Vocabulary Lesson / Christine Falls 

Review  cfbkcvr Christine Falls by Benjamin Black (also known as John Banville)

Year published 2006, 340 pages.

Quick Synopsis:

A dead woman’s file in the morgue is tampered with – then the body disappears!   The pathologist can’t let go of the mystery until it has totally upended his life  as well as the lives of everyone he seems to know.    Set in Dublin and Boston in the 1950’s, this novel explores family relationships, identities, and saving souls.

Reasonably well-written, believable dialog, flawed characters you like anyway and some to really really dislike; overall impression – just OK.

Also try  DEWEY’s Review.   Her post has a link as to why Mr. Banville uses a pen name for his mystery thrillers.   (I won this book from Dewey; THANKS DEWEY!  She’s got a few more book giveaways going this holiday season, check it out.)

DId I learn any new words? YES!

p.52 – elevenses  –   “Mulligan the registry clerk was taking his elevenses.” a break?   Nope!  a snack!   A British term: “a snack that is similar to afternoon tea, but eaten in the morning.”

p.155 – palaver – “chatter: speak (about unimportant matters) rapidly and incessantly”

p.161 – gaff – “This your gaff?”  Mr. Punch asked him. his home?  Another Brit term:  one’s private residence.

p.168 – phthisic – “A wasting disease of the lungs, the term was also applied more generally to various lung or throat infections.”

p.177 – lascar – “An East Indian sailor, army servant, or artillery trooper, or seaman.”

Any of these words new to you, too?

5 thoughts on “Vocabulary Lesson / Christine Falls 

  1. I love your new words section! It’s a great idea to help you to learn them – I seem to forget words the moment I’ve looked them up! I admit to never having heard phthisic before, but the rest are all great British words. We all still have elevenses every day here! I didn’t know palaver meant to chatter. We tend to use it to mean things are a bit chaotic/more complicated than they need to be.
    All very interesting anyway – thanks.

  2. Yep, all the words were brandnew to me except palaver as we use that in Danish as well and with the exact same meaning. Thanks for an interesting post btw.


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