This is the type of book that should be read will a beer in hand.
I’ll admit that this isn’t necessary the type of book that I wo...moreRead via Netgalley.
This is the type of book that should be read will a beer in hand.
I’ll admit that this isn’t necessary the type of book that I would pick up. Do I really want to read about a pub crawl of an over fifty year old? Well, Copenhagen, you say. That place on the cover looks familiar. So I tried it. Thankfully, I tried it.
Don’t be put off by the bar crawl. There are plenty of bars and plenty of drinking in this novel masquerading as a travelogue. Or is it a travelogue masquerading as a novel?
Kerrigan travels though the City of Copenhagen, accompanied at times by his associate, whom he desperately wants to see in red panties. (Don’t worry, he sees her as more than a lust object). The purpose for the travel is to catalog the various bars that a tourist might desire to visit. But what it really is, in many ways, is a kinder, more romantic, journey along the lines of Joyce. Like Joyce there are mediations on history and literature. The reader learns more than just about Kerrigan, the Associate, and Copenhagen. And while it harkens to Joyce, even with a side trip to Ireland, it is Danish to the core.
There is a beautiful sense of place in the novel. It can function as a guide book, a more reader friendly guided book. Kennedy manages to convey Copenhagen though all the sense – the drinks at the bar are taste as is the food, sound is the Jazz music that floats throughout the novel, sight is the city itself, touch is not just the interaction between the Associate and Kerrigan but between Kerrigan and the books he carries, and smell is the air of the city as well as the distinct aromas of each district of the city.
For it isn’t just Copenhagen and Tivoli that Kerrigan visits, it is the whole city. Except for the brewery, which I found somewhat disappointing because I wanted to know if they still gave the men one free beer and the women two. And it isn’t just drinking; it is the history of the city told though the drinks and the areas but also by memories of the central characters and the central historical figures.
The book is not only a love poem to Copenhagen, but one to jazz and literature as well. A reader who has no interest in the Danish capital will find much to enjoy here as will a lover of jazz (and a lover of beer, come to think of it). Kerrigan is a lover of literature and music as well as drinks and it shows in his voice. What is more, he doesn’t endlessly explain what the passage or reference he is thinking of means. IT’s true there is some info dumping in the form of the Associate and her moleskin, but this is only early in the novel and Kennedy seems to grow comfortable with relating though stream of thinking as opposed to reading out of a book.
And it is a love story - love of self, city, past, present, future, art, music – as well as the fear that such a love can raise in a person. The reader falls in love with Kerrigan without realizing it and when the climax happens, the reader is totally vested in the outcome. It’s not lust, it’s not puppy love; it’s the love of broken people.
The only thing I would change in this book, and I read a galley so maybe this is fixed in the final edition – would be a map of the city showing the places, conveniently mentioned in bold in text, as well as listings for the music and drinks as well as the bibliography which is already present.
I will be tracking down other work by this author.(less)
I actually found this book to be very gripping from beginning to end, even though I figured out who was behind everything. Characterization is excelle...moreI actually found this book to be very gripping from beginning to end, even though I figured out who was behind everything. Characterization is excellent. The characters are believable, and while it is a damsel in distress, she is hardly passive. Looks like I've found another series.(less)
While I liked the book, I found it very difficult to actually care about any of the characters. It isn't as good, to me, as Irene Huss. It also seems...moreWhile I liked the book, I found it very difficult to actually care about any of the characters. It isn't as good, to me, as Irene Huss. It also seems very much filled with cliches. Stil, enjoyable enough.(less)
A good children's retelling about the Danes ferrying the Danish Jews to safety in Sweden. The story centers on a pair of twins and thier Jewish friend...moreA good children's retelling about the Danes ferrying the Danish Jews to safety in Sweden. The story centers on a pair of twins and thier Jewish friend. While the story is boy-centric, the sister is well drawn and seen as just as brave as her brother. There is no sex or violence.(less)
Shame on me for almost not "buying" this book. I say "buying" because I got it as a Kindle freebie at the start of the year.
The book is being undersol...moreShame on me for almost not "buying" this book. I say "buying" because I got it as a Kindle freebie at the start of the year.
The book is being undersold and under priced. I can understand why. I, too, am somewhat leery about faith based publishers. Not because of the whole religion thing, but more because the first one I read while having a good idea, amounted to Bad People are those who don't go to church and Good People are those who go to church. Such a thing is not my thing. I, however, picked this up because it was set in Copenhagen during WW II and featured the Danish resistance. I love Copenhagen and have been to the Dainish Resistance museum (BTW - I Command thee to go).
