Thelma Adams's Reviews > The Absent One

The Absent One by Jussi Adler-Olsen
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Aug 28, 12

Read from August 24 to 25, 2012

One of the reasons I appreciate Adler-Olsen is his droll sense of the ordinary, his glimpses into the crusty detective's daily life. Carl has two roommates, including the son of his ex-wife (his stepson lives with him while the teen's mother grazes from one poor, needy artist to the next). In a toss-away paragraph he mentions passing by his stepson Jesper's closed door: "Carl went upstairs where the nostalgia renaissance was about to blow Jesper's door out into the stairwell. He was in the midst of a Led Zeppelin orgy while splattering soldiers on his Nintendo, as his zombie girlfriend sat on the bed, texting her hunger for contact to the rest of the world."
This goes a long way to explain why I return again and again to hyper-intelligent genre fiction. Perhaps it is "weak" of me to love a muscular plot, but the sinews of daily life and insight into the way we (or Scandinavians) live now, keeps me reading.
I recently was reading a Jo Nesbo (I think it was "Leopard") where the detective Harry Hole sits at his dying father's bedside, and the patriarch expresses his unconditional love for his son (who's reached what may be a new low for the frequently addicted dick). I wept.
As for "The Absent One," at the end all I could think was, "O the humanity, and O the inhumnity." Also, when will the next Department Q book be translated into English?
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Thelma Adams One of the reasons I appreciate Adler-Olsen is his droll sense of the ordinary, his glimpses into the crusty detective's daily life. Carl has two roommates, including the son of his ex-wife (his stepson lives with him while the teen's mother grazes from one poor, needy artist to the next). In a toss-away paragraph he mentions passing by his stepson Jesper's closed door: "Carl went upstairs where the nostalgia renaissance was about to blow Jesper's door out into the stairwell. He was in the midst of a Led Zeppelin orgy while splattering soldiers on his Nintendo, as his zombie girlfriend sat on the bed, texting her hunger for contact to the rest of the world."
This goes a long way to explain why I return again and again to hyper-intelligent genre fiction. Perhaps it is "weak" of me to love a muscular plot, but the sinews of daily life and insight into the way we (or Scandinavians) live now, keeps me reading.
I recently was reading a Jo Nesbo (I think it was "Leopard") where the detective Harry Hole sits at his dying father's bedside, and the patriarch expresses his unconditional love for his son (who's reached what may be a new low for the frequently addicted dick). I wept.


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