Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Andalucian Friend and Library Loot

Monday on my way to my classes I picked up The Andalucian Friend, the crime thriller debut by the Swedish writer Alexander Söderberg, which was on hold for me at the library. I have two weeks to read it, and it's 462 pages. I've read 100 pages since late yesterday afternoon, so I'm hoping I'll be able to finish it in time. The novel was just released in the U.S., so I'm wondering if it was previously published in the UK. It was published in Sweden in 2012.

The first fifty pages were iffy for me: I was overwhelmed by the large cast of international mafia types and was considering casting it aside. But I'm keen on seeing what the author does with the Lars Vinge police character. Vinge is smart, has an analytical mind and knows it, yet he has extremely poor self-esteem, is very young and doesn't know himself, and is somewhat perverse (or do I mean perverted?). Consequently, Lars is one big fat wild card as to what his character will prove to be and do. So he's keeping me interested (hats off to Söderberg for that), as is the only primary female character Sophie Brinkman, the hospital nurse, who seems to be falling into the hands (arms?) of the Spanish group of mafiosi. It's so hard to tell where this is going. The book has received an absurd amount of hype, but it was the hype I fell for, so here I am. I will update. Stay tuned!

Over the weekend, I was interested to read the acclaim for last year's The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin. I think this title is on the long list for the Women's Fiction Prize. I was able to pick up a copy at the library, and it is 450+ pages as well. I'm very interested to read it but am not sure I'll have time before it's recalled to the library. If that happens, I'll definitely borrow it again.

I loathe and dread being sick, but this ridiculously long bout of bronchitis has had one (and only one!) positive aspect. It's made me crazy for reading again.

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