Laura's Reviews > Sun Storm

Sun Storm by Åsa Larsson
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Jan 29, 09

Read in January, 2009

I've been on a Scandinavian writers' kick since I read and fell hard for 'Out Stealing Horses,' by Per Petterson last August. After reading all three of Petterson's books, (reviewing so far only the first,) I turned to the genre which Nordic writers seem to dominate these days---the suspense novel. A recent trip to Iceland prompted me to pick up first 'Voices,' by Arnaldur Indridason, which I intend later to write about, but will just say for now that it is a subject on which I am emphatically tepid. Next, I turned to Stieg Larsson's 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,'which, with his 'Girl Who Played with Fire,' I praised highly here. Mari Jungstedts's three Anders Knutas thrillers came next---reviews to appear, but I've got to write them first, don't I?
I've just now finished Asa Larsson's 'The Sun Storm,' and felt it was just too good to push aside to write about at some later, maybe neverish, time.
Of course, YOU don't want to read about someone who's had his eyes gouged out (and that was the least of his worries), nor do you want to read about a pack of crazed Swedish fundamentalist Christians, but don't let that stop you from picking up this book. It was not the dream of my lifetime to read about those things, either. But the novel opens with a stunning description of the aurora borealis and works its way past the blood and gore to characters and a plot that gain in strength and lucidity and momentum to the extent that I couldn't put 'Sun Storm' down. This is Asa Larsson's first novel and it certainly isn't perfectly written. Its worst moments are better than many successful writers' best ones, though. If you want more info on the plot and things, you'll have to look elsewhere. I'll just say that in Rebecka Martinsson I found the best female protagonist I've encountered in a very long time. Larsson has a profound understanding of the human psyche and a powerful way of writing about it. It's not an easy book to read, but you've guessed that. Okay, but read it anyway. I've just ordered the sequel.
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message 5: by Bonny (new)

Bonny Hi Laura;

Thanks for the recommendations :) I haven't yet ventured into the nordic authors, but I have seen the book 'The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo'. One of these days I'll probably pick it up.

I have a stack of books to get through before I give them away/recirculate them. I'm trying to cut down on books I actually buy. Or rather, paper format books I buy. I got an e-book reader as an early Christmas present and I love it! (It's a Sony Reader). It's so much easier for travelling then schlepping a thick enough book for the flights! This reader can hold up to 130 books, .pdf files, and photos. It's also and Mp3 player. The only paper format books I intend to buy now are art books and any book I want to read that is cheaper (on sale) than what I can get through the e-book sore. And I'm sure I saw the book on the list 'Girl with the Dragon Tatoo'.

Currently I seem to be into the Chinese mystery series written by Lisa See. The one I'm reading now is called 'Flower Net' and it's really well written. I like her style and the main protagonist is a Chinese Investigator who studied in California. The differences between the official circles of authority between the two countries is vast. We really don't know how much freedom we have compared to other countries. We just take it for granted.

Thanks for the tips! I have to finish packing now. We're off to the mainland this afternoon for conferences.

Have a good weekend coming up!

Bonny


message 4: by Steve (new)

Steve Great review. I just picked up The Black Path at the library, and then found out it was the 3rd book in the series. The opening you mention sounds like good stuff. There seems to be some sort of Swedish crime novel renaissance going on.


Henry I've read a lot of Mankell whom i find superior to the touted "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" kind of writing. Have you read "Smilla's Sense of Snow"? both a mystery and a story about a woman trying to assimilate into an alien culture (from Greenland to Copenhagen). Her ability to "read" snow proves that the boy who "fell" was murdered.


Laura I've tried to read "Smilla,' but found it so slow and tedious that I never finished it. However, your recommendation piques my interest again... and since I now have Greenland on my wish list for travel in 2013, I feel even more tempted to pick up the book again. Thank you, Henry.


Henry Or you cd tgry his "Borderliners". also about disaffected people whom society spurns.


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