Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I must confess that I am one, altho not as either my dictionary or Wiki primarily define the word. The closest definition that I can personally identify with describes this type of person as a 'prying observer'.

I even object to the word 'prying', which to me implies putting one's nose into something that is none of one's business.

Craig Peihopa, in his comment early yesterday morning, described my blog as "a little voyeuristic in style". I took that as simply a candid remark on how I allow others a personal glimpse into my own life and how I think.

He and I are on the same page, I think, with our definition of 'voyeur'. Having said all that, I believe that the term 'voyeur' should be further defined as one who keenly observes, or an extremely interested observer.

I might even suggest a close correlation to 'assimilator'. Assimilate = to take into the mind and thoroughly comprehend.

But enough already with the definitions! Immediately upon reading Craig's comment, I was reminded of a book I thought I had read, The Voyeur, some years ago and went looking back through my notebooks to see if I could find the author.

I did, but in the so doing uncovered some others that I thought you might like to know about (if you didn't already). Here they are, in alphabetical order by author ... ...

Maloney, Shane ... The Brush-Off '96 ... Australian ... a gazillion neat and original turns of phrase ... reminds me a little of Carl Hiaasen.

Martel, Yann ... Life of Pi '01 ... An incredible story (fiction) of a teenaged boy who survives a shipwreck with a tiger in the lifeboat ... an absolute MUST READ!

Moriarty, Michael ... yes, the actor ... The Voyeur '97 ... This is the only book of his that I've read, and there were no sexual overtones (at least, not that I can remember!) ... However, this was eleven years ago. Perhaps I was into sexual titillations at the time? I doubt it, but anything's possible, I suppose!

Olshaker, Mark ... Blood Race ... a fictionalized account of the 1936 Olympics in Munich. (Timely!)

Perry, Thomas ... This author is so near and dear to my heart! I've read all that he has written, but for purposes of this post, I'm going to recommend the first book, Vanishing Act '95, in his series featuring a Seneca woman (Jane Whitfield, I think her name is) who helps guide people on their way to disappearing. Almost always his main characters are crooks and bad guys, but they're 'lovable' crooks and bad guys, if you know what I mean.

Preston, Douglas (along with Lincoln Child) ... Mount Dragon '96 ... Do you like medical and computer science, cybernetics, and metaphysics? As a general rule I do not, altho I enjoyed this one!

Rendell, Ruth ... The Veiled One '88 (supposedly the 13th [!] in her Chief Inspector Wexford series) ... When I first read one of her books (this one, actually!) in 1997, I wrote in my notes, "I will NEVER be a writer! Es imposible!!" I'd like to share with you some of the other notations I made ... "exquisitely detailed story" ... "a young man sorely in need of therapy gets brutally ignored by the investigator after it's proven he is no longer a suspect in the murder of a blackmailing housewife" ... "every word is important" ... "the author has such insights into the human experience".

Sandford, John ... (pseudonym for the journalist John Camp) ... Mystery and intrigue, do you enjoy those? Try one of his featuring Lucas Davenport, a Minneapolis detective who is independently wealthy (sigh) due to his patented invention of a product that sold on the market. Most of the novels that feature Lucas Davenport include the word 'prey' in the title. If you have never read him before, I recommend that you begin with Certain Prey '99. Why? Because I gave it five stars, that's why!

Sherwood, Lyn A. ... Super Fan '01 ... I don't remember if the sport is football or baseball. I want to say football, but I'm not sure. What I am sure of is that I liked the book!

Singerman, Philip ... Proof Positive '01 ... A modern-day story which has its roots back in Austria during Hitler's regime.

Stockley, Grif ... His protagonist is Gideon Page, a lawyer ... Some of my notes include (from Religious Conviction '94) ... "took about 100 pages to get used to him writing in the present tense" ... "tremendous sense of humor and way with words" ... (from Expert Testimony '91) ... "What a human person!"

Thomson, Maynard F. ... Dreams of Gold '99 ... "A beautiful story," I wrote in my notes. Another timely recommendation! Japanese culture ... pairs/singles behind the scenes training, politics, love.

Turnbull, Peter ... The Killing Floor '94 ... In my notes I wrote -- yet once again -- of the famous line of Churchill's, whereupon he said (after being criticized for ending a sentence with a preposition), "... things up with which he would not put." (p. 129) I additionally noted that I found the book "satisfying". Not the most hearty of recommendations, I'll admit, BUT -- keep that quote in the back of your mind, OK? You might find it to be extremely handy one day!

