The phrase ”Loneliness seems to be such a painful, frightening experience that people do practically everything to avoid it” is marked in one of the pThe phrase ”Loneliness seems to be such a painful, frightening experience that people do practically everything to avoid it” is marked in one of the psychiatrist Frieda Fromm - Reichmanns books. The person reading the book would be the cause of the justice scandal of the century, perhaps in the history of the Swedish justice system.
Sture Bergwall, alias Thomas Quick, confessed to 39 murders, and was convicted of eight of them. The journalist Hannes Rådstam suspected that he was innocent of not merely one, but all of them, and when he got the truth from Quick he knew he was onto something incredibly big. Unfortunately, he died a while later, before finishing the book. The journalist Dan Josefsson picked up where Rådstam left off, and dedicated this book to him.
With a hidden agenda Josefsson entered a strange world. A cult.
A great inspiration to authors like Fyodor Dostoevsky, Gogols ”Overcoat” has survived 170 years and continues to mesmerize readers over the world. TheA great inspiration to authors like Fyodor Dostoevsky, Gogols ”Overcoat” has survived 170 years and continues to mesmerize readers over the world. The short story centers around a titular councillor named Akaky Akakievich Bashmachkin and his unfortunate experience with hierarchy and bureaucracy. When Akaky realizes he needs a new overcoat for work, his problems start.
There are certainly many different hidden meanings to interpret, if ignoring the practicalities and consider it from a more psychological perspective. The immense importance which is associated with materialism, not only when it comes to protection against the cold, but also regarding status in society, is worth considering. The way Akaky changes when wearing the new overcoat is interesting - perhaps the story is about an invisible man suddenly, with a piece of fabric, becoming the center of attention, just to be made invisible again? What happens, psychologically, if the feeling of communion and acceptance from others, is given and suddenly taken away? What is most prominent, however, is the bureaucracy that Akaky is facing - a down right obstacle, complicating everything, even preventing the purpose of the ministries. The message of the story is how this could affect someone of low hierarchy. ...more
The book is set in a future, dystopian, totalitarian world state, after a World War. The government surveillance, with eyes and ears, reaches everywheThe book is set in a future, dystopian, totalitarian world state, after a World War. The government surveillance, with eyes and ears, reaches everywhere. Even the maids are bound to report every week about the family at which they work. The main protagonist, Leo Kall, is a dutiful citizen, accepting the rules of the society. He even invents a truth serum, Kallocain, to increase the government's control over the people, making the world state the owner of not only the peoples' identities, but also their souls, because the truth serum reveals their inner, most intimate emotions.
Karin Boye wrote Kallocain during the second World War, just months before committing suicide. The oppression and government abuse are choking and frightening, as well as believable. Since there was a fear among the Swedish people of a German invasion, the theme of the book has been connected to the Third Reich. But, having been a socialist, Boye, after visiting the Soviet union, had began to crumble in her political conviction, especially when it came to the restricted individual freedom of the people. As much as the world state resembles a nazi society, it also resembles a communist era. The people live in small apartments, all identical, and they call each other "fellow soldier", not so unlike the Soviet's ”kamrat” - comrade. There are no economic class divisions, and there is a kind of human equality, but only in the indiscriminating way that noone has a value. A human life is worth nothing more than being a cog in the machine. Individualism is strictly forbidden and seen as a crime and threat to the nation, as the biggest purpose is to serve the world state. Kall is a scientist and contributes to the state through his Kallocain experiments on people from a voluntary service where they sacrificing themselves for ”the greater good”, a unit one can enter but never leave.
Since individualism is forbidden and private emotions are viewed as selfish, dangerous thoughts, the society is built upon mistrust and suspicion - a foundation necessary for the existence of the world state. For every private gathering, witnesses are needed to be able to prove one's innocence if faced with an accusation. There is no term as ”innocent until proven guilty”.