This is a great book. A really great book. I was chewing my lip the last few chapters. The story centers around Steffan a pastor whose brother is a member of the resistance (and who may be an aethist) and Hanne, a Jewish nurse. It starts shortly before the Danes ferried the Jewish population over to Sweden. There is a love story between Hanne and Steffan, and it is real (I guess faith based means no sex scenes). There is talk about religion, in particular as Hanne and Steffan talk. In fact, Elmer seems to be making a plea that all religions seem to be the same. I suppose if I was Jewish, I might be upset that Hanne isn't orthodox, but she doesn't convert.
The focus is on Steffan and Hanne's experiences under the occupation as they risk their lives to get people out. The characters are real and complex. It isn't a preachy novel. It is well worth the read if you like stories featuring everyday people doing brave things.(less)
This review isn't going to make sense. I should just say that right now.
I have never read Mann before. Of course one keeps hearing about "Death in Ve...moreThis review isn't going to make sense. I should just say that right now.
I have never read Mann before. Of course one keeps hearing about "Death in Venice" and then one feels guilty about not reading it and so on. Finally, in terms of this year's late resolution of doing something about my TBR pile and book buying addiction (though I didn't buy this. My friend put it on a pile of books he was giving away) and because of a buddy read (thanks Jeanette) I read it.
It is poetry, really truly. You just want Mann (who the Nazis hated) to keep writing and writing because it is wonderful.
Many of the stories in this book deal with loss, but they are not sad. There seems to be something hopeful in the tone, something human and humane about that hope. Even in 'The Blood of the Walsings" which has a wonderfully sharp and witty ending, one that any well read reader will know.
While the title story might be the most famous and the most rich in terms of symbolism and metaphor, I enjoyed "Tonio Kroger", "Disorder and Early Sorrow" and "A Man and His Dog" the best. In many ways, "Tonio" is very much like the work of Karen Blixen (DinV reminded me of Updike's short story "Bluebeard in Ireland" for some reason"). "A Man and his Dog" is a heartfelt story about a man and his dog that any dog lover will love (and no, the dog does not die). "Disorder and Early Sorrow" was the most beautiful story in the collection to me. All the stories are about the human condition and human loss and hope. Absolutely stunning.(less)
This book relates the author's memories of living in Denmark during WW II. Those memories form a same part of the story however; most of the book is a...moreThis book relates the author's memories of living in Denmark during WW II. Those memories form a same part of the story however; most of the book is an overview of Denmark during occupation. While it is not as intimate as a straight forward first person narrative, it does contain many interesting ancedotes and facts. At times, I found myself wishing that Tveskov had gotten more stories from his older family members, such as his aunt who he later found out helped the Resistance.(less)
A retelling of Beowulf. I have mixed reactions about this one. Since it was a freebie, I rounded up slightly.
This retelling of Beowulf will please anyone who has read the Anglo-Saxon epics/poems. Webster weaves together many of these, such as Deor, and puts them together in a believable. His writing is very much like those epics and the old Norse sagas. This means that the writing is sparse.
Yet, Webster is inventive. I was somewhat wary of this book after reading the description. I found the most recent version of Beowulf to be an unintentional comedy (honestly, those well placed candlesticks). Webster's vision of Beowulf is really intersting, believable, and quite clever.
However, I had two problems with the material. One is the editing, a few times too many character names and descriptions shifted. Second, is the ending. I get it is a saga and they end badly. I just thought the ending in terms of Skuld made no sense because how could she do what she did?(less)
Really a 3.5. Sometimes books are a really a point something.
Alas Poor Yorick, I knew him Horatio.
So did Horatio.
And finally, so does the reader.
Yarbr...moreReally a 3.5. Sometimes books are a really a point something.
Alas Poor Yorick, I knew him Horatio.
So did Horatio.
And finally, so does the reader.
Yarbro's novel takes the reader to the court of King Hamlet Sr. In other words, to the whole start of the bloody mess that make up Shakespeare most famous play (or one Shakespeare's most famous plays. Can we agree not to quibble over this? Thank you).
Yarbro's back story is very good (though there is one point at the end, where she didn't really have to go. It was really unnescessary to a degree. To say anymore would ruin it). The reader is introduced to the characters of Gertrude, Hamlet Sr., Claudius, and Polonius without the filter of Hamlet. In some ways, like Updike in his book of the same matter, Yarbro allows the reader to get a better handle on the more quiet members of Shakespeare's plot.