Vaughn, Ellen ... The Strand '97 ... My notes include "a beautifully-written/integrated story of family/backgrounds/nastinesses ... has a lot to say for me!" (?? Cannot extrapolate upon that further. It's been a while since I read it.) ... ... (with Charles Colson) ... Gideon's Torch '95 ... extremely lengthy story of anti-/pro-abortion problems combined with abuses (aborting nearly term babies and draining brain matter [yuk!] for AIDS and other research) ... includes some pretty good-sized insights into "politics as usual" in Washington.

Vreeland, Susan ... Girl in Hyacinth Blue '99 ... story of a Vermeer painting ... "Interesting," I wrote, "Pages 82-102 hilarious!" (BTW, I have not the VAguest recollection of the hilarity!)

White, Gillian ... Mothertime ... Four (five?) children -- varying ages -- kidnap their "blottoed" mother and keep her locked up in the basement sauna ... not a terrible story ... quite intriguing, actually ... beautiful ending.

Wilhelm, Kate ... She's written quite a number of books, several of which I think are barely mediocre, but her series with Barbara Holloway as the protagonist is very good. The interaction between Barbara and her father (both lawyers) is wonderful to follow. I recommend that you begin with her first in this series, Best Defense '94.

Woods, Stuart ... Naughty, naughty! And almost all of his books are this way ... extremely fast-reading and a whole lot of fun, actually. Stone Barrington (who is the main character in many of Stuart's novels), ex-cop and now an attorney and investigator, had this said about him by the author: "I apologize to those few readers who have complained about his sexual nature, but he doesn't seem to be able to control himself." He's written a gazillion books featuring Stone Barrington. Pick one. You'll shake your head so often you'll find yourself wondering if your neck muscles are doing their job!

Palindrome '91 ... Atypical of Stuart Woods ... a fascinating story of identical twins, one of whom is dead and the other acts as both.

I wish you many delightful hours lost in the voyageuristic world of books!


Craig Peihopa said...

Great post. I had read a couple of the books there. The first book I ever read was The Loved one by Evelyn Waugh, then 1984 by Orwell and I fell in love with an Author who was a Russian Immigrant to the US called Ayn Rand pronounced like the ine from wine. She is a very engaging author and has a very voyeuristic style.

Chuck said...

I always see "voyeur" and "voyageur" as different words -- both French, but the first from "voir to see" and the second from "voyager - to travel" (which is a sort of seeing I guess.)

If you love Sandford's books, you might also like 2 other series where much brain power goes into solving the crime: 1) by James Patterson, the Alex Cross books (I always envision a younger Morgan Freeman playing the role), and 2) Jeff Deaver's series where Lincoln Rhyme is a quadraplegic criminologist who can't leave his home but solves the crimes ala CSI.

Goldenrod said...

Hi, guys!

What's so funny, Chuck, is that I changed the word 'voyeur' to 'voyageur', hoping that people reading my latest post would realize why I'd had to do that to get it published, not even knowing that it was an actual word! (I mean, I knew 'voyager' was a real word, but I wanted the spelling to be VERY similar to 'voyeur' without actually writing the [seemingly] 'offensive' word as the title of my post.) Didn't even bother to look it up to see if it was or not. Just wrote it. Even thought of putting the word 'voyeur' into some kind of code. Anyhoo, that strikes me as just hysterical that I stumbled onto an actual word!! Did you happen to catch Steven's comment, where he suggests that I'm a 'voyeuristic voyageur'? I'll accept that epithet. In fact, I think I'll embrace it!

OK. Continuing on.

Craig, the world 'lost' Ayn Rand (and you were absolutely correct with the pronunciation of her first name) just a very few years back, I believe. I must have worn out at least two of her "Atlas Shrugged" paperbacks, I'd read them over and over again so many times. The only reason she wasn't mentioned in this post, along with Orwell, is that I read them all before I started driving a taxicab!

The first book you ever read was by Evelyn Waugh?!? You must not have done any reading as a child! (?)

Chuck, I could have included James Patterson in my post, but didn't. I'm not as fond of his writing as you seem to be. However, all that being said, there is one scene in Kiss the Girls ('95), I think, with the snake that is unbelievably shudderful!! I actually prefer the books that he has co-authored with someone else, altho his 'women's murder club' series is worthy of note.

Speaking of a Patterson, have you read any of Richard North Patterson's? He's kind of 'turned me off' with his (seeming) love of self, but his book, Silent Witness ('96) is a dandy.

Definitely agree with you on Deaver. He wasn't included because I was in the notebook that had K through Z.