news and reviews

Peter of Scandinavian Books discusses the phenomenon of the Millennium Trilogy, saying the author had originally planned a ten-book series; he had got as far as drafting the fourth before his untimely death. Peter also links to a brief notice from the Norwegian newspaper Daglbladet saying the family had decided not to have the fourth book, of which about 200 pages had been drafted, finished by another writer. That sounds to me like a very good idea, since the author was not one to come close to completing a book in 200 pages.

Nekkidblogger reviews Mari Jungstedt’s Unspoken and says it’s a “great police procedural . . . crisp prose, steady suspense, and flesh-and-blood characters, as well as powerful descriptions of the dark Swedish winter. The narrative is engaging and twisty, and will fool even the most attentive reader.”

Maxine was deeply impressed by Karin Alvtegen’s The Shadow – “a brilliant and rich book, which has had a tremendous impact on me. I urge you to read it as soon as you can.”

Steph was less taken with it, finding the characters unlikeable and one aspect of the ending a bit of a cliche, but she thinks Jan Costin Wagner’s Ice Moon is great, and gives readers an informative illustrated geographical and historical tour of its Finnish setting. She also gives her review one of the most poetic titles in memory: “a strange and haunting story, cracked through with grief.”

Thanks to Mack, I now have a better grasp of the peculiar take on the world offered by Tim Davys in Amberville.

Let me say upfront that I enjoyed this book but it is also one of the oddest I’ve read in a while. It isn’t a book that you can read literally. Amberville refers to one of four districts in Mollisan Town which is populated by living stuffed animals that have the bodily functions you attribute to living creatures. There is no attempt to relate the world of Amberville with our world, it just is.

I first thought that Amberville was going to be a crime story that used stuffed animals in place of humans. While it has noir and criminal element it turned out to be something very different. . . .

Do not think that stuffed animals = children’s book. This is most definitely not a book for children. It is an allegory that uses the Death List to critically examine religious belief and faith and duplicity within organized religion. Related themes include morality, loyalty, and what it means to be family. Viewed as an allegory, the reader can relate Amberville to our world without stumbling over the cast of stuffed animal characters.

But I’m still left wondering . . . why stuffed animals? Maybe there’s a metaphysical answer in there, somewhere, but I doubt it has anything to do with the Velveteen Rabbit.

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One thought on “news and reviews

  1. Or Finn Family Moomintroll? Interesting about the split over Shadow – Crimefictionreader of Its a Crime! also liked it.
    I was a bit cynical when I heard recently that S Larsson had planned a longer series – my initial reaction to this recent piece of news was that someone wants to cash in by continuing the books. I am glad to read from your post that this is not the case.

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