There are many in jokes to not only Shakespeare but the Tudor world as well. Overall it is a good book, just that one revelation at the end seems out of place. I understand the reason, but it doesn't quite fit. However, if you enjoy Hamlet, you should enjoy this book.(less)
Migel's book about Dinesen is more along the lines of Elizabeth Gaskell's work on Charlotte Bronte. It's not a bad book, but it is worth noting that i...moreMigel's book about Dinesen is more along the lines of Elizabeth Gaskell's work on Charlotte Bronte. It's not a bad book, but it is worth noting that it protects Dinesen's privacy. For instance, the cause of her illness is not revealed. A reader would be better served by reading Judith Thurman's Isak Dinesen: The Life of a Storyteller first.(less)
Doghead is a family history as well as a slight tragedy and very funny. The story starts at the end of World war II and continues to the modern day. it is about the ties that bind people together, sibling love and rivalary as well as mushrooms.(less)
Two and Two is Four Four and Four is Eight Eight and Eight is Sixteen Sixteen and Sixteen is Thiry-Two Inch worm, Inch worm, measuring the marigolds
If you do then you've mostly likely seen Hans Christen Andersen starring Danny Kaye. Kaye and Andersen only had two things in common (a) the nose and (b) bisexuality.
Andersen wanted to be a dancer, but Kaye could dance.
Jack Zipes doesn't much like Kaye's film, outside of the music. (In truth, does anyone remember anything about it other than the music?). Zipes doesn't seem to like many American versions of Andersen's stories.
Zipes rescues Andersen from the sweet, gooey, yummy culture.
Thank the gods.
This book isn't really a biography, and if you want to read a biography of Andersen check out Hans Christian Andersen: A New Life or Hans Christian Andersen. Because it isn't a biography, Zipes doesn't speculate about Andersen's sexuality or virginity endlessly the way some biographers do (not the above). (Honestly, am I the only one who doubts that Andersen simply paid prostitutes so he could read them stories?) Instead, Zipes focuses more on the critical view of Andersen works, focusing on Andersen's use of society, gender, and God.
While anyone familiar with Anderson's life and works knows that most, if not all, of his stories were tended for adults, Zipes shows that Andersen was concerned about story to show a worldview, not as socially aware as Charles Dickens, but still in reaction to his time and personality. Zipes focuses on the most well known tales: "The Little Mermaid", "Ugly Duckling", "Traveling Companion", "The Tinderbox", but Andersen's other works get space as well.
This book is a good overview for anyone approaching or intersted in Andersen.(less)
I picked this up for two reasons. The first is that I have been to the Danish Resistance Museum (if you are ever in Denmark, go). The second is that t...moreI picked this up for two reasons. The first is that I have been to the Danish Resistance Museum (if you are ever in Denmark, go). The second is that the best movie I saw last year was Flame and Citron, which was about the Danish Resistance. I loved the movie so much that I saw it on Comcast pay perview before it was in Philadelphia, then when it came to Philly, I saw it again. I'm such a nut; I preordered it. It's a great movie. Go see it now!
See? I told you the movie was good. Don't you just like Mads?
Intended for younger readers, so some information is too simplified or too repeatitive for adult readers.
Levine overall does a good job. She combines third person narrative history with first person narrative history (based on interviews) which makes for a compelling story. The main focus is on the rescue of the Danish Jewish population, yet their is plenty about about the Resistance in general. Levine even examines what happened to some people who were taken to the camps, so she presents a complete picture. She also includes some funny stories, including one about a Nazi officer who was directly traffic in Copenhagen. He stood in a little hut like thing, underneath a sign that said "This German is not wearing trousers". (less)
I have never read anything by Steve Berry before. I won an advance copy of this book though the giveaways; I entered because it conc...moreReally, 3.7 stars.
I have never read anything by Steve Berry before. I won an advance copy of this book though the giveaways; I entered because it concerns a bookseller in Copenhague. I love books and I love Copenhague. I enjoyed this book, despite the fact that I wished more of it took place in Copenhague.
The Paris Vendetta is a fast paced conspricy driven novel. The ride starts from the first page and keeps going. It is paced extremely well. It also, thankfully, is an easy novel for someone who has not read any others in the series. Berry makes it easy for the new reader to keep her feet without giving the feeling of a run down. In fact, I doubt very much that he did. There are certain references a new reader will not get (for instance past adventures and a father issue); however, it is not annoying nor, it seems, central to the plot. It's good to see an author do this.
