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Få inspiration til din næste læseoplevelse og læs mere om alt lige fra kærlighed, krimi, YA og historiske romaner til fantasy, science fiction og gys. Alt er på dansk - på nær de anmeldelser, jeg har lyst til at skrive på engelsk. Occasional posts/reviews in English.
~ Iben
Bibliotekar, bogblogger & boganmelder

26/03/2014

The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger by Stephen King

In The Gunslinger (originally published in 1982), King introduces his most enigmatic hero, Roland Deschain of Gilead, the Last Gunslinger. He is a haunting, solitary figure at first, on a mysterious quest through a desolate world that eerily mirrors our own. Pursuing the man in black, an evil being who can bring the dead back to life, Roland is a good man who seems to leave nothing but death in his wake.
This new edition of The Gunslinger has been revised and expanded throughout by King, with new story material, in addition to a new introduction and foreword.

I struggle to review this book, because A) It's pretty odd and B) See below.

The main story takes place in something similar to the old wild West, but in an alternate space of time or maybe parallel universe. "The world has moved on." We hear several flashbacks throughout the main story.

From Wikipedia: The Gunslinger is a novel by American author Stephen King, and is the first volume in the Dark Tower series, which King considers to be his magnum opus. Initially a fix-up novel that strung together five short stories published between 1978 and 1981, it was first published in book form in 1982.

That last sentence there explains a lot. You see I listened to this as an audiobook and while on the road I don't pay attention to CD numbers, I just take the next in the line. Usually this works out fine as most audiobooks start out telling you which CD you're listening too (or the plot makes no sense if you skip a CD). This audiobook doesn't tell you which CD you've just popped into the player. And the plot worked just fine with all it's skipping about anyhow.

TL;DR? - I skipped CD 5 and heard CD 6 and with it, the ending of the book. I then realised what had happened and went back to listen to CD 5. Oops. After finishing CD 6 and listening to CD 5 for some 15 minutes before my journey ended for the day I cheated and went to wikipedia to read a summary of the book and try and make sense of the book in general. You see, I understand it well enough, but... it's just weird. I'll be blunt and say it's probably not for me. Stephen King is a magnificent writer, but this just never really touched me. That said though, I might still be curious enough to maybe read the next book, if nothing else just to see if where that takes the story.




The Gunslinger
The Dark Tower #1
ISBN13: 9780142800379
Audiobook, approx. 6 hours / first published in 1982




Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2014

19/03/2014

The Land of Decoration by Grace McCleen

Judith and her father don't have much - their house is full of dusty relics, reminders of the mother she's never known.
But Judith sees the world with the clear Eyes of Faith, and where others might see rubbish, Judith sees possibility.
Bullied at school, she finds solace in making a model of the Promised Land - little people made from pipe cleaners, a sliver of moon, luminous stars and a mirror sea - a world of wonder that Judith calls The Land of Decoration.
Perhaps, she thinks, if she makes it snow indoors (using shaving foam and cotton wool and cellophane) there will be no school on Monday...
Sure enough, when Judith opens her curtains the next day, the world beyond her window has turned white. She has performed her first miracle. And that's when her troubles begin.

The Land of Decoration is a very fine piece of storytelling and very well written. The story is both gorgeous, heart-piercing - and slightly confusing. I was at times fairly baffled about the doings of certain characters, but overall it was a very good read that I found difficult to put down.

The characters feel very well put together as does the world-building with the exception of the other Beliebers Believers. Some of these are described more like caricatures of nutty people rather than real people like the rest of the book's inhabitants. Particularly the bully and his dad and the environment they come from was so straightforward and socio-realistic that the others' ridiculousness stuck out like a sore thumb.

Judith is such a sweet and clever girl and yet so hopelessly blinded by her faith and her overpowering sadness. Her mother died in childbirth and she's certain her father blames her for it - and frankly the way he acts, you want to punch him several times. They are fanatical religious, belonging to a devout little Flock and outcast from the rest of their family. They are sheltered from the world and certain Armageddon is just around the corner. Combine all this with a girl who starts performing miracles on behalf of God, or so he tells her, and you've got the potential recipe for disaster.

I wasn't terribly fond of the ending, it felt overly dramatic and then very anti-climatic. It also became quite vague in telling us what actually goes on. A part of it I wasn't actually able to decipher, but I'm always shit at understanding vague hints, particularly when it's built on faith and religion -two things I don't have myself.

It was a very different book from what I usually read, but I'm glad I've read it.


The Land of Decoration
Read in Danish - Det Herlige Land
by Grace McCleen
ISBN13: 9788702116014
296 pages / published in 2013 (first published in 2011)

Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2014

16/03/2014

Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding

With her hotly anticipated third instalment, Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy, Fielding introduces us to a whole new enticing phase of Bridget's life set in contemporary London, including the challenges of maintaining sex appeal as the years roll by and the nightmare of drunken texting, the skinny jean, the disastrous email cc, total lack of twitter followers, and TVs that need 90 buttons and three remotes to simply turn on.

Reading Mad About You, the third installment in the Bridget Jones series was a mixed pot of feelings.

On one hand it's Bridget. Glorious daft Bridget. Funny as ever.

On the other side it's a Bridget who's no longer allowed to be as carefree as before because of circumstances such as widowhood, motherhood, etc. - oh, and netdating.

