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3.57 of 5 stars 3.57  ·  rating details  ·  779 ratings  ·  68 reviews
At first sight, Monika and Maj-Britt are as different as two people can possibly be. They have nothing in common but the determination to obliterate their memories and be left alone. When a tragic accident forces them to confront each other, the emotional void at the centre of their lives threatens to engulf them.
Published May 3rd 2007 by Canongate Books (first published 2005)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,375)
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Shame by Karin Alvtegen is a study of two women (three, if you count the significant but background character of Vanja). Monika is a successful surgeon who saves lives to compensate for the life she didn't save. She is in love with a stereotypically "wonderful" man, who is deeply in love with her, but who is haunted by a sense of failure, not only in actions but in her very being. MajBrit is a morbidly obese woman who eats to bury (literally-in mounds of flesh) her own shame, rooted (unsurprisin ...more
Monica, is a successful, well regarded surgeon and physician who is ashamed of something in her past. She can't develop any meaningful relationships with anyone and pushes anyone who gets close quickly away.

Maj-Britt, hiding from the world behind an endless supply of food, requires help just to live, she is so obese. Locked in her apartment away from the world, Maj-Britt is deeply ashamed of something in her past.

Monica and Maj-Britt don't know each other, yet somehow, because of a conference, a
Elise Hamilton
Oh what a waste of good reading time. The book started out interestingly enough, but by mid-book, I felt as though I was reading the same words over and over again, and that it had been written for adolescent readers even though the plot was not for kids, that's for sure. I speed-read through the second half. It didn't get any better. It was a completely implausible situation. I'm surprised to read that it was short-listed for a Crime Readers whatever.

There are so many good books, and so little
Monika is a successful, highly paid doctor, recently unnerved by the fact that for the first time she's fallen in love. She puts off the courageous act of confessing to Thomas the secret shame that burdens her: that, when she was a child and fire gutted the family home, she was unable to save her beloved elder brother Lasse. Maj-Britt is a monstrously obese woman who hasn't stirred out of her flat for years and takes satisfaction in driving away through sheer nastiness the succession of home hel ...more
Bella Grewal
Huvudpersonerna är två kvinnor som lever helt olika liv. Den ena, Maj-Britt, har inte gått utanför sin lägenhetsdörr på 30 år. Hon är gravt överviktig och har en sträng religiös uppväxt bakom sig.
Kvinna nummer två, Monika, är i allmänhetens ögon synnerligen lyckad. Flott lägenhet, snygg och chefsläkare. Deras liv vävs samman på ett märkligt sätt. Boken är spännande från första sidan och handlar om skammen att inte vara älskad, rädsla för Gud och förbjuden sexualitet.

Maj-Britt har på grund av s
laura m
Apr 24, 2014 laura m rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: euro/scandi crime fiction readers
pretty masterfully written, you could never guess lives of totally unconnected individuals could end up so intertwined by fate. it stars off totally innocent and gets darker and darker, making you worry what will certain persons do, you want to help them if you only could.
the end surprised me a bit, there weren't any big revelations or crimes or anything at all in this book, just an omnipresent heavy feeling of guilt and the will to absolve oneself and start to live without the burden.
hope I'll
I've read 4 of Karin Alvtegen's books and have enjoyed every one. Shame was excellent. It's usually found in the mystery section, but really, it's about situations and people and how these situations are resolved. And when Karin Alvtegen is writing the story, the resolution is very well-crafted. The two main characters in this book are Monika, a successful doctor, and Maj-Britt, an extremely over-weight home-ridden bitter woman. Both have issues and in many ways are broken. Gradually through the ...more
Ashland Mystery Oregon
Shame, by Sweden's Karin Alvtegen (Felony & Mayhem, 2010) might as well have been titled Guilt. The stories of two women, Monika - chief surgeon at a regional hospital and Maj-Britt - a woman immobilized by obesity, are central to the work. Both are scarred by young adult experiences that walled off their emotions, and isolated them from others. They've spent a lifetime coping in their own ways, with anger or denial, trying to repress the experiences that shaped their outlook and destroyed t ...more
Hannah Fullmer
This is the second book I've read by Karin Alvtegen, and I did not enjoy it as much as her novel Missing.
I had several problems with Shame. First of all, the two main characters are hard to like. Monika is a doctor who carries an extreme sense of guilt over something that occurred in her past. Because of this, she believes she needs to subjugate herself, and denies herself romance and friendship. The second character, Maj-Brit, is a morbidly obese woman who has chosen to remain housebound, and w
A psychological tale of two women, each struggling with the consequences of a past event, who are brought together following an accident. Both are shaped by their past, but how much do they allow it to influence their future?

I suppose this book is classed as part of the crime genre, but it's more a psychological study of how our past actions can live with us and allow their consequences to poison our futures. It also deals with an individual's perception of how they acted in a particular situati
Karin Alvtegen's Shame is an excellent character study marred by a loose denouement. As long as the character development proceeds, it is engrossing enough, although I found it rather difficult to empathise with the motivations of the deeply flawed doctor, who is one of the two women whose lives eventually intersect in tragedy. Monika has lived under the suppurating, slowly strangling shadow of her dead brother and her mother's hatred; to compensate for the inadequacy and incompleteness she has ...more
This is not my typical kind of book, but I'm glad I picked it up. It felt different from anything I'd ever read before, and not in a bad way. It's a very quiet, subtle book, extremely introspective and lonely. The plot can feel a little too coincidental and contrived, but the events of the text are secondary to the lingering past and its shame.

