the first time It s not easy to talk about this book, despite its distance from the events of Farthing, without dipping into spoiler territory Ha penny begins in darkness, and I don t think it ll be any surprise to mention that it ends with even darkness But it s a necessary darkness too, I think, a passage that must be traveled through.
Time to see how things turn out On to Half a Crown In , Eight Years After The Peace With Honor Was Negotiated Between Great Britain And Nazi Germany By The Farthing Set, England Has Completed Its Slide Into Fascist Dicatorship Then A Bomb Explodes In A London Suburb The Brilliant But Politically Compromised Inspector Carmichael Of Scotland Yard Is Assigned The Case What He Finds Leads Him To A Conspiracy Of Peers And Communists, Of Staunch King And Country Patriots And Hardened IRA Gunmen, To Murder Britain S Prime Minister And His New Ally, Adolf Hitler Against A Background Of Increasing Domestic Espionage And The Suppression Of Jews And Homosexuals, An Ad Hoc Band Of Idealists And Conservatives Blackmail The One Person They Need To Complete Their Plot, An Actress Who Lives For Her Art And Holds The Key To The Fuhrer S Death From The Ha Penny Seats In The Theatre To The Ha Pennies That Cover Dead Men S Eyes, The Conspiracy And The Investigation Swirl Around One Another, Spinning Beyond Anyone S Control In This Brilliant Companion To Farthing, Welsh Born World Fantasy Award Winner Jo Walton Continues Her Alternate History Of An England That Could Have Been, With A Novel That Is Both An Homage Of The Classic Detective Novels Of The Thirties And Forties, And An Allegory Of The World We Live In Today In an England that not only made peace with Nazi Germany but, is also about to welcome Hitler and some of his henchmen at the heart of London, lurks an underground and terrorist plot involving a mismatch of idealists that inspector Carmichael is assigned to uncover.
Sure, Walton takes here some easy liberty e.
g the sister of one of the main plotters is married to Himmler, another to a physicist working on atoms It s a bit disappointing because too obvious a thing to do but, by contrast, her main protagonist inspector Carmichael, the real hero of the trilogy takes on a new depth that is chilling for being so relatable Why individuals can act the way they do, supporting evil even against their own morale, in such extreme circumstances Here s a fascinating take, giving an insightful extra layer to an already very good plotHa pennyis not as twisted asFarthingthe first tome in this trilogy yet, because fast paced and focused it is, I think, a better read Haunting, it surely is a smart and gripping page turner.
There s something rotten in the kingdom of Britain indeed, and this Small Change trilogy seems to get better and better book after book I can t wait to read the last oneHalf a crown This is the second book of this trilogy set in an alternate timeline where Britain has made peace with Hitler This is readable enough, but it s depressing as hell, and has a protagonist I didn t believe in.
This book takes place a couple of weeks after the events in Farthing We re introduced to another young aristocratic woman who has defied her family this one has become a theater actress and changed her name She s plausibly uninterested in politics and concerned with her upcoming play than in the recent sinister administrative changes.
When her estranged sister asks her to participate in an assassination attempt, the actress answers the dangerous, outrageous proposal with a casual, polite refusal until she finds herself sexually attracted to the man who will kill her if she doesn t go along with the plot, so she agrees to do it.
I just didn t find any of her actions to be believable at all, and this nearly ruined the book for me.
The other characterizations are mostly well done The actress and her sisters are obviously based on the eccentric Mitford family, and this is kind of cool, except there s an odd section of exposition that gives a synopsis of the lives of each sister it feels like awkwardly inserted filler, adding nothing to the story.
I do like Inspector Carmichael and continue to be interested in his predicament feeling helpless and trapped in a job that he despises, trying to do a little bit of good with what little power he has I ll read the next book mostly for his story.
I found this second book in Jo Walton s Small Change trilogy increasingly difficult to put down From something which I expected would take me a few days to read, it became a book which I devoured in three sittings the last half of it in a single sitting The first book in the trilogy, Farthing, created the world of the novel a world in which England made peace with Nazi Germany in 1941 and is sliding towards becoming a fascist state in 1949 Farthing was written in the style of a Golden Age detective novel Ha penny is written in the style of a thriller Both novels are written in alternating first and third person narratives and share characters in particular a police inspector with a conscience This novel suffers from being the second instalment in a trilogy The world created in Farthing is powerful, disturbing and unforgettable Because already familiar, it is somehow less shocking in this novel In addition, it is clear that the book is in part a set up for the final instalment Nowever, whatever weaknesses the book may have, there is still plenty to make it a page turner And if part of the point was to make the reader eager to read the final instalment, then it was hugely successful I can t wait to get hold of the third novel in the trilogy, Half a Crown.