The plot concerns an economic conspricy involing Bonparte as well as lost Nazi Gold. Berry includes an afterword to help the reader seperate fact from fiction. In many ways, Berry reminds me ofColin Forbes
My two criticisms would be that at times the langue is a little choppy (but I am reading an advance edition, proof edition), and at least for me, while I was curious about the characters, I never felt connected to them. In all fairness to Berry, this could be because I haven't read the other books.
Regardless, I am glad I won this, and I will be reading his other books.(less)
Once, there was a prince. He was an only child, and his mother seemed to love him. Then his father was murdered. Then, his mother married his father's...moreOnce, there was a prince. He was an only child, and his mother seemed to love him. Then his father was murdered. Then, his mother married his father's murderer. The country fell into civil war.
Makes you feel sorry for James I and VI doesn't it?
Once, there was a prince. He was very depressed, suicidal even. He saw things, like ghosts and demons. Sadly, this was before prozac and other drugs. He killed people.
That's Hamlet. King James believed in witches, and once he got to rule on his own, he seemed pretty happy. Having an understanding wife, will do that.
Interesting how Hamlet and King James have much in common, huh?
Everyone always points out that Shakespeare's Hamlet might be in connection with old William's son dying. It's possible. But I always wonder if it has anything to do with King James. Yes, I know there was the Ur-Hamlet, and the story is older than Shakespeare, but why tell it?
Especially when Hamlet is a bit of putz. Honestly, I always wondered if Hamlet's case of hero worship for his daddy was a bit more than hero worship if you know what I mean (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).
There have been some wonderful protrayals of Hamlet, most recently, David Tennant who makes the prince likable at times. He does, in particular, when Hamlet welcomes Horatio, and when he gives advice to the players (in fact, Tennant/Doran/Wood version is the only time I ever really liked Hamlet in that scene). Even Tennant, however, can't fully make the prince likable. There's is something about Hamlet. Everyone is happy until he shows up.
Hamlet's father too is a bit werid. I don't have a wife or a husband, but I would like to think I would be more upset at my murder than my spouse getting nookie. Yes, Claudius killed him, but Hamlet Sr seems more peeved at the sex. Because he's not getting any? Or because he can no longer control his wife? Having a husband that doesn't want the wind to brush your cheek might be romantic, but it could also be controlling. Hamlet Sr. always talks about his wife as if she is his possession, as if she should have been burnt along side his body. Claudius doesn't seem to see her this way.
It also seems that Hamlet Sr's ghost, if it is his ghost, gives Hamlet Jr. a reason to do what he wants to do anyway. "Man, I hate my new step-dad. He's a jerk! And my mom, she needs to realize that she's too old for sex. What? My step-dad murdered my dad? YES! Just call me Mr. Revenge!"
In fact, each time I re-read Hamlet the more I like Claudius and Polonius. True, Polonius will not shut up, but he seems to be a truly caring father. His first caution to Ophelia is one that most fathers would give. His children seem to love him. He seems to be a good servant. He is not double faced like R&G. He dies horribly and seems to be truly mourned by children. Claudius seems to be a good king; he just seems to like the old brew a bit much. Claudius even tries to repent of his wrong doing. Compare Hamlet's reaction to his killing of Polonius with Claudius trying to pray.
That's not to say that the Hamlets are the only jerks in the play. I have my doubts about Laretes as well. He knows his father has been murdered, but doesn't know about his sister? Then he seems to neglect her. Then, he plays tug of war with her corpse. Nice guy.
(In fact, the only true victims of the play seem to be the women. Gertrude seems a bit stupid, but she wants everyone to be happy. Ophelia seems sweet).
And there is one guy who knows what he is doing - Frontibras.
But that is what makes Hamlet the "it play", all these questions it brings to mind.
To many people, Hamlet is Shakespeare's greatest play. While I have always preferred Antony and Cleopatra, I have to admit it is a top play. I could go on about Shakespeare's use of language, but the plays were meant to be seen, which is when the language really comes alive.
What seems to attract people to Hamlet seems to be the questions it raises. In fact, in many ways, Hamlet is like one of Shakespeare's 'problem plays' (those plays like Troilus and Cressida). While Troilus leaves people scratching their heads and sometimes wondering if Shakespeare was smoking anything, Hamlet raises questions that make people think, if not scratch their head.