While there were moments in this book that were beautiful and touching and well-written, other moments felt ham-fisted and awkward. Alvtegen likes her rep
Meagan Houle
At first, I wasn't sure about this book at all. The characters were a bit on the dull side, and some of their motivations didn't make much sense to me. As the book progressed, though, I was pulled in. It's a tough book to review, because you have to read it to really get it. All I'll say is that all the characters are joined together in unexpected ways, and it doesn't come off as horribly contrived. It even manages to have a somewhat happy ending!
Touted as a psychological thriller at par with the works of Morag Joss and Patricia Highsmith, I did not find it so.

Monika and Maj-britt are two women who mask their present in a vain effort to avoid confronting their past. Monika Lunvall works contimuously to escape the guilt and Maj-britt is a clinically-obese-woman who continually abuses her nurse to stop memories of her past seep into her mind. A letter written by someone from their past throws them together and each woman has to decide to
Monika and Maj-Britt couldn't be more dissimilar: Monika is a wealthy physician, and Maj-Britt is a morbidly obese woman living alone, dependent on public social services for even her basic needs. But the two do share something--crippling shame and guilt that is expressed by Monika's perfectionist control over herself, and Maj-Britt's need to dominate her caregivers. For both of them the past is a locked door that must never be opened. Until one day Maj-Britt receives a letter from an old friend ...more
Dorottya Denke
Aspects of shame in various lives... good idea, not so great realisation. There were really great parts, and important topics turned up. But mostly I was just annoyed by the characters. Most of the actions were just unrealistic for me. Though: for those important topics I don't regret reading it.
абсолютно дратівна книжка. з абсолютно дратівними персонажами і сльозливитискальним фіналом (утім, то не той тип текстів, які можуть мене розплакати).
найбільша mystery в цій книжці – чому її називають трилером і mystery novel. це радше якась скандинавська мелодрама: з традиційним підґрунтям із авторитарної релігії, почуття провини, жорстоких сімей, поламаної психіки і скелетів у шафі, – але без mystery, зате з фіналом, у якому всі стають хороші. от чесно, приблизно перші дві третини воно було до
I enjoyed reading this book very much. I'm having a hard time putting into words exactly what I liked about it. It made me think about many things about life - how some things are just meant to be. How easily we as people can help someone get through something horrible by saying "it wasn't your fault, it was an accident", yet when it comes to ourselves we never see it that way..if that makes any sense. We can give advice so quickly, but are not as quick to take it ourselves.

I'm not sure who I wo
A quick and not always pleasant read about two very selfish people who despise themselves and their brief interaction with each other. A bit of a slog in places, but I liked it as literature well enough.
Ellie M
Before reading I had shelved this as a thriller but I'd class it more as just a work of fiction which despite having an interesting story was not an edge-of-your-seat sort of read even though the blurb might have suggested otherwise.

The books is based around the story of two women, both who have secrets from the past they wish to forget. Due to an accident and a couple of coincidences the paths of the two women cross and as they become interlinked a sort of power games plays out. I enjoyed the
Miriam Michalak
Very much enjoyed this character study of 2 very different women who appear to have nothing in common apart from the need to be left alone to bury their shame.
An uncomfortable book to read - I took it quite slowly and found I needed other things on the go too to lessen the gloom. She is a good writer of psychological thrillers (not really what I would call a crime writer at all in the usual sense, although she is sometimes listed with them). The two main characters (three if you count the distant Vanja) are women who have been damaged by their parents and by past events, and both have spent years on a course of self-destruction, seemingly unable to ta ...more
This book was disturbing and depressing pretty much in equal measures but though it was not an easy read I did think it was a worthwhile read in the end.
Niina Jääskeläinen
Pitkästä aikaa mukaansatempaava kirja, aloitin eilen ja tänään luin loppuun.
VG. Psychological thriller
The Twins
Terrible book cover but an intriguing complex story.
Feb 21, 2014 Timbo marked it as to-read
Guilt. That's what this book is about. Guilt about things done or not done. Understanding the minds of the main characters weren't that easy. How can the human mind bend so much and not fight back? Where's the basic survival instinct? It's also scary to think how much your parents can do to your mental health, even without meaning it. Alvtegen had an unforeseeable way to make the lives of the main characters to meet. This was a psychological book. It wasn't one of the best book of ages, but at l ...more
Tricia Douglas
This was the second book that I've read by Alvtegen. The plot is unique and provides the reader with the need to plug along. Little by little the details are described by the two main characters: a doctor and an obese woman and how they are connected. Many of their problems stem from their strange childhoods. Well written and very compelling. I just couldn't "love" the characters. They seemed cold to me, but then, maybe that was what Alvtegen intended.
I must confess that I read this book just for my Swedish course. However, I actually enjoyed reading it, as it was engaging and well written. I usually enjoy stories where separate/parallel lives come together and connections appear from the least expected direction.

It touches upon controversial subjects, such as morbid obesity and self-pitty/shame. Recommended!
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The Queen of Crime in Scandinavia.

Missing was awarded the premier Scandinavian crime writing award the Glass Key in 2001 and was also nominated for the Poloni Award and Best Crime Novel 2000 in Sweden.

Shame was shortlisted for the Crime Writers' Association Duncan Lawrie International Dagger award for crime novels in translation upon publication in English.

Alvtegen lives in Stockholm. She is grand
More about Karin Alvtegen...
Missing Betrayal Shadow Skuld En sannolik historia

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