Friday, July 23, 2010

Book Review - "The Stranger"

"The Stranger" by Albert Camus
My grade: A-

Needless to say, this winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature is among the greats. His style is somehow reminiscent of Hemingway and Kafka, and perhaps even Dostoevsky for the literary experiments he undertakes. The main character in this short novel, and in many ways the only character, is quite absurd. If he wasn't so apt at life, I would want to call him autistic, even though that was clearly not the aim of the author. His life takes on a tragic fate, due to an accidental event. His analysis, and sometimes lack of, portray a dreary image.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Book Review - "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"

"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" by Stieg Larsson
My grade: C+

Probably the majority of people have at least heard of this book. For those of you who haven't, this is the first book of a thriller trilogy. Honestly, the chances that I will read the second and third are slim.

The book is written well enough. Thrillers are generally not my genre of choice, although I occasionally read one or two. This one was not definitely not my style. Firstly, the style of the author allows for the reader to discover the resolutions to the several different parallel crimes at the same time as the investigators in this book. In other words, there is no shocking tada at the end, or anywhere in the middle either. I personally don't like that much.

Additionally, one of the main 'crimes' in this novel deals with financial fraud and the likes. Larsson goes into extensive detail (for my taste) on the subject. He largely lost my interest there. I prefer thrillers to be more of a murderous nature, although murder and rape are a great part of this novel as well.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Book Review - "The Half Brother"

"The Half Brother" by Lars Saabye Christensen
My grade: A+

I struggle to remember the last time I read a book of this caliber. This truly is something huge! The writing is absolutely amazing, not to mention the translation from the original Norwegian. It's inspiring and intimidating to see how much control the author has of everything novel.

It's difficult for me to say what this book is about, because it's about so many things. To oversimplify drastically, the story is that of a family and the people that surround and compose it. The narrative is extremely Scandinavian and unsentimental, in a refreshing sort of way. But the novel is much more than just this single family; it's really a statement on life. A certain kind of life, without a doubt; would leave any advanced reader, though, with questions to reflect on.

I very highly recommend this novel to those with patience. It's neither a short nor an easy book, but well worth the time and effort. Especially to the writers out there, I personally found a whole lot of inspiration and ideas in this masterpiece.