I read Farthing when it came out and thought it was brilliant On rereading it, I still think so, and Ha penny is just as good Farthing s plot was a country house mystery I would call Ha penny of a suspense thriller, and full of suspense it is, right up to the explosive ending.
It follows on quite shortly after Farthing Inspector Carmichael has just come off the Farthing case and has been assigned to a bombing which killed leading actress Lauria Gil Viola Lark has been chosen to act Hamlet in a gender switching production of the play, in which Gil had also been cast until her untimely death As Carmichael investigates the bombing and ponders retirement from the police force, Viola is drawn into a plot to kill Hitler at the opening night of the play, along with Prime Minister Mark Normanby, the lead figure in the increasingly fascistic government.
As in Farthing, Walton alternates voices chapter by chapter, between Viola s first person and Carmichael s third, and both are equally absorbing I especially liked the reflections of Viola s mental state in her role as Hamlet, as she wavers about her involvement in the plot and treads the edge of sanity As England slides further and further into fascism, Walton s alternate history, always convincing, becomes and frightening I can hardly wait until Half a Crown to see how she resolves it Also, as someone very interested in the Mitford sisters, I really liked Walton s use of them as a basis for Viola and her sisters They re not exact analogues by any means, but there are clear parallels Also also, now I really want to see this production of Hamlet.
I tore through this one, and I m tempted to go straight to the library for the third This book suffers only a little bit from middleoftrilogyitis, mostly manifest in my desire to find out what happens in the final volume The trilogy s apparent structure is clever This book, like the first one, has a split narrative also like the first it alternates between a first person protagonist and a third person protagonist The third person narrator, a Scotland Yard detective named Carmichael, is the same as in the first book, and his section blends seamlessly with that in Farthing Carmichael is a remarkable character, with complex choices and complex motivations, and I look forward to reading the continuation of his story I was momentarily disappointed when the first person section didn t continue where Farthing had left off, but Walton managed to create another interesting character to hang this one on As in that book, the first person character is a young woman who has rebelled against her family She is less fluttery than Lucy but is still relatively naive politically, and Walton is thus able to use her ignorance and inquisitiveness as an expository tool I think this volume lacks a little of the horrific novelty of the first, but it is still a powerful exploration of a world that might have been, and of the choices people make in difficult situations Many of the themes resonate with today s political climate as well Side note in my review of Farthing, I mentioned that it was shelved in different sections in different libraries I have now noticed that in my own branch, Farthing is shelved in Mystery, Ha Penny is shelved in Fiction, and the third book is shelved in Science Fiction I guess this one was not really a mystery in the traditional sense, but it still seems odd to me to break up a series so comprehensively.
Description In 1949, eight years after the Peace with Honor was negotiated between Great Britain and Nazi Germany by the Farthing Set, England has completed its slide into fascist dictatorship Then a bomb explodes in a London suburb The brilliant but politically compromised Inspector Carmichael of Scotland Yard is assigned the case What he finds leads him to a conspiracy of peers and communists, of staunch King and Country patriots and hardened IRA gunmen, to murder Britain s Prime Minister and his new ally, Adolf Hitler Against a background of increasing domestic espionage and the suppression of Jews and homosexuals, an ad hoc band of idealists and conservatives blackmail the one person they need to complete their plot, an actress who lives for her art and holds the key to the Fuhrer s death From the ha penny seats in the theatre to the ha pennys that cover dead men s eyes, the conspiracy and the investigation swirl around one another, spinning beyond anyone s control.
When I was a lad, replied the foreman, young ladies was young ladies And young gentlemen was young gentleman If you get my meaning What this country wants, said Padgett, is a ItlerGaudy Night 1935 Dorothy L SayersOpening They don t hang people like me They don t want the embarrassment of a trial, and besides, Pappa is who he is Like it or not, I m a Larkin They don t want the headline Peer s Daughter Hanged A modern day HalfpennyA rare picture of the Mitford family together, pictured in 19353.
5 Farthing3 Ha penny The second book in Jo Walton s Small Change trilogy is even better than the first An alternate history set in a world where Britain made peace with Germany during World War II, shows how people respond as fascist rule begins to take hold following the events in Farthing Inspector Peter Carmichael of Scotland Yard finds himself chasing terrorists who, it turns out, were planning to kill Hitler, an objective he sympathizes with At the same time, the politically apathetic actress Viola Lark is preparing for the role of a lifetime in a gender flipped Hamlet when she is drawn into the bombing plot Viola s story appealed to the theatre nerd in me, and Jo Walton does a great job showing how political apathy and a tendency to compromise can lead to disaster It s also fascinating how the book worked on me as a reader I m used to rooting for the detective and against the terrorists, but this book forces you to rethink all usual loyalties I ve started Half a Crown, the final book in the trilogy, and it s just as good so far Teresa Prestonfrom The Best books We read in April 2017