Month: October 2012

March – Geraldine Brooks

”March” begins with the premise of what happens to Mr. March, when he leaves his little women and goes off to do his part in the Civil War? Mr. March is of course the absent father in Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women” but “March” is a very different story than its point of inspiration. “March” is about a man of war, fighting not only the enemy, but his own past and principles. Mr. March serves as a chaplain and later he is appointed to a plantation where he serves as a teacher for the newly freed slaves. Equality. Pacifism. Vegetarianism. The right to education. These are some of the principles that Mr. March tries to bring forth. It is however, the more private Mr. March, I find interesting. He is the self-made man, who loses his fortune. He feels guilty about not being able to provide for his wife and girls the way he wants to. He struggles with his past and an encounter with a slave woman, and he berates himself for not being …

The Third Angel – Alice Hoffman

Alice Hoffman is a magical author, who understands serendipity and the art of magical living and storytelling. I always find myself immersed in her stories and find to extract a little of her fairy dust to my ordinary everyday life. Reading “The Third Angel” is no different. “The Third Angel” consists of three interconnected stories with commonalities in characters, themes, and a run down Knightsbridge hotel called the Lion Park Hotel. I will not spoil the plot for you, but instead only relate that the stories are set in 1999, 1966, and 1952 respectively, and are beautiful, atmospheric time pieces as well. Stories and storytelling is an integral part of “The Third Angel” and Alice Hoffman’s novels in general. In “The Third Angel” there is the story of a heron with a heron wife and a human wife. (And this is just one of the many, many love triangles in the novel.) One character thinks of the story; her daughter publishes the story. There is the story of the third angel, which a village doctor …

Drabschefen – Stine Bolther

Stine Bolther, der er journalist ved Ekstra Bladet, har lavet et bredt portræt af drabschef Ove Dahl, Københavns Politi. Ove Dahl er kendt fra fjernsynsskærmen og “Drabschefen” giver mulighed for at gå bag om det to dimensionelle billede. Det sagt, vil jeg ikke kalde “Drabschefen” en biografi. Bogens fokus er delt mellem Ove Dahls person og 9 tragiske forbrydelser, som han har stiftet bekendtskab under hans karriere. De 9 forbrydelser er gengivet i en dramatisk, men formiddagsbladsagtig form, hvilket er med til at sikre læserens interesse, og bogen er hurtigt læst. Jeg fandt de forbrydelser, som jeg selv husker fra nyhederne, eksempelvis mordet på den italienske turist, mest tankevækkende. Mit overvejende indtryk af “Drabschefen” er, at den er et fint billede af Ove Dahl. Jeg vil dog næppe kalde den indgående eller dybdeborende. Ove Dahl fremstår som et spændende menneske med et spændende job – og jeg læste gerne en biografi om ham. Jeg vil anbefale “Drabschefen” til læsere, der ønsker en appetitvækker om kriminelle efterforskninger og politiarbejde.

Little Black Book of Stories – A. S. Byatt

“Little Black Book of Stories” contains five short stories with dark, Gothic tentacles that coil around the reader’s mind. I love the mixture of fairy tale and realism in the stories that lead rationalism astray. The tales in “Little Black Book of Stories” are written for different occasions, but have enough commonalities to flatter each other in the collection. My favorites were Body Art and A Stone Woman, followed by The Pink Ribbon. The Thing in the Forest did not hit home in my opinion. I will not give you a resume of the individual stories, but leave you to experience them on your own. Bodies play an important role in most of the stories. In Body Art there is Daisy, the emaciated art student and maker of a grotesque piece of art using body parts in formaldehyde and prosthetics. In A Stone Woman, the protagonist turns to stone, a process she and a stone mason follow closely. In Raw Material a creative writing student ends up naked and terribly bruised on the floor. In …

Time for Reading

Vacation is time for reading. It has always been that way, but since my son is born, time for reading is more of luxury and I find myself stealing moments here and there. A paradoxical point is that I in some periods read more now than I did with loads of free time. Now, I have other wonderful reading experiences: introducing my son to books and libraries and luckily – or perhaps inevitably due to our shared genetic material – he already loves both. The negative aspect is that I have not read or reviewed a many books as I would like during this vacation. Nevertheless, fear not – more is on the way.