Peter Peterson wordt achtervolgd door nachtmerries over de misdaad die hij meer dan een halve eeuw geleden meent te hebben gepleegd. Een daad die de rest van zijn leven heeft bepaald en overschaduwd. Zijn laatste levensjaren brengt hij door in New York, als mislukt echtgenoot en verbitterd vader. Zoals een moordenaar terugkeert naar de plaats delict, zo wordt Peterson teru...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published 2007 by Nieuw Amsterdam
(first published August 1991)
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An unhappy elderly New York businessman is reflecting on his life in a series of papers intended for Gudrun, the woman who spurned his obsessive love when they were in college in Copenhagen at the beginning of WWIi. In chapters that alternate between the present and the past, Icelandic author Olaf Olafsson's paints a portrait of Peter Peterson, a miserable Scooge-like character who has mistreated his wives, children and business associates all in the pursuit of money. Gradually (perhaps too grad...more
I think this book is a very well-written character study. Olafsson is to be commended for his writing and psychological insight: and many would rate it more highly than I did here. It is fairly nihilistic however, and personally I did not enjoy this aspect. Reading it was a similar experience for me as watching De Niro in "Taxi Driver," except not pulled off quite as brilliantly as Scorsese/Schrader. I chose to read it because I have had very little exposure to Nordic writing and culture, and wa...more
Mar 08, 2013 Melinda Seyler rated it 3 of 5 stars · review of another edition
Recommended to Melinda by: email@example.com
A semi mystery. Through the entire book, the main character is telling his story of leaving Iceland, living in Denmark during WWWII, coming to America,etc. and some horrendous thing which no one else knows that he did. It appears that he killed someone, but we must wait until almost the last chaper to find out exactly what happened. As to why the actual author hid the manuscript which tells the story and thinks it should be hidden, I have yet to figure out.
Not quite sure what to say......found it a bit hard to follow the storyline at times (and I've read many books that jump back and forth between the present and the past) and found the reading to feel "plodding along" in a way. Have other books O.O. has written and will at some point pick each of them up to read.
Apparently it's the first book in English for this Icelandic author, and it's written so beautifully. Haunting and suspensful, but also just a really good character study of the making of a bitter old man. Olafsson manages to make me simultaneously despise and sympathize with this total asshole.
This story kept me wondering what happened, what was his "little crime", until I started to worry about the narrator's mental health, then... Can't say any more. It was an unusual and very interesting read - hoping to find more books by this author to add to my reading list!
Excellent writing. This was his first (in US) so clearly not as mature a novel as his most recent, but very good. Very lyrical really, and a poignant look at the way a misunderstood incident can shape a whole life of guilt, paranoia, selfishness, and regret.
Olaf Olafsson was born in Reykjavik, Iceland in 1962. He studied physics as a Wien Scholar at Brandeis University. He is the author of three previous novels, The Journey Home, Absolution and Walking Into the Night, and a story collection, Valentines. His books have been published to critical acclaim in more than twenty languages. He is the recipient of the O. Henry Award and the Icelandic Literary...moreMore about Olaf Olafsson...