It took me a little while to get into it as the setting is vastly different from the first two books. Being single and looking for love I could relate to. Finding the man of your dreams and struggling to keep him I could only imagine all too well. Having kids, being over 50 and struggling with all sorts of adult things and feelings? I started struggling to follow it having not been in these situations myself. Some of the scenes with the kids even almost stressed me out!

Also, her take on technology was quite ridiculous. First off, I know it's Bridget and all, but the immature way which she handles her cellphone and important meetings? #sigh. And Twitter doesn't work that way. But technologically induced angst does.

However I eventually got hooked in as always and enjoyed myself loads. I loved the ending and will ignore anyone calling it a fairy tale.

My best advice if you read this - go in not expecting anything. It's not the first book. It's not like the first book. It's 20+ years later and Bridget has (mostly) moved on, aged, evolved, etc. It can only expected that the reader has done the same - or at least, can relate.





Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy
Bridget Jones #3
by Helen Fielding
ISBN13: 9780224098090
390 pages / published in 2013




Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2014

08/03/2014

A Memory of Light by Jordan and Sanderson

A Memory of Light is the 14th and final book of the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson.

All humanity is in peril – and the outcome will be decided in Shayol Ghul itself. The Wheel is turning, and the Age is coming to its end. The Last Battle will determine the fate of the world . . .
For twenty years The Wheel of Time has enthralled more than forty million readers in over thirty-two languages. A MEMORY OF LIGHT brings this majestic fantasy creation to its richly satisfying conclusion.
Working from notes and partials left by Robert Jordan when he died in 2007, and consulting with Jordan’s widow, who edited all of Jordan’s books, established fantasy writer Brandon Sanderson has recreated the vision Jordan left behind.

The book was published over a year ago in January 2013. I bought it immediately, but didn't read it. At first it didn't fit my schedule while writing my thesis and later on I realised I was scared. Both of its size and of whether or not it'd be good. Could it possibly live up to my expectations?
Once I finally got started, exactly 1 year and 10 days after it was released, it took me 5 weeks to make my way through the massive epic end to a story I've read for more than 8 years. So so much happens on each and every page. I feel like millions of characters pass through. And every single one somehow matters.

The ending is spectacular. And bitter - how can you ever accept the end of something you've held dear for so long? How can anything ever be good enough? But this is good. Very good in fact.

I always loved Jordan's books, but they were heavy. When he died and Sanderson took over I found that I loved the way he wrote the final 3 books. His language is still so masterful, but it's just a lighter read. And yet every bit as intricate.

I won't tell you anything of what happens in the book. If you haven't read the previous 13 books, even the slightest hint of this will spoil you those. If you have read them and this too, you already know it all and how on earth can I sum it up anyhow?

One of the most important chapters in the book spans 200+ pages. I have no recollection of how many days or even just hours it accounts for. But the last battle was an amazing thing and while I may be blinded by subjective awe of such a massive epic piece of work, I will still tell you this series and this ending is bloody brilliant.



A Memory of Light
The Wheel of Time
by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson
ISBN13: 9781841498720
909 pages / published in 2013




Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2014


My reviews of book 12; THE GATHERING STORM and 13; TOWERS OF MIDNIGHT can be found here should you be interested.

04/03/2014

Library Haul #6

Library Haul banner

Working in a library means constant inspiration and constant temptation. Added with the direct access to get in line on any book, new or old, and if necessary order it home from any other Danish library means essentially every single day could be its own library haul post.

I haven't taken a picture of the numerous audio books I've borrowed and listened to as they never make it further from the library than my car. Every single day I drive back and forth I usually have at least two lying on the seat next to me.

(Fun fact, I've now attempted to listen to Red Dragon by Thomas Harris twice. Two Danish libraries have it in English. First time I made it 30 minutes into the book before the disc started jumping. I sent it back with a note (we aren't allowed to clean/fix/polish other libraries' materials) and ordered the other library's edition. 1½ hour in it too started jumping. I'm not considering if I should just read the physical book at some point or if I should reorder again from the first as they must have fixed theirs by now)

Working in a library has also for some inexplicable reason (well not really) meant that I read far more in Danish than I ever did before. But more specifically - Danish authors.


Of the 6 in the picture I've read two (Timur Vermes: Han er tilbage (Look who's back) & Hans Kirk: Fiskerne (The Fishermen)) and am reading the third (Kaspar Colling Nielsen: Den Danske Borgerkrig 2018-24 (The Danish Civil War 2018-24)). Idealistically I need to have read and reviewed a 4th (Meredith Ann Pierce: Ildbringerens fødsel (Birth of the Firebringer)) by Monday for the Childhood Favs tag, but I might just have to use the one I've already read (The Fishermen) - though I was more of a YA than a child when I originally read it.

The one I'm currently reading as well as a 5th (Maren Uthaug: Og sådan blev det (and that's the way it was)) I need to have read and formed opinion about the 24th of March as my boss and I will be hosting a book café for an older audience and I need to tell them about some new books I've read that they might want to read (IE - English fantasy is a no go).

The 6th and final book (Geo: Ikk' for sjov (not a joke)) I want to read as he's one of my cousin's fav comedians and though I don't like his style much, his book about his battle with cancer has a good rep.