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The Hum of Concrete

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  44 ratings  ·  15 reviews
The Hum of Concrete is an evocative novel about a city and its people. Set in the multicultural city of Malmö, Sweden, The Hum of Concrete is the story of five people whose lives intersect.

Consumed with despair, Palestinian Nassrin walks into the ocean with her baby in her arms. Susanna dares to take a stand against gay-bashers. By starlight, Bodil sees the city from the r
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Paperback, 255 pages
Published March 2012 by Midnight Sun Publishing
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Rebecca Freeborn
I've been meaning to read this book since doing a workshop with the author more than a year ago, and I'm glad I finally got around to it. These linked stories host a cast of interesting characters, but this book is first and foremost a series of love letters to the author's home city of Malmö in Sweden. While this could best be described as a 'quiet book' (not at all an insult!), each sentence is so perfectly weighted, each word so carefully chosen, that I ended the book feeling almost as if I h ...more
Magdalena
The Hum of Concrete presents a series of short stories that begin in isolation, and then grow into something broader and more complex. Although each of the individual “constellations” that make up this book stand on their own, and some have been previously published, it is only by reading them together that the full cumulative meaning of the work is revealed . The stories take individual points of view, in youthful uncertainty, and then begin to bisect, grow, and develop along with the character ...more
Lisa
The Hum of Concrete is the debut novel of Anna Solding, originally from Sweden but now well settled in Adelaide. The novel was shortlisted for the 2010 Unpublished Manuscript Award at the Festival Awards for Literature, published this year by a new venture called Midnight Sun Publishing and launched at the Adelaide Writers Week. The book comes with endorsements from no less than Nobel Laureate J.M. Coetzee and from Brian Castro (who I think deserves to be a Nobel Laureate too).

The author’s style
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Helen
Sep 05, 2013 Helen rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2013
A fascinating book to read: a series of short stories about 5 different women, interspersed with descriptions of the Swedish city of Malmo where the stories are set. Told from different perspectives, in different tenses, it would be easy for this to be a series of separate stories that were good for short bus trips and not much else; but because the city is almost a sixth character, because the people were featured more than once, and because of the common themes of intersex people and motherhoo ...more
This Charming Mum
The Hum of Concrete is a ‘novel constellation’ – a series of smaller stories, strung together in the micro-cosmos of Malmö, Sweden. It’s the debut novel by Swedish-Australian writer Anna Solding, who has published sections of it as short stories elsewhere. Here, several interleaving narratives unfold in and around Solding’s former home city, which is textually created with such affection it becomes a character in its own right. This is a story rooted in Sweden, though in many ways it could be se ...more
Michael Livingston
This interlinked collection of stories paints a compelling portrait of Malmo, a multicultural Swedish city. The characters don't shine through as strongly as the setting, so I lost the thread a few times before gradually joining the dots ("oh, the doctor in this story, is the mother in the story a few chapters back!" etc). I read it in between reading a bunch of other books as well, which I think was a mistake - the atmosphere and the connections between stories would resonate more if you gave t ...more
J Wrin
Brilliant book with lots of interesting characters. I like the way the different stories intertwined and I loved the beautiful evocative description. I felt like I knew Malmo even though I have never been there. Wish I could write like that...
Hazel Edwards
Malmo the Swedish city was the central character. Each story has a first person tale of another woman and the challenges in her life and relationships. Hints of sub-text of different cultures and gender relationships. At first it's confusing with so many 'I's' but then the reader appreciates the underlying interconnections of the women's lives. Some beautiful passages,with keenly observed city scapes.
Other chapters are atmospheric seasonal pieces. (Wear your jumper while reading) Nassrin's 'Secr
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Nancy Freund
Full review's coming, here, on Amazon, on Youtube... this is one book I'm talking about where ever I go, with Swedish friends and people from every nation. (Especially appropriate, given the novel's colorful, diverse characters and content). I will certainly try to do it justice here in Goodreads. But for now, let me just say this: I've never seen this "novel constellation" concept before, where the story arc traces a city as the main character through numerous short stories... where human prota ...more
Melinda
Beautifully constructed characters that make one think about how all our lives intersect.
Kylie Cardell
I really loved this book. Sexy, funny, unique. A really beautiful and satisfying read.
Sue
I wanted very much to like this book and so I persevered. Not long back from Sweden myself, I warmed to the sense of place created in the beautiful writing, but Ifailed to connect with the characters and their lives. I also struggled with the structure and the relationships. For me, the links between characters were too minimal and disjointed and so I could not keep their stories alive.
Tara Towns
I hated this book. It had the potential to be riveting, with such a controversial topic. But the characters lacked depth and didn't develop. The plot was confusing and didn't really go anywhere. There were too many characters.
Rachel
Full disclosure - Anna is a good friend so hard not to like her work, though I think this novel is a unique and interesting take on the lives of several women in Malmo, Sweden.
Kate
Not "riveting". Good themes. Sweden- what could go wrong?
Janice
Janice marked it as to-read
Jun 27, 2015
Mary
Mary marked it as to-read
Jun 16, 2015
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The Hum of Concrete; A Novel Constellation

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