Friday, 22 April 2011

sixteen.

De døde by Vidar Sundstøl (2009)

This is the second book in the Minnesota trilogy, and it is really hard to write a review of it without spoiling the first book.

Lance Hansen is out hunting deer with his brother, Andy, for the weekend. The relationship between the brothers has never been easy and the only thing they really do together is this annual hunt. But this time, the hunt turns into a paranoia and a struggle between life and death.

I enjoyed this book more than the first. Probably because it was so thrilling and the only thing I didn't like about it was the lenght - 175 pages is way too short. The third book in the trilogy is out in May, and I can't wait to find out what happens in the end.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

fifteen.

Drømmenes land by Vidar Sundstøl (2008)

Lance Hansen is a forest ranger in Tofte, Minnesota. One day when he is out investigating an illegal camp, he stumbles upon a bloody, naked man. This man is clearly traumatised and is only able to utter one word, love, first in Norwegian, and then in English. And then he discovers the naked body of yet one young Norwegian man.

As most inhabitants on the north shore of Lake Superior, Lance is a descendant of Norwegian (or Swedish) immigrants, and he is also the only person active in the history club in Tofte. While he is not in the investigation which is carried out by FBI and one detective from Norway, he wants to find out if this is the first murder ever in Tofte. And while looking for clues, he also stumbles upon facts that puts him in a difficult position regarding the investigation of the murdered Norwegian.

I chose to read this book strictly because it is about the north shore of Lake Superior and the Norwegian immigration. I was fascinated by all the signs along the road when driving down to Duluth two months ago and it was really interesting reading a novel about the place. A lot of the things I was wondering about were explained in the book and I don't really care if it is a 100% true or made up.

This book is the first in a trilogy about Lance Hansen, and it ended really abruptly and unlike for a crime novel. It isn't as thrilling as I expected, but the historical aspect and the characters certainly make up for it. I'm glad I packed the sequel in my baggage.

It hasn't yet been published in English, but according to the author's facebook page (first time I ever have looked up an author on facebook), it is under-way. It has been translated into several European languages.

Monday, 18 April 2011

fourteen.


the Beauty of Humanity Movement by Camilla Gibb (2010)

Maggie is in Hanoi looking for clues about her father who never followed her and her mother to the US during the American war in Vietnam. Her father was an artist who was sent to re-education camp for publishing anti-Communist propaganda. After a year of searching for any memories of her father, she finally meets an old pho-seller, Hung, who remembers him.

Meeting Maggie forces Hung to remember a lot of things he has been trying to forget. Dao, the editor of the illegal magazines being published at Hung's shop, was sent to a re-education camp and never came back. Hung has been taken care of Dao's son and now it is Dao's son and grandson who take care of Hung. And then there Lan, the old spinster who has been living next to Hung all her life and is the love of his life, but they haven't spoken for 45 years.

Camilla Gibb's three previous books are high up on my list of favourite books, and especially Mouthing the Words. But when I finished this book, all I thought was was this all? Yes, the story is good and it gives a great insight to a state I know little about. But I never really connected with the story and I felt that it barely scratched the surface of what could be a really great book.

Friday, 8 April 2011

thirteen.

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami (2002)

Kafka runs away from his father on his fifteenth birthday. He takes the night bus from Tokyo and ends up in a town with an amazing private library. The man working in the reception takes pity on Kafka and when he needs a place to stay after waking up with a bloody shirt outside one day, he asks the owner of the library if Kafka can stay and work there. And then there's Mr Nakata who can't read or write but is able to talk with cats. He finds missing cats for his neighbours and on search for one, he stumbles upon Johnnie Walker who collects souls from cats and Nakata ends up killing Johnnie Walker. After confessing to a police man who do not believe Nakata's strange story, he leaves Tokyo and ends up in the same town as Kafka.

I have had a hard time trying to understand and describe the events in this book. There is a lot of strange things going on and I found it hard to follow at times. What kept me reading was the characters, and especially Mr Nakata and the cats. But I have no idea what really happened in the end.

This book was a bit disappointing after falling in love with Norwegian Wood. But for some strange reason it made me want to reread the Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov again.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

at det går an!

Jeg levna Buddenbrooks i setelomma på flyet i går. Veldig irriterende når man nærmet seg slutten og jeg endelig hadde begynt å engasjere meg i historien. Ikke finnes den på Kindle heller. Så der var jeg ute av lesesirkelprosjektet til Ann Helen, men gleder meg veldig til å lese hva andre syns om boka i morgen. Kommer jeg noensinne til å vite hva som skjedde med familien Buddenbrook? Eller pasientene i Cancer Ward, som jeg levna i Canada? For å være helt ærlig, så vet jeg ikke. Kanskje hvis jeg kommer over bøkene i en bruktbutikk en gang, men da tror jeg også at jeg ville ha begynt på nytt igjen, og akkurat nå så har jeg lite lyst til det.

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