I've enjoyed this trilogy immensely. I was a bit afraid that with all the hype and the fuzz around these books, I wouldn't like it, but I did. I even...moreI've enjoyed this trilogy immensely. I was a bit afraid that with all the hype and the fuzz around these books, I wouldn't like it, but I did. I even found the end appropriate, although I know many people found it disappointing. It isn't a very happy ending in a way, but I don't think a happy ending would have been very credible.
P. 99: "'Do you miss him?', I was afraid to ask, afraid not to ask."
Last sentence: "I"m going to sleep."
Synop...moreFirst sentence: "Begin at the beginning."
P. 99: "'Do you miss him?', I was afraid to ask, afraid not to ask."
Last sentence: "I"m going to sleep."
Richard Coldiron’s unauthorized autobiography follows his metafictional journey through a troubled childhood, where he meets his invisible friend, his other invisible friend...and then some who aren’t so friendly.
There’s Mister Milktoast, the protective punster; Little Hitler, who leers from the shadows; Loverboy, the lusty bastard; and Bookworm, who is thoughtful, introspective, and determined to solve the riddle of Richard’s disintegration into either madness or genius, and of course only makes things worse. They reside in the various rooms of his skull, a place known as the Bone House, and take turns rearranging the furniture. As Richard works on his autobiography, his minor characters struggle with their various redemptive arcs.
Richard keeps his cool despite the voices in his head, but he’s about to get a new tenant: the Insider, a malevolent soul-hopping spirit that may or may not be born from Richard’s nightmares and demands a co-writing credit and a little bit of foot-kissing dark worship.
Now Richard doesn’t know which voice to trust. The book’s been rejected 117 times. The people he loves keep turning up dead. And here comes the woman of his dreams.
Since I follow all kinds of great bookblogs, I have discovered books, or genres, I wouldn't normally read. And this book is one of these. And yet it was a fascinating read. Richard Caldiron tries to cope with life, as we all do, but his life isn't easy to cope with. It starts with a father who beats him and his mother, the latter not able to protect her son, or herself. To deal with that he creates an imaginary friend, who 'takes over' his body when he is being beaten and who comforts him when he is alone and afraid. But then there suddenly is another friend, who lets him do things that he wouldn't normally do, or would he? Richard can't be sure of this, and so he runs...
It was fascinating to be inside a person's head and to see the struggle and uncertainty that was going on there. The tension was building throughout the story, but was relieved now and again by references made to the fact that this was a book, a manuscript, a story, where exciting things had to happen, because otherwise it would be a boring book.
This is a collection of 65 short-stories that have been published before, in different genres, thriller, horror, crime, satire, science fiction, humo...more This is a collection of 65 short-stories that have been published before, in different genres, thriller, horror, crime, satire, science fiction, humor, etc. (790 pages). Before each story, the author gives some information on how the story came about, where it was published, for what reason it was written, and so on, which I found quite interesting.
Quite contrary to what I expected,I liked most of the horror stories (not really my genre) and none of the humorous ones, but that of course is only a matter of taste. I loved the mystery-, thriller- and detective-stories, though. (less)
First sentence: "'The names,', Claire said, 'what about the names?'"
P. 99: "There was something about the woman - a moral astringency - that begged bo...moreFirst sentence: "'The names,', Claire said, 'what about the names?'"
P. 99: "There was something about the woman - a moral astringency - that begged both confession and challenge."
Last sentence: "With a pile of stones, he had written a name."
From BookDepository: A jury gathers in Manhattan to select a memorial for the victims of a devastating terrorist attack. Their fraught deliberations complete, the jurors open the envelope containing the anonymous winner's name--and discover he is an American Muslim. Instantly they are cast into roiling debate about the claims of grief, the ambiguities of art, and the meaning of Islam. Their conflicted response is only a preamble to the country's. The memorial's designer is an enigmatic, ambitious architect named Mohammad Khan. His fiercest defender on the jury is its sole widow, the self-possessed and mediagenic Claire Burwell. But when the news of his selection leaks to the press, she finds herself under pressure from outraged family members and in collision with hungry journalists, wary activists, opportunistic politicians, fellow jurors, and Khan himself--as unknowable as he is gifted. In the fight for both advantage and their ideals, all will bring the emotional weight of their own histories to bear on the urgent question of how to remember, and understand, a national tragedy. In this deeply humane novel, the breadth of Amy Waldman's cast of characters is matched by her startling ability to conjure their perspectives. A striking portrait of a fractured city striving to make itself whole, "The Submission "is a piercing and resonant novel by an important new talent.
This was the first choice for #TwitLit, the Twitter Reading Club of the Dutch newspaper NRC. And because I started hearing some good things about it, I ordered it immediately at BookDepository and started reading it the minute it arrived in my mailbox. The story itself also appealed to me; what would happen when the design of the memorial for the victims of the attacks of 9/11 in New York was the work of a Muslim? Waldman sets down a believable chain of events, that is so convincing at times I could have believed it really happened. I loved the way she described the feelings and actions of different characters that were involved; Mo (or Mohammad) the architect, Claire, the widow of one of the victims of the attack (a rich and beautiful woman), Asma, also the widow of one of the victims, but in totally different circumstances (Asma and her husband are illegal Bangladeshi's immigrants), Paul, the head of the jury that has to decide which design will be chosen for the memorial), and so on.
