September 27th, 2009

gibbon

Gibbon IV

  • This chapter is about 70% Commodus and 30% Pertinax; the former reigned for 13 years and the latter less than three months. Though from what Gibbon says, Pertinax is much the more attractive of the two as characters. A lot about Commodus himself, but it is rather long on outrage at his infamy (...infamy, they've all got it in for me) and short on detail; compared to Caligula he seems fairly small beer.
    But then the story of Pertinax is told succinctly and well, actually rather moving in places - an old man, unexpectedly made emperor, trying to do his best to undo his predecessor's mistakes and then move forward, but who is then very quickly brought down by the military. If you don't know what's coming (and I didn't) the end of the chapter is a brutal shock.
    (tags: gibbon)
rebus

September Books 28) Strip Jack, by Ian Rankin

The fourth of the Rebus detective books, an engaging read about an MP who is caught in a brothel, and the relationships between him and his schoolfriends which run out of control; there is also a very charming institutionalised psychopath, plenty of office politics and personal dilemmas for Rebus, and some excellent plot twists. I will keep at this series.
sarahjane

September Books 29) The Time Capsule, by Peter Anghelides; 30) The Ghost House, by Steve Cole

Two very good audiobooks read by Elisabeth Sladen as Sarah Jane Smith. In The Time Capsule, the team find their work experience disrupted by time-travelling aliens; The Ghost House has a similar problem but in the house down the road. Neither is totally perfect (Anghelides could work on his pacing; Cole has Sarah occasionally switching from first person to omniscient third which no doubt looked better in the script than it sounds) but both are fun listening.
eu

Those German exit polls

CDU/CSU 33.5% (-1.7%)
SPD 23.3% (-10.9%)
FDP 14.6% (+4.8%)
Left 12.9% (+4.2%)
Greens 10.2% (+2.1%)
Others 5.5% (+1.5%)

Looks like the Christian Democrats and FDP will have a clear majority, although this is the worst result for the CDU/CSU since 1949 and the worst for the SPD since, er, 1933 (scroll down).

Fingers crossed for Cem Özdemir in Stuttgart South (I'm not really a Green voter but I know and like him); I imagine it's a bit of a long shot though.

NB the Pirate Party did best of the minnows, at 2.1%.