There is a biblical theme in the book. The mysterious myth about the hero Reor that didn't care about witnesses and protection, but simply trusted his fellow citizens, and thereby reached a freedom of mind, something he had to pay for. Parallels can be drawn to Jesus, and his role of sacrifice. The people believing in this myth and trustful way of behavior, were seen as strange and dangerous. Like a religion, there were no certificate to be a member, no head of the organization, not even an organization. Not being able to control such a people, the ruthless state had to defend itself.
When no one can be trusted, the only way to feel safe is power, but power is only an illusion, since it doesn't take away the small voice inside one's soul. Kall received the kind of power he thought he needed, through his invention. It's interesting how far a person is prepared to go to defend his structured, safety-imagined every-day life. The clear-eyed, openminded character Rissen served as Kall's suppressed conscience, which explains Kall's split feelings towards him, mostly fear and loathing due to the dangerous risk of rebellious thoughts in his mind, which could jeopardize his safety, especially with Kallocain in production.
Kallocain is a unique Swedish novel, about ten years ahead of George Orwell's "1984" and Ray Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451". More than seventy years old, it's still of importance, considering the present discussions of the FRA-surveillance in Sweden, and even on an international scale, considering Wikileaks and the information revealed by Julian Assange. Furthermore, it shows how easy a man, and eventually a whole society, can be controlled by fear and mistrust. It also awakes the important prospect that a society consists of people, like an organism consists of cells. Every cell is needed, and every man can make a difference. He has to decide for himself who he wants to be, and dare to fight for it....more
”A short stop on the road from Auschwitz”, in English.
Rosenberg claims that there are many stories about how people ended up in the concentration camp”A short stop on the road from Auschwitz”, in English.
Rosenberg claims that there are many stories about how people ended up in the concentration camps, all more or less resembling each other. There are less stories about the way out, and every way out is a unique story. What happens when confronted with the real world again? What thoughts and emotions are going to form the new life? And what happens when the bridge to the past is being forgotten by the world?
Rosenberg's parents survived the ghetto of Lodz, Auschwitz, the slave camps and the death transports. Their life shattered, they finally ended up in Södertälje, in Sweden. Rosenberg's father David liked Sweden, but never felt that he belonged. Without peace, he always wanted to take another step, hence the title.
Rosenberg earned the August prize 2012 for this story about his parents' struggle for a normal life, in a world that's forever altered but forgets fast. He addresses his father throughout the book, tries to learn to know him and follows in his never ending, fleeing footsteps. How difficult to live a normal life in a normal world, when knowing that one's life isn't normal and the world certainly has turned out to be everything but. The rest of the world lives on, as though nothing has happend, and Rosenberg thinks that just because of that, the survivors can't. The knowledge that others didn't survive prevents them from turning their backs on their past. Rosenberg reasons that the survivors might think they ought to have survived for a reason. For the horrible past to be remembered. Perhaps they think they owe it to the ones that didn't survive, and therefor they are trapped between their self declared purpose to remember and not wanting to. As difficult as it is to face, the past is catching up, anyway. So, what happens when the world moves on and the holocaust is nearly forgotten? Rosenberg's father wasn't the same as he used to be, and he wasn't like the people around him. Who was he if not confronted by the past? His place, where he had grown up, was destroyed and the place he had come to know as his new home was limited. Perhaps it would have been easier for to heal if the world acknowledged the holocaust instead of trying to forget it. To share the self made responsibility of remembering all by himself.
It's really emotional to read about his father's frequent work situations, his search for something, the attempt to fill every moment with something that prevent the shadows from catching up with him. The saddest part is that David never really left Auschwitz. He was trapped, and the new environment didn't offer an opening. There was no way out.
Rosenberg honours his father in a truly heartbreaking, beautiful way, through fragments of memory, described with the most philosophical prose, and old letters between his mother and father. In a world that forgets, books like this one are the very foundation on which a better society could be built. We cant afford to view the holocaust as a distant event. We have to realize it's the world we live in to make it a better place....more
A french couple, Maria and Pierre, their daughter Judith, and a friend, Claire, are heading for Madrid, but a storm forces them to stop by in a smallA french couple, Maria and Pierre, their daughter Judith, and a friend, Claire, are heading for Madrid, but a storm forces them to stop by in a small town. As soon as they arrive, they're told that a murderer named Rodrigo Paestra - a man that has killed his wife and her lover - is hiding somewhere nearby and the police are looking for him. Maria can't get the man out of her mind, and she develops a kind of contempt for the wife's lover, Toni Perez, while she's not judging Paestra. Eventually, as her own life is shattering before her eyes as her husband and friend find each other, she, in her drunken state, tries to understand and survive, through the story of the murderer. She seems to find a way to breathe through his revenge, and finally decides to help him.
