Past Caring

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Jul 06, Tripp rated it really liked it. Once I find a writer I like, I tend to binge on them. I stop when I have had enough or when I realize I am about to exhaust the oeuvre.


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In the mids I read all of Robertson Davies and was sad when I all I had left was personal letters and the like. Robert Goddard's body of work turned out to be too large to consume all at once. Already in the teens when I started him, I read four or five in a row. His books were great, but I guess I had enough of moody, English thrillers for the time. I had forgotten about him until Stephen King came out calling him his top read for I picked up a copy of Past Caring late last year and just got to it this week.

It was actually even better than I recalled. Past Caring is lengthy, but that is because it has to fit in the diaries of a long dead British minister as well as the historical research of the less than ideal Martin Radford. Radford is a failed academic and teacher who seems to enjoy drink more than books.

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A chance visit to Madeira leads him to hunt down the story of Edwin Strafford, a rising political star in who disappeared from politics for mysterious reasons. As he digs deeper, Radford finds that there are those who wish to keep the story buried along with Strafford.


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This book works better than most thrillers because he is interested in his characters as well as his plots. This makes the book twice as long as many similar books, but it is well worth the investment.

Past Caring

At many points in the back half, I thought I could tell where the book was going only to have the plot shift in a surprising way. The ending was also true to the characters and did a great job tying it all together. I think I am going to get on another Goddard jag now.

Oct 12, Jane rated it it was ok. I found this book took a long time to get into with the scene setting and the writing style hard going. I was tempted to abandon but as a book group read this was not an option. I was pleased I finished the book even though for me, it certainly wasn't a great read. It became predictable, it was obvious the beautiful Eve was a temptress up to no good and our main character Martin was weak and ineffective. The only likeable character in the book turned out to be Strafford's intended. The 'baddies I found this book took a long time to get into with the scene setting and the writing style hard going.

The 'baddies' were so nasty to be really convincing, can people be so awful in 'real' life? It is fiction and therefore anything goes but for me, it was not quite believable. One scene with Eve, the setting and scenario told us that she would seduce him but I felt some detail was gratuitous, it wasn't necessary and certainly did not titillate.

It just added to my being less enamoured with the book. As for the final scenes, it was obvious that Martin would suffer as Strafford had and even the finale was no big surprise. A book that delivers on all the promises made by the blurbs at the back, this is indeed a compelling novel about betrayal, jealousy, lies and other great ingredients.

Past Caring

While much of the book uses turn-of-the-last century British politics as a background, this does not make the book any less interesting. Goddard manages to weave in historical events such as the Suffragette movement and the Boer War seamlessly into his plot. Great twists and un Thoroughly enjoyable read Great twists and unpredictable revelations make this an ideal summer indulgence.

For once, I was glad the author chose to drag out the novel as I was enjoying each page. I am past caring about Past Caring. This book is painfully boring unless you're seriously interested in dusty old British politics. I read the first 85 pages and realized I was forcing myself to continue because I so enjoyed In Pale Batallions.

I'll certainly try more by this author, but am abandoning this one. Bettie and my mother. Would have been even better without quite so many "if I'd only known"s. The previous two books were easy picks, because I knew when I saw the subjects I definitely wanted to read those. The last book though was a tough choice, mostly because there were some amazing sounding books to choose from. In the end I picked Robert Goddard's book because it had a historical slant to it. And it turned out to be a good choice. The book is a fat novel, clocking in at pages, but I had a hard time putt Past Caring is my third and final book in the Great Transworld Crime Caper.

The book is a fat novel, clocking in at pages, but I had a hard time putting the novel down and letting go of the story, when I had to do other stuff. The setting and concept are interesting. I always love a story within a story and with Stafford's Memoir we get exactly that. The parts of the book set in , even though they do not concern real people, ring true and conjured Edwardian London in all of its tumultuous glory. For me, Martin's part of the story read a little historical as well, as it's set two years before I was born.

It was funny to read about a world where not only did not everyone have a mobile phone, but not everyone had a land line either. The juxtaposition between the contemporary feel of the narrative and those reminders that this was instead of , never once truly jarred me out the story, it is more a testament to Mr Goddard's wonderful writing. Martin is the ultimate flawed protagonist. He has a scandal in his past, a weakness for alcohol, and is more inclined to take the easiest or most pleasurable path than doing what is right.

He's a man adrift in the world and he seems not totally convinced he should be looking for an anchor. Despite all this, he is sympathetic and he seems redeemable, which in the end, in a way, he is. Martin finds an anchor in the memoir of Edwin Stafford, a man his total opposite: Martin gets caught up by the Memoir's mystery and through his quest to solve it, Martin needs to confront the flaws in his own character and comes to take Edwin's goals as his own. The novel is pervaded with a sense of unease. It's clear no one is what they seem to be and they all have hidden motives.

