Mittwoch, 19. September 2007

Rebus retires, Word Power thrives ...

Unlike me, my favourite Detective Inspector, John Rebus, does not feel like retiring. But that's what he has to, in Exit Music, the latest and, God help us, hopefully not last of Ian Rankin's tales of Edinburgh's over- and underworld. I freely admit to being dreadfully biased. But I liked this book a hell of a lot - again. In true Rankin style, it features a complex plot; lots of subplots intertwine and, like is indeed the case in Edinburgh, everybody somehow seems to be connected to everybody else ...

But this time there is an unusual twist at the end. Stories fall apart, even if Rebus does not just - yet. Does Big Ger Cafferty?

Personally, I laughed out loud after a few pages. One reason I like the Rebus' novels is that Rankin describes a world I know well (I used to live across the street from where Rebus allegedly lives). This time the joy of recognition was more concrete than usual: he mentions one of my favourite Edinburgh institutions: Word Power. Word Power is one of the few alternative, independent book stores that has survived the spread of bigger and bigger bookstore chains - as well as Amazon. You can truly get everything that is radical at Word Power. And yet, you can also sense as you walk into the - recently expanded - store that this is a business on the up. Word Power incidentally also has an excellent website where you can order all books you would ever like. So, forget Amazon. Buy at Word Power!

I, indeed, have bought many of my Rebus novels there. I used to send emails to Elaine, who started the store, asking her to send the new Rebus to me as soon as it comes out. Elaine obliged for which I will forever be grateful ... But she, I got the distinct impression, did think I was a bit weird for getting so excited about, well, a mere mainstream crime novel.

So here I was, enjoying the latest of Rebus delights. And the very store that used to be so reluctant about selling me them was mentioned over and over again (no murder happens there, though!). I know I have a twisted sense of humour. But it did make me chuckle. I hope Elaine will forgive me my Rebus addiction now; now that Rankin's 'product placement' will hopefully lead even more in Edinburgh and on the web to the radical gems Word Power holds. Books to change the world!

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