I've used the word here before, but Kauto was a real pain-in-the-ass last night. He woke up at 00:00 and Elina tried to sooth him back to sleep. It seemed to work, but then he said "Uh" and got up and said "Uh" again (and lots of other sounds - this guy has a large vocabulary for a ten-month) and after several attempts Elina got mad and rushed out of the bedroom. I tried to walk Kauto back to sleep and sang him bed-time songs and it seemed to work when at 1:20 I put him back to his bed and went to the living room to say to Elina that we can go back to sleep now.
But no. Something - just a tiny little sound somewhere, maybe a squeak when Elina sat on the bed - woke him up and nothing could make him to back to sleep again. After attempts for half an hour or so I went to the living room to sleep (luckily there were still some mattresses lying on the floor after our friends Manu and Tuula and their five-months old son Otso dropped by and I got to bed immediately). I tried to wake up at 8:00 as usual, but couldn't and got up only at nine. Elina and Kauto woke up 9:30 - Kauto had to shit, which is pretty usual reason for him to wake up.
I've been quite exhausted today, but somehow I managed to gather rage to write my novel. I got over the 200th page! This is the longest piece I've ever written* and I'm a bit afraid what it will turn out to be. I mentioned that I was also afraid of some unconscious misogyny and now I tried to make the lady more likeable and more human.
* With the exception of White Heat, of course, but it's more a collection of dozen essays than a single continuing story.
Before Kauto started to uh his uh's, I finished The Keys of Hell by Jack Higgins. It was originally published in 1965 as by Martin Fallon, but the paperback reprint was under his real name. Now, I know Higgins is a popular author and a guy like Bill Crider likes his books, but I didn't actually see why. The style was a bit stilted and there was no life to Paul Chavasse, who was the hero of the Martin Fallon books, even though you could see Higgins try very hard. But then again, the concept of economical storytelling is an intriguing one and that's just what Higgins does.
In the spy genre, though, you would like to see some flesh. In the other hardboiled genres (I don't know if one could actually call Higgins's books hardboiled), for example in stories about love and betrayal (check out Day Keene or Gil Brewer or Scott Phillips) the flesh comes out of the storyline itself, in spy novels this ain't necessarily so. It's no wonder the spy bestsellers are now so padded and full of flesh and boring. This is quite paradoxical. Maybe it's just that I don't really care for spy genre (or Jack Higgins, which might be a simplest explanation). I've liked books by Eric Ambler and John leCarre (they have much of flesh by way of comments of the political intrigue and social order) and am mildly enthusiastic about Donald Hamilton's Matt Helm series (and a bit about Edward Aarons's Sam Durell of Stephen Marlowe's Chet Drum series), but as a whole genre I'm left a bit cold.
Let's say it's just Higgins. Or then it's just Higgins on a bad day. (I'll put the cover of the Finnish edition here soon.)
I just heard that Edward Bunker has died. Sorry to hear that. He was a good writer.