Archive for the ‘Translated’ Category
Very early in the morning of August 31 1997, Princess Diana was killed when her car crashed at high speed into a pillar in a road tunnel near the Pont de l’Alma in Paris. Evidence at the crash site suggested that the driver of the car might have lost control after side-swiping a slower-moving car, a white Fiat Uno, near the tunnel entrance. It was not until 2006 that the driver of this car was identified as a young man of Vietnamese origin, but at the time that Laurence CossĂ© published this novel in 2003, the Fiat still posed a mystery, leaving the author to imagine a story of her own.
Itâ€™s 1886, and the dentist Joseph Strauss follows Karl Ludwig of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen from Prussia to Bucharest, where the latter is crowned King Carol I of Romania. Carolâ€™s relationship with Joseph strays beyond the dental boundaries and they develop a certain camaraderie, particularly when Joseph arranges for the services of a blind prostitute to be made available (in strictest secret) to the politically beleaguered king. It is precisely the intimate nature of the knowledge Joseph carries which eventually leads to the kingâ€™s deliberate distancing of himself from the dentist. However, when the three-year-old Princess Maria dies of scarlet fever, and no further heirs seem forthcoming, Joseph wonders whether the King ought to be informed that the blind whore now has a son with a suspiciously aristocratic nose.
August 17, 2011
Â· Judi Clark Â· No Comments
Tags: 19th-Century, Real People Fiction, Time Period Fiction Â· Posted in: Contemporary, Facing History, Romania, Translated, World Lit, y Award Winning Author
According to Richard Wrangham, a biological anthropologist at Harvard, when Homo erectus, already master over fire, threw some tubers on a spit, freeing up nutrients and easing digestion, teeth, jaws and intenstines shrunk, paving the way for the evolution of larger brains, and us, Homo sapiens. In the wilds of the prehistoric world, itâ€™s likely our human ancestors gathered around a single fire for safety, and a communal feast, suggesting that our need to sit and break bread with each other â€“ rather than scarfing down food, alone, in a moving car â€“is an ancient memory buried deep in our brains.
Karin Fossum’s BAD INTENTIONS is about three friends, now in their twenties, who have known each other since they were six. On the surface, Axel Frimann is by far the most successful. He is well-spoken, good-looking, nicely dressed, and drives a Mercedes; his job at an advertising agency pays well. Philip Reilly, on the other hand, is disheveled, has long, stringy hair (“he looked like a troll from a fairy tale”), and spends a portion of his small salary as a hospital porter getting high. The third member of the trio is Jon Moreno.
August 10, 2011
Â· Judi Clark Â· No Comments
Tags: Foreign Detective, Good & Evil, Guilt, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Scandinavian Â· Posted in: Norway, Psychological Suspense, Sleuths Series, Translated, y Award Winning Author
MISTERIOSO by Arne Dahl is a unique and wonderful book. It is part mystery, part police procedural, part existential philosophy and part comedy. There is something so distinctive about this book that it resists categorization. On the surface, it is a mystery but so much of the novel lies below the surface, getting into the charactersâ€™ minds and thoughts as they live their lives and work at trying to catch a serial killer.
The title of the book comes from a piece of music composed by Thelonius Monk, a famous American jazz pianist and composer, now deceased. There is a serial killer on the loose in Sweden who is killing very rich and powerful men. The killer waits for his prey in the victimâ€™s living room listening to Monkâ€™s Misterioso on the stereo and when the victim arrives he is shot in the head two times. The killer views the music as â€śa pantomime, a peculiar dance of death.â€ť The Swedish police put together what they call an A-Team to find this killer.
He calls himself “Harry” now, after his new hero, the famous escape artist, Harry Houdini, hoping that one day he, too, will be a successful escape artist. Discovering a book about Houdini, hidden in the room that will now serve as his bedroom, the ten-year-old boy finds a new source of inspiration. Only the day before, and without warning, his family had to leave their comfortable house in Buenos Aires with nothing but the bare essentials. An abandoned country house has to serve as their temporary shelter. Harry already misses school, his friends and his board game Risk. With his routines disrupted, his sense of dislocation is further heightened when papĂˇ tells him and his little brother that they all have to take on new names and forget their former ones: it is too dangerous. Set in 1976, against the backdrop of what has become known as Argentina’s “Dirty War,” that left thousands of people as desaparecidos – disappeared without a trace -, Marcelo Figueras takes us on a moving and intricate journey, through hope, devotion and betrayal, through human frailty and strength, through loss and perseverance.
July 11, 2011
Â· Judi Clark Â· Comments Closed
Tags: 1970s, Argentina, Real Event Fiction, Time Period Fiction Â· Posted in: Facing History, Latin American/Caribbean, South America, Translated, World Lit