The first real question is Hamlet himself. The first time reader might be confused because Hamlet is the son of the king, but not king himself. Why doesn't Hamlet just do it? Why did he even come back from Wittenberg? And how old is he anyway? And what is with him and Ophelia? Why do Hamlet and Laertes play tug of war with Ophelia's corpse? Does Hamlet have mummy issues? Is he a hero or a spoiled, annoying brat who ruins everyone's lives? Is he insane or just a cold hearted bastard?
There are other questions about Hamlet Sr. Is he really a ghost or devil in disguise (look at how many souls the devil collects at the end)? Is he just jealous because his brother is snuggling up with Gertrude under the bear skins? If he is a protestant, why is he in purgatory?
There are questions about the two women in the play. How much did Gertrude know and when did she know it? How can an innocent maid such as Ophelia know all those dirty songs?
All these questions are raised but not really answered by the text of the play. This allows the reader and performers to put their own spin, reach their own conclusion about the characters. It keeps the play always fresh, always timely. Always "is" in a way Shakespeare's 'problem plays' don't.
What I have come to see over the years is how brilliant of a play it is. Look at Claudius, for example. Does he seem to be a bad king? No. He seems to love Gertrude, seems to want to make peace with her son, and seems to command the respect of those around him, with one notable exception. Even Horatio seems okay with Claudius until "The Mousetrap". Of course, there is the fact that Claudius did murder his brother, but even here Shakespeare isn't quite clear. Did Claudius murder his brother to gain Gertrude, the throne, or both? Or perhaps another reason entirely. What is more, Claudius feels guilty about the murder. He cannot pray. When one looks at Shakespeare's villain, sometimes their motives are murky. Iago is a prime example as is Don John in Much Ado. Sometimes their motives aren't, like Richard III. What most, if not all of them, have in common is their unrepentance. Claudius is the exception. He doesn't really repent (he would give up wife and throne, and confess) but he feels guilty in a more outwardly way than Brutus or Richard III who are haunted. It is telling that in Hamlet the only people who see the ghost are NOT the murderer of Hamlet Sr. Eventually Hamlet becomes a murderer, and it is not really a surprise that the ghost appears for the last time after the murder of Polonius. While Horatio never becomes a murderer, he is complict.
Additionally, Shakespeare adds more layers to Claudius. Claudius really loves Gertrude. Importantly, it is when Claudius decides that his power and reputation are more important than Gertrude that he dies a few spaces later. It is the moment when Claudius lets Gertrude drink the poison that he becomes totally corrupted; his power (or his new found love of it) or his fear of losing has done that to him. This is mirrored by Laertes who starts out as an honorable man but who becomes dishonorable after the murder of his father and insanity of his sister. Laertes is also like Hamlet himself, in that Laertes seems to lack that killer, rip out the gut, impulse as well. Don't believe me? How about the scene with Laertes almost rebels against Claudius, storms into the throne room, and then nothing happens because he lets himself be talked out of it? And why didn't he know about his sister before? Laertes has that same selfish streak that Hamlet has, as, perhaps, Claudius has, though Claudius is the one who seems quickest to act. Maybe not, though, how long was he playing his brother's murder?
The threesome of Hamlet, Laertes, and Claudius is balanced by the character of Frontibras, the He-Man of the play. A shadowy character who appears in snatches, Frontibras takes and controls. He acts. Like Hamlet, he acts and people die. Frontibras is the one character who is usually dropped in screen versions, and he should not be. He is needed for the balance.
Perhaps Hamlet is Shakespeare’s most famous and well known because it speaks to us. It shows us more than cardboard villains, that guilt can be present, that heros are conflicted, that acting might, at times, be the wrong choice, though sometimes it is the right one, that good and bad aren’t always clear cut.(less)
Entering Kornborg Castle in Denmark requires the visitor to not only approach the castle on foot, but to also cross two moats. It is after the first m...moreEntering Kornborg Castle in Denmark requires the visitor to not only approach the castle on foot, but to also cross two moats. It is after the first moat, the one with the swans, that Kornborg's purpose becomes manifest. It is quite clear that the purpose of the structure is not to be a castle but to be a fortress and to enforce the collection of sound duties for which it was built. The harsh fact of warfare greets the visitor with an absence. There was a beautiful fountain until the Swedes invaded and stole it (don't worry, plenty of things in Denmark were taken from the Swedes, so it all works out). Kornborg lacks the charm of a Renaissance palace such as Rosenberg Castle. It is stark. This is not to say the castle is not fascinating. Of particular interest to a visitor are the casements. Once a part of the castle that served as barracks, which constantly flooded, today the casements house pickled herring and Holger the Dane. Kornborg’s, and its town, claim to fame lie in their association with a famous work of literature, Hamlet, and the castle itself is better known as Helsingor Castle (Helsingor being the town).