The parallels between Maria and the murderer are obvious. Her determination to help Paestra is an interesting way of describing her view of her own life. Similar experiences can awake a great deal of sympathy for someone who in this case is a murderer. The book also deals with the feeling of entrapment and the relative freedom - or imprisonment - of revenge.
Despite it being interesting at times, I didn't understand the praise of this book. It's subtle and reduced to the essence of the theme of smothering emotions, revenge and despair. The things going on beneath the surface resemble Kafka's writing somewhat, but, still, I felt that something was missing. I wasn't impressed the way I thought I would be....more
Boy meets girl. Boy marries girl. Girl disappears.
This is a real page-turner. It's not a very high pace, but it's something in the writing. The rhythmBoy meets girl. Boy marries girl. Girl disappears.
This is a real page-turner. It's not a very high pace, but it's something in the writing. The rhythm, the structure - every other chapter presenting Nick's view, and half of the chapters the perspective of Amy, through her diary notes, leading up to her disappearance. The nuances between the happy, perfect couple marrying each other, the fed up couple and the dysfunctional married couple. The cracks building along the way, causing devastation. It's the small details, the atmosphere between them and Nick's very strange behavior after her disappearance, that got me.
This is a psychological thriller. It's what is being said between the lines, in glances and behavior, that's thrilling. Nick's game with the police, his overconfident, cold grin on his face, his recurring thoughts about what is expected of him after his wife's disappearance is unsettling. Nerve wrecking. There are two problems. The characters are not especially sympathetic, and, as much as the twists and turns along the way are thrilling, the ending somehow isn't that much of a surprise. Not for people that are into psychology. But, anyway, the ending is a good one.
What's special about Gone Girl is the themes that Flynn explores through the book, as when presenting us with the "Good girl" - syndrome. A "Good girl" - referring to the kind of girl always listening to her husband. Indulging, accepting and forgiving his short-comings. Obeying him, agreeing with him and having sex on his terms. Furthermore, she is beautiful, thin, can eat what she wants and likes sports. A girl created by men, to serve men. Every girl wants and tries to be her, but the problem is she doesn't exist, exactly like the perfect man who always listens and obeys doesn't exist. Sooner or later, a married couple figure this out, the fact that they aren't the same as they met. And when that happens, one might be disappointed, if not worse.
This book discusses many interesting topics, but the main theme is love and marriage, and what the word unconditional really means.
Many know the story about the miser that despises Christmas and learns an important lesson when visited by the Ghost of Christmas past, present and fuMany know the story about the miser that despises Christmas and learns an important lesson when visited by the Ghost of Christmas past, present and future. The story takes place during Christmas but it really is about other things. It's about the disadvantage of capitalism, which robs people of their human emotions, where selfishness and indifference take the place of humanity and generosity.
Another theme could be faith. In the beginning, Scrooge has no faith. He is a cynic, dismissing everything as "humbug", but after getting a new perspective of himself and the world, he turns into a believer.
The phrase ”Egenmäktigt förfarande” refers to the Swedish crime when someone is taking the law into his own hands and blocking or otherwise preventingThe phrase ”Egenmäktigt förfarande” refers to the Swedish crime when someone is taking the law into his own hands and blocking or otherwise preventing something so the owner is restrained from using it. Philosophically, the term might be used in other situations, according to the author. The philosophical poet Ester meets the artist Hugo and falls desperately in love. Or, perhaps the right word is obsessed. The relationship, or what it is, is far from equal and Ester does everything and anything while Hugo is constantly acknowledged. Andersson's colorful descriptions of the mental detours, the love enchanted interpretations and the self deceiving way of the mind in a certain situation, are masterful. She captures the wonderings and negotiations with oneself, the battle between dignity and submission, the change from independence to dependence, and the balance of hope and despair. The vulnerable position of a person in love, and the powerful position of the person less in love.