This serves to keep the reader on her toes and kept me questioning most of the conclusions Martin draws about people.

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The one main character in the book that is exactly what he seems to be, is Edwin Stafford. Even his nephew Ambrose is more than the curmudgeonly drunk he seems when we meet him. The leading ladies in this book are one of its strengths; Elizabeth is awesome, such a strong and gentle woman, and Eve is such a delicious villain, living up to all the historical connotations of her name. Goddard's characters are well drawn and come to life, both the good and the bad; they all are coloured in shades of grey, only coming into full focus and shading at the end of the story. And even then, after I'd closed the covers, I found myself wondering about some of them.

Past Caring is a crime novel where the crime is not at the heart of the story, in my opinion. Yes, there is a mystery, a large one, which requires solving, but to me it was a tale about love, honour and whether sometimes keeping a secret is preferable to revealing the truth. The answer may surprise you, I know it surprised me. I've been very lucky, all the books I picked for my Crime Caper challenge were excellent and I truly enjoyed them, but unexpectedly this one is my favourite.

past caring

Mr Goddard knows how to write an engrossing tale and I'm glad that there are plenty more for me to catch up on. This book was sent to me for review as part of the Great Transworld Crime Caper. Apr 11, Joe Stamber rated it really liked it Shelves: My first RG book was "Sight Unseen", picked up on a whim in a supermarket and enjoyed. I decided to start with RG's first novel, the one I'm reviewing now.

Despite being well qualified and having both teacher and historian on his CV, he is naive, gullible and misses some pretty obvious clues. Knowing that RG is an excellent writer, I guess I should give him credit for creating a flawed, vulnerable character rather than putting it down to him fitting the character to the story while finding his feet. To be fair, Past Caring is played out by an eclectic cast of well drawn characters, so perhaps my observations about Martin, who after all is quite likeable, are mischievous and unfair.

The story can be described as a historical mystery, starting with Martin in the late s as a bit of a scrounging layabout. He visits a friend on the island of Madeira where he meets a rich South African who occupies the former residence of Edwin Strafford, a Cabinet minister in the early 20th century.

We jump back in time as Martin reads Strafford's secret memoirs, which provide few answers but throw up many questions. Before long, he is back in England to solve the mystery behind the memoirs. The more Martin discovers, the further the mystery deepens, as theories are arrived at then discarded. The reader is drawn in and becomes desperate to know the answers, but RG cleverly prods Martin in the wrong direction and keeps us in suspense.

Saunders is facing some big decisions. Over the years, Allardyce's sides have acquired a reputation for a brand of football that can be politely described as 'direct' - a description, incidentally, that he feels is unfair - but, to be honest, Sunderland fans are past caring about such things at present. Former Newcastle United manager returning to North East The appointment of Sam Allardyce spells the end of the director of football model which has failed to bring success or stability to Sunderland.

James Hunter examines the changes at the Black Cats. But, take a walk through this hillside beauty spot on a sunny day and you would soon be past caring just what it's called. The Ungli gang's vigilantism is never grand until the climax, and by then you may be past caring. It was madness to confront the storm, but she was past caring. Fallen candles; Maureen hopes a storm won't stop her family from keeping up a life-long family tradition..

This was an evening of poetry where I felt nothing, and where eventually I was long past caring. The 60th Stratford-upon-Avon Poetry Festival [ A lesbian and feminist woman advertises for a traveling companion to accompany her in a drive across Europe. The man who answers her ad is the most helpless, chauvinistic person she's ever met.

James Penfield has made a career out of journalism. Now bankrupt, he finds himself with a group of other writers in the middle of the dispute-ridden British homeland at the time of the Falklands War. True story of the lifelong romance between novelist Iris Murdoch and her husband John Bayley, from their student days through her battle with Alzheimer's disease.

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This drama lingers for some reason I can't put my finger on. Whether it is because of the much-missed Denholm Elliott's usual standout performance, or the surprisingly erotic sex scenes with the lovely Miss Booth, I'm not sure. Either way, it compels the viewer to look closer at the elderly and remember the spark of life that is still contained within. When Denholm's character reminisces of his sexual cavorting as a young man, and they are still so vivid, it reminds you how brief our time on earth really is.

A great piece that deserves another airing, if only as a reminder of the great Mr Elliott. Start your free trial. Find showtimes, watch trailers, browse photos, track your Watchlist and rate your favorite movies and TV shows on your phone or tablet! Keep track of everything you watch; tell your friends.