Although the characters are only briefly sketched, it is as if you know them; it is very easy to understand why they think and act as they do, and their reactions are only too human.
I think this debut novel will appeal to many people, both those that love a great story and those that want stories with real-life characters.
I loved the idea of Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy confronted with a murder, and it was indeed a fun read. James succeeds in evoking the right atmosphere wit...moreI loved the idea of Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy confronted with a murder, and it was indeed a fun read. James succeeds in evoking the right atmosphere with the language that she uses and the style of her sentences (like Jane Austen). The story was rather weak, I thought, and a bit over dramatised, but as I said, it was a fun read.
I read or heard somewhere that it was recommended to read this book together with The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and so I did. And I can s...moreI read or heard somewhere that it was recommended to read this book together with The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and so I did. And I can see why. The story is essetntially the same, the only differences are that one is set in the Victorian age, the other in a dystopian world, and that Hester had to wear a scarlet letter on her breast, marking her as an adulteress, while Hannah's skin is coloured red.
From the Guardian (as one of the books that make you think): Amazing, and in some ways even scarier than 1984 because it seems so much closer to reality. In Bradbury's future America it is not the government repressing thought and imagination – it is the people themselves who are burying themselves in a constant flood of colour and sound from TVs and radios. Thus books, harbingers of knowledge and independent thought, are burnt alive.
P. 99: "When had the boy turned eleven and decided to like music about various stages of death, alienat...moreFirst sentence: "It was the day the snow came."
P. 99: "When had the boy turned eleven and decided to like music about various stages of death, alienation, freezing and general doom?"
Last sentence: "But it is."
Summary (Author's Website):
It is November in Oslo and the first snow of the year has fallen. Birte Becker comes home from work and praises the snowman her husband and son have made in the garden. But they haven’t made a snowman. As the family stand by the sitting room window looking out in amazement at the snowman, the son notices that it is facing the house. The black eyes are staring at the window. At them.
Detective Inspector Harry Hole receives an anonymous letter signed “The Snowman”. Later he finds an alarming common thread in all the old disappearance cases. Married women go missing the day the first snow falls. That same night Sylvia Pedersen is fighting her way through the first snow in a forest outside Oslo. She knows she is running for her life, but she doesn’t know what from. Nor does she know what lies ahead. Fortunately.
I had to wait till the first snow fell here in Belgium before I could read this book that had been waiting on my shelf for a couple of months (I know, I know, that's stupid... but that's the way my mind works) and when it finally snowed, it seemed Judith from Leeswammes' Blog had the same idea. So she suggested to review this book together and ask each other a few questions about it.
I really liked this book, I thought it was a page-turner. I liked Harry Hole and the way he worked. It seems all good detectives have difficulties relating to others, but perhaps this is normal when you are a bit obsessed by your work.
These are the questions Judith has come up with: Judith: On my copy of the book was a sticker saying "The next Stieg Larsson". Do you agree with that? Nadine: I had the same question for Judith. No, I don't agree. The books of Larsson are totally different from this one. Larsson's story involves much more social aspects like politics and capitalism and everything that goes with it, that Nesbo doesn't talk about. With Larsson, the crime elements are part of a bigger story, while the murders are the main theme of Nesbo's book. The Snowman is a novel with all the aspects and elements of a thrilling and exciting story (enough characters, complex plot, diversions, ...). Nesbo's first book in the Harry Hole series was published in 1997, while the first book of the Millennium Trilogy only got published in 2005, so it would rather have to be: "Larsson, the next Jo Nesbo". But I think you cannot compare their books, because of the different approach they take to their subjects. Judith: I know you loved this book. What did you like in particular? Nadine: For a start, I love most crime, detective and mystery books and thrillers. And even more so when they have a number of characters that fit as suspects and when the plot is a bit more complex than a simple forward moving story and yet is not so fabricated that it all becomes rather impossible. The Snowman has all that... and even more, because I really liked Harry Hole. I like people who get so absorbed in whatever they are doing that they seem to forget the world around them (although these people definitely are not the easiest to live with). The only thing I found a little hard to believe was the escape from death at the end of the book, but that detail didn't lessen the pleasure I had had. Judith: Is this book a standard thriller to you, or does it stand out in some way? Nadine: It does stand out from other thrillers by the atmosphere of fear that radiates through the book and by the rather ingenious plot. For me this was a page-turner. I liked a lot of the characters, and the relation between some of them and I liked the setting. I don't know Oslo (or Scandinavia) and it seems I always enjoy books that are situated in the more northern European countries. Judith: Why do you think Harry's ex-wife came to visit him every now and then? Nadine: The most logical answer would be that she still loves Harry; I think this could be true, because, from what I learned from this book, she didn't leave him because their love was over, but because she couldn't live with someone who got so involved by his work that he forgot someone was waiting for him at home. But perhaps there was something that she intuitively felt was not right with Matthias, although it seemed he would be the perfect and ideal husband. She probably couldn't define what it was, but it seems that she constantly tried to convince herself that he was the right one. And when you have to convince yourself of that, it can only be because you are not sure. Judith: What did you think of Harry, the alcoholic, divorced policeman who preferred to work alone? Nadine: Despite him being an alcoholic, I really liked him... I liked the way he worked and thought, the way he handled his superiors and his colleagues. I think when you have a job like he does, it is not so simple to keep off drink and drugs, and I appreciated it that he really tried.(less)