The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

bookshelves: autumn-2010, published-2006, room-101, historical-masturbation, abandoned

Read on October 31, 2010

 

 I should say at the start that I haven’t seen the film.

Home audio

Later (but not too much later).. I find this detestable. There are enough real examples of the holocaust without needing to bring into being a cartoon version.

You want to learn about the holocaust then read history books instead.

Roger’s Version by John Updike

bookshelves: one-penny-wonder, paper-read, hardback, hackers-and-computers, published-1986, summer-2014, abandoned, next, sciences, too-sexy-for-maiden-aunts, religion, sleazy, room-101, tbr-busting-2014

Read from November 26, 2013 to June 12, 2014

 

withdrawn from Kilmarnock College Library

4 opening quotes and I pick this one: god the wind as windless as the world behind a computer screen – Jane Miller, “High Holy Day”

Description from the inside front cover: As Roger Lambert tells it, he, a divinity school professor, is visited in his office one day by Dale Kohler, a young computer hacker who believes that scientific evidence of God’s existence is irresistibly accumulating.

Opening: I have been happy at the Divinity School. The hours are bearable, the surroundings handsome, my colleagues harmless and witty, habituated as they are to the shadows.

Did you hear this hit the wall? Doesn’t matter where in the world you are, if you didn’t hear the crash you would have felt the vibration. I want my trash reads to be clearly discenable as trash not couched in literary blurb so it is mistaken for a worthwhile encounter.

4* The Witches of Eastwick
AB Roger’s Version

The Cold Song by Linn Ullmann

bookshelves: translation, spring-2014, under-500-ratings, published-2011, mystery-thriller, norway, currently-reading, books-about-books-and-book-shops, one-penny-wonder, paper-read, abandoned, bettie-s-law-of-excitement-lost, casual-violence, contemporary, doo-lally, duck-shit, families, gulp, lifestyles-deathstyles, mental-health, midlife-crisis, newtome-author, ouch, next, room-101, slit-yer-wrists-gloomy

Read from April 10 to 30, 2014


Description: Ullmann’s characters are complex and paradoxical: neither fully guilty nor fully innocent

Siri Brodal, a chef and restaurant owner, is married to Jon Dreyer, a famous novelist plagued by writer’s block. Siri and Jon have two daughters, and together they spend their summers on the coast of Norway, in a mansion belonging to Jenny Brodal, Siri’s stylish and unforgiving mother.

Siri and Jon’s marriage is loving but difficult, and troubled by painful secrets. They have a strained relationship with their elder daughter, Alma, who struggles to find her place in the family constellation. When Milla is hired as a nanny to allow Siri to work her long hours at the restaurant and Jon to supposedly meet the deadline on his book, life in the idyllic summer community takes a dire turn. One rainy July night, Milla disappears without a trace. After her remains are discovered and a suspect is identified, everyone who had any connection with her feels implicated in her tragedy and haunted by what they could have done to prevent it.

The Cold Song is a story about telling stories and about how life is continually invented and reinvented.

Translated from the Norwegian by Barbara J Haveland

Dedication: For Niels

Opening quote: ‘Tis Love that has warm’d us?’ – John Dryden

Opening: Jenny Brodal had not had a drink in nearly twenty years. She opened a bottle of Cabernet and poured herself a large glass. She had imagined the warmth filtering down into her stomach, the tingling in her fingertips, but there was none of that, no warmth, no tingling, nothing, so she drained the glass and waited.

Linn Ullmann is the daughter of actress, author and director Liv Ullmann and director and screenwriter Ingmar Bergman.

THOUGHTS DURING READING: Not far enough in (~40 pages) to say if the storyline is good or not but two points have struck me thus far:

1) affected, forced and belaboured descriptions that say more about a writers’ workshop than sincere heartfelt scribbling:

exhibit 1: the brushing of the hair
exhibit 2: Liverpool FC

2) too many views of Ullman’s real-life family connections – it smacks of thinly veiled name-dropping and it leaves a nasty taste in the mouth.

exhibit 1: Fårö
exhibit 2: Liv

That said, I am intrigued enough to continue on…

Trivia – two hours south of Oslo is Arendal and a spit off shore is the island of Tromøy, where the main man and I hunkered down for a year. Knausgård’s book one of My Struggle (A Death in the Family, first published 2009) was set on that island, an estate just up and over from our gaff. SO, the point I am getting to is this bit in Ullman’s book:

The final part of his trilogy was to be about time. Jon planned to write a hymn to everything that endures and everything that falls apart.

It all seems connected in a plate of worms type way.

Dreadful is closest.
;O)