Friday, November 16, 2007


I believe that in an ideal world there would also be a witty title to every blogpost about books - alas this isn't an ideal world. So from now on I'll probably just stick to plain and simple "books" when it comes to reviewing the latest read. That is, if I don't get a brilliant wordly title whim.

Anyhow. These are the three latest books I've finished reading. Or well, admittedly one of them I never finished, it was simply too boring. I mean if you can't muster the energy or interest to finish a book that you've began reading over a year ago, I think you can safely say that it's not a book for you. The book somehow falls into the category "sleeping pills".

As I've said before, the books - only suspense novels and mainly English ones - from the small publishing company Minotaur are generally of a very high quality. But there are always exception to any rule. Here I give you some;

Written in, if not exactly bad language, at least somewhat pulp literature like. Written for the simple minded reader with no demands for a certain writing standard or quality of words. Example, Louise Anderson: Perception of Death. I just shuddered over too many phrasings in that book, brr...

After having read a few, or as it happens not so few, books in a series you get more and more annoyed about the main characters and their stupid behaviour, or lack thereof. Behaviours that make you wanna shout *grow up for X's sake, learn a lesson or two, and just t-a-l-k!* Example, Stephen Booth. Which I've already said a definite goodbye to.

After having read a few sentences of a newly discovered *talent* you realise this is just too plain boring to be true. Most often the book is of brick-novel-size, the plot hobbles and the author just seems too preoccupied trying to jam in as many words as possible writing under the misconception of the-thicker-the-book-the-better-it-is. Example, Eliot Pattison.

In this case I suppose one can say he suffers from the infamous lawyer-disease - we do like our words, and we do like many of them, even in those cases and places they don't really fit in. All of them. At once. And in that particular order.

Having said all that, I'll now give you the name of the author and book I've been adamant to finish for *quite* some time now - and now I've finally given up. My time is worth more than finishing some silly book that's just not my cup of tea. This definitely falls into the category sleeping pills. Dull, longwinded and after having decided to definitely put it aside for good I read the final chapter and realised it was the ultimate anticlimax which made me feel quite content with my decision. Mister Candid by Jules Hardy, yaaawn, IMHO not worth neither money nor time.

Next book - Light on Snow by Anita Shreve - isn't a suspense novel of that kind, more of a psychological drama written as seen from a twelve-year-old girl's view. Since Anita Shreve is one of my favourite authors this was of course a must-have-book, and I like the notion of a grown up woman writing about her experiences during a few winter weeks when she was twelve. But somehow the book, or the plot itself, never really appealed to me. It lacked depth, it lacked true character descriptions, it only scratched the wide surface trying to fit in as much background as possible. And the words themselves, I've come to expect so much more from Shreve, so I was overall rather disappointed by this fairly short book.

The third book of this threesome was a truly wonderful read. Swedish tax lawyer turned crime novelist - oh how I like the sound of that! - Åsa Larsson's third book about lawyer Rebecka Martinsson, her struggling personal life as well as really, very un-Swedish and bloody plots. Her books are just so extremely, extremely well-written, sadly an exception to the rule when it comes to crime novelists I'd say (both Swedish and foreign, both females and men)... Anyhow. This third book Svart stig - Black path - I found to be the best of the books so far, intriguing plot, international high politics as well as personal, emotional issues of many. Loved every page of it!

Btw, this was the book I left behind on the airplane, I never got that copy returned to me - it's rather difficult to imagine that there's actually someone who wanted to keep that daubed book full of notes... - so I had to buy a new one, return to page one - I only had 50 pages left to read - and make those notes all over again... Yup, books, especially those with noteworthy passages and phrasings, have to be read with a pencil. Always. Can't wait for her fourth book to be published in paperback. Which will take quite some time since it won't be released in hardback until next spring...

What I don't like, at all, is the fact that the first book Solstorm - Sunstorm - has been made into a movie with the main characters being played by a very attractive woman though appallingly bad actress - Izabella Scorupco, mostly known for her part in Bond-movie GoldenEye - and one of Sweden's most hyped actors, and frankly not very good..., Mikael Persbrandt. Such a complete waste of a great book. Not to mention time and money. Why on earth even bother making it into a movie, read the book instead!


Wendy said...

Wonder if Åsa Larsson's work has been translated into English. Bloody crime novels relax me! Reading a Kathy Reich's at the moment. :)
I wasn't sure about "Light on Snow" either. It didn't seem to begin for me. Felt like everything was background detail and then it ended.

Pia K said...

Oh yes, she is published (all 3 books) by Random House - don't know how good the translation is though, details and a certain feel might have gotten lost, perhaps. Hope not!


Wendy said...


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