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June 26, 2008


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I must confess (hmmm?) to never having read the Cadfael novels. I rather enjoyed the movies that showed up on PBS's "Mystery", but then again they had Cadfaël played by Derek Jacobi, and he is always a pleasure for me to watch. Still, I don't know if the movies fixed the flaws you mentionned about the books.

I watched about half of a Cadfael movie on PBS and decided it was not my kind of story. I'm pretty sure the books are similar. I really like space opera.

Hmmm... The premise of Cadfaël is one that could be transfered to a far-future setting. Then again, it probably already has been.

I've only seen bits of the TV version of the Cadfael books and don't remember much about them.

But I wouldn't call the books flawed. It's a fairly rare series that can stand up to being reread fifteen or twenty times and not start to feel predictable. That's a pretty amazing run for a mystery series in particular! I've gotten many years of reading pleasure out of them, but I've just overdone it. My own memory is part of the problem. I still recommend them.

I still recommend them.

Duly noted.

And my apologies for using the word 'flawed'. It's just that I somehow converted your description of it as 'formulaic' into 'flawed'. Which is kind of silly. The Perry Mason TV show was very formulaic, but it wasn't flawed. It certainly was very entertaining.

All mystery novels are formulaic in a sense; there isn't much market for mysteries where the mystery doesn't get solved, just as in a romance novel you know you're going to get a happily-ever-after ending. I don't think the Cadfaels are any more formulaic than average for the genre. The genre just can't bear the sheer quantity of rereading I've been giving them.

(I'm not arguing, just amplifying previous comments.)

Heck, formulas are there because they fulfill a need. Perry Mason will remind us that sometimes Justice IS served. (And I don't mean Justice in the strict legalistic sense that the Likes of Cardinal Richelieu gave the word.) That's one of the things I liked about the cop show Cold Case: it might take decades, but in the end, the dead would finally be given peace.

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