Sunday, December 19, 2010

Book review: Karin Fossum - Also, von mir aus

Once, I met somebody who wanted to read at least one author from every country in the world. I found this an interesting project and I am always curious to find out new and challenging authors all over the world. In most part of the cases I am well beyond the one book/one country, but in the case of Norway, the discovery of Karin Fossum is the kind invitation for other books. 
The choice of the book - Jonas Eckel, in the German translation - was randomly, as I was looking for a lecture interesting enough for improving my language. The only recommendation were the 2-3 lines on the back of the cover. (Maybe those writing this should be more careful with such textes and devote more time and imagination to attract the potential readers through them.) 
Although I was tempted to leave the book after the first ten pages (in fact, it was not one of the guided lectures aiming to know more about an author or a topic, but simply an exercise of German practice), the interest for finishing the book increased little by little. (Only today I found out that the strong point of the author is crime novels.) The subject: the rise and fall of a relationship (I wanted to write love story, but don't think that this is the right world). Jonas Eckel (with "ck", please, as the character insist to mention every time) found Lilian, decided to get married and  they start their side-by-side adventure. A monotonous one, when you feel every drop of the minute. This is the story told through the words of Jonas, with the ups and downs, emotions and lack thereof, everything told with the same rhythm, with extremely few dialogues, as a long Nordic ballad. From time to time, the author is throwing some hints: Jonas' discovery that Lilian didn't go to the computer class and preferred to sleep home (or what any other reason), her week-end out with her girlfriends (or maybe was something or somebody else), the mystery of their physical alienation (because of somebody else) and, finally her suicide (why?). And I think that this style is a wonderful recipe for creating interest for following a relationship story. 
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