Many women can certainly identify with Ester's emotions at some level. Her mixed feelings and divided attitude about a useless relationship with a self serving man. Most women have been in love and, even if it was not unanswered love, at least they felt uncertainty about the other person's feelings.
It's intellectual and philosophical with many references to great classic literature like Chekhov and Dostoevsky. But, first of all, it's psychological. Alternations between clarity and despair and self deception and hope. The novel earned the August prize in 2013, and is a rare piece of literature that really shows that the heart sees what it wants to see, and the mind has to adjust to that. The choices of the blind heart matches one's inner longings....more
One tale of the 1001 Nights, "The Ebony Horse" is an ancient story about kings, kingdoms and beautiful princesses. In a kingdom far away, in Persia, aOne tale of the 1001 Nights, "The Ebony Horse" is an ancient story about kings, kingdoms and beautiful princesses. In a kingdom far away, in Persia, a prince receives a present from a wise man. 1001 Nights is believed to originate as Sanskrit tales in ancient India. Then, before the ninth century, at the latest, they were translated into Persian.
This edition is one tale of the collection translated by Malcolm C. Lyons, but since I have only read one tale and not the entire volume, I couldn't fThis edition is one tale of the collection translated by Malcolm C. Lyons, but since I have only read one tale and not the entire volume, I couldn't find the right translation among the books here. "Ali Baba and the forty Thieves" is one among many stories forming a sequence that lasted 1001 nights.
”Spår” is a true story about a big conspiracy that reached world wide. In 2004, a Swedish tv-program called ”Kalla Fakta” revealed that two men had be”Spår” is a true story about a big conspiracy that reached world wide. In 2004, a Swedish tv-program called ”Kalla Fakta” revealed that two men had been arrested and deported to Egypt in 2001, where they were tortured. They were suspected for having ties to al-Qaida. There were no evidence. No trial. It was viewed with the outmost confidentiality and secrecy and noone in Sweden outside the government and Säpo, the security police, new about what was really going on. It was not an deportation. It was an outright abduction.
The true story about a boy with German parents, growing up in Sweden, and finally shooting eleven people, of which one died. It began with a little boThe true story about a boy with German parents, growing up in Sweden, and finally shooting eleven people, of which one died. It began with a little boy being different from the Swedish children, having dark hair and a different name - back then it was Wolfgang Alexander Zaugg - being bullied at the playground and not defended by his mother, who didn't comfort him and used to beat him. This created the first spark that would become John Ausonius.
In the middle of the World War II, a little girl is coming to a small town outside Munish. With a dark past, and bad dreams haunting her sleep, she slIn the middle of the World War II, a little girl is coming to a small town outside Munish. With a dark past, and bad dreams haunting her sleep, she slowly begins her new life with her new family. Her foster father, Hans Hubermann, shows her the exciting world of words that will save her on many levels. Already having stolen a book from a gravedigger at her brother's funeral, she has many thefts lingering before her, hence many literary experiences. Her big eye-opener to the souls of her new parents, however, occurs the moment a tired man with twigs of hair and swampy eyes turns up at the front door, seeking shelter. During the worst pursuit of jews, there were people daring to make a difference.
Markus Zusak's parents grew up in Germany during World War II and have shared their stories with him, and thus, some parts of the book are based on true events. The novel is long, heavy, depressing, heart-piercing, and narrated by Death. It shows the darkest of places, but at the same time moments of light and happiness shine through. Liesel's strong bonds to Hans Hubermann and Max, hidden in the basement, are made of the most beautiful, selfless, sacrificing love, which is the last thing to leave one's life, whatever the circumstances.
”The Book Thief” is also a story about the power of words, how they can be the cause of salvation and destruction.
”I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right” - Liesel Meminger...more