Lines of perfection

This last week I have been re-"reading" a couple of favourites of mine. I have all the Dalziel & Pascoe books by Reginald Hill and I have been listening to the audio versions of "Pictures of Perfection" and "A Cure For All Diseases". They are my favourites among the favourites because they are pastiches on Jane Austen novels. Hill, a proper Janite, has used all her ideas on how to build a perfect, austen-ish novel.

The best line in "Pictures of Perfection", is when bookseller/lawyer Edwin Digweed confesses to Sergeant Edgar Wield:

"All right, Sergeant, I admit it. Such was my intention. But I don´t want you to think... Look, all right, I was not predisposed to like you. But it will not do. In vain have I struggled. I do not say this in hope of influencing you in your official capacity, but my feelings will not be repressed. Already before last night I was beginning to realize there was more to you than meets the eye. Last night, I admit it, I came because I wanted to get you drunk. But I stayed because I found that, despite all the differences between us, I was enjoying myself."

I´m sure any Austen-lover can guess that their relationship has been a bit of an ordeal on account of prejudice and, well... pride. And I shall not say how it ends, if you want to read it, but Janites have the clue.

"Pictures of Perfection" always makes me think of my favourite Tintin adventure, "The Castafiore Emerald". Nothing really happens. Sort of. No crime is committed, no one goes to jail. But it´s god-honest, clever, bona fide fun, from beginning to end. Highly recommended.

No comments:

Post a Comment