The town capitalizes heavily on its connection with one of the world's most famous plays. There is Hamlet's well, Hamlet's tree, and Ophelia's grave, which is in a park that seems way too close to a casino. Strangely, she is also the only the grave there. Despite these relics, the town does not seem to embody the play. It is too charming, and not at all melancholy. But Kornborg Castle is a different story entirely. The castle breathes power and melancholy. Perhaps this is due to the connection to a fictional depressed prince. Perhaps it is due to the unpleasant living conditions that the soldiers had to suffer though, wading though ankle deep water in their sleeping quarters. More likely, it is due to the fact that Queen Caroline was imprisoned here after her coup against her husband, Christian VII, whose sanity was not stable and whose lover was Katrine with the Boots. Queen Caroline lost power, saw her lover beheaded, was imprisoned and never saw her son or daughter again. Eventually, she was sent into exile. That's not only sad, it's tragic.
Because of its starkness and mood, Kornborg suits the story of Hamlet perfectly. What better setting for a story of palace murder, incest, death, and sex?
Apparently, there are many better settings because very few adaptations seem to make use of the castle. Brannagh's excellent movie version of the play would've been out of place at Kornborg. Brannagh's Hamlet is too much of a Renaissance prince. What about Gibson, you ask? That was Medieval. True, but it lacked the Sound, which has become a part of the castle itself. And Olivier's? There is not enough room for the funeral procession at Kornborg.
John Updike, however, presents the story of Hamlet in such a way that it finally seems to take place in Kornborg Castle.
The plot of Updike's novel is concerned about what happen prior to the start of the famous play. He gives the reader the back story of Gertrude, Claudius, and Hamlet Sr. as well as bit more information about Polonius and Ophelia.
Updike uses the langue to capture the feeling and place. He melds Shakespeare with the original story. The book reads like the bastard child of Shakespeare and a scop. It is startling, but strangely enough it works.
The character that shines the most is Gertrude. Updike draws from Shakespeare's presentation but deepens the character. The reader sees her drafted into a marriage that she does not want, of her peace with that marriage, of her sleeping. The reader sees her awakened as a person, finally living instead of just being the cipher she is though Hamlet's eyes.
Claudius too is as close to redeemed as anyone can bring him. Updike paints him almost as a knight errant, whose feelings for Gertrude never seem in doubt. This matches the play, for Claudius loves Gertrude his afterword, Updike hints that he wrote the book in part to offer solutions to those puzzling questions of Hamlet, such as the age of Hamlet, the time of the story, as well as the cover up. Updike does this well and with a degree of believability. More importantly, he gets the attentive reader to think more deeply about the play, and challenges the more readily accepted and established view.de up until the end, where he decides he loves his life and power more (and then is killed). Additionally, Updike shows a man who is perhaps more like his brother than he realizes, and what power and the desire to keep it, can do.
Hamlet is present, though in a shadowy, forceful and threatening way. Here, Hamlet becomes the rotten aspect of Denmark. The book, like the play it draws from, is a tragedy, for the reader knows the final fate of all those involved. It is this tragic, futile, melancholy feeling that matches the castle of Kornborg so well. It is wonderful to read the story of Hamlet set in the correct place and time. (less)
Smilla's Sense of Snow is a vast and challenging book. It's challenging because the main character, Smilla, resists every attempt that the reader make...moreSmilla's Sense of Snow is a vast and challenging book. It's challenging because the main character, Smilla, resists every attempt that the reader makes to like her. She is totally unapolgetic. And that is wonderful. The book also makes use of setting. Hoeg transmits the feeling of Cophenhague. There is also a good sense of character and family struture. The book seems to lose steam slightly once the setting shifts to the boat. Still, this is a good read.(less)
All of the stories in this collection center around the idea of art and creative power. The most famous story in the collection is "Babette's Feast" a...moreAll of the stories in this collection center around the idea of art and creative power. The most famous story in the collection is "Babette's Feast" and not only shows how art comes in more than one form, but also how the artist can be an unknown quality. The story "Tempests" has echos of Tennyson's "Lady of Shallot". The most touching story is "The Immortal Story" where reality and myth mix. (less)
While not quite as good as her short stories, Dinesen's only novel is still good. There are many allusions, including one character who must be based...moreWhile not quite as good as her short stories, Dinesen's only novel is still good. There are many allusions, including one character who must be based on the Duke from Browning's "My Last Duchess". (less)