This is among the best – if not the best – of the Thursday Next novels. Not as silly as the first ones (and make no mistake, I like silly), but a bit more sombre. I liked the aged Thursday’s vulnerability, and both the day player-twist and the mindworm/Aornis-plot was simply brilliant.
Arkiv for kategorien ‘humour’
There’s a new novel out in the series about the literary detective Thursday Next, and as a warm-up I re-read First Among Sequels. I first read it when it came out in 2007, and apparently I wasn’t overly thrilled with it.
I must have been a bit fed up with the whole Nextian universe, but after four years I’m not one bit so, and I thoroughly enjoyed this crazy ride. I’m starting reading the TN-6 right away.
Thanks, Emme, for reminding me to read some more of David Lodge. There’s a (sub)plot about a somewhat psychopatic student, but mostly the novel is a touching, tender description of the transition from middle to old age and the feeling of being cut off from the world – partly in a physical sense through becoming deaf. It’s also a very funny novel. Lodge is a keen observer and can be both poignant and hilarious. A small gem of a novel.
Som barn trippede jeg over den syrede “En dag i Hector Hansens liv”, og som teenager læste jeg “Når snerlen blomstrer” adskillige gange. Men jeg havde aldrig forsøgt mig med Bjarne Reuters romaner for voksne. Og nu er jeg næsten ked af, at jeg har. Reuter kan sit håndværk, og han er en dygtig humorist. Men han prøver også at være sarkastisk og samfundskritisk, og der rammer han helt forbi mig.
Historien foregår i en slags Danmark, hvor statsministeren hedder Aksel Krogh Asmussen, der drømmer om at blive generalsekretær for FN. Arveprins Bernhard har slået sin iranske gartner ihjel, iklædt latex og nytårshat, og den madglade og jævnt usympatiske kriminalkommisær Stelman iværksætter en storstilet og dårligt koordineret afledningsmanøvre, som bl.a. involverer rockeren Ansjosen. Det er som udgangspunkt godt tænkt og sprogligt finurligt skrevet, men satiren er så absurd, at den aldrig bliver andet end det. Der er masser af ting at grine over, fx. den her passus: “Larsen mærkede blodet bruse i årerne ved tanken om Holger Danske. Kæmpen i kasematterne. Hvilke arme og hvilke ben. Hvilken urkraft. En ægte danske foreviget i en middagslur.” Og fine formuleringer som “ferskrøget kruspersille” og “min mund er lukket med hammer og segl.” Det er morsomt, men jeg savnede desværre noget bid.
I may be a little bit in love with Erlend Loe. Definitely with his writing. Volvo Lastvagnar (meaning Volvo trucks – in Swedish, not Norwegian) is the sequel to Doppler, which I very much enjoyed reading.
But while Volvo Lastvagnar may be a bit less touching than Doppler was, it is even more wacky and over-the-top-meta. I’m actually not sure whether to call this a novel or notes on writing a novel – plus a few pages of film scrips and reminiscing about a sprained ankle. And stuff. And an old, dancing woman, high on pot. And a bird-watching scout with strange eating habits. And of course, Bongo the moose.
This is the second novel I’ve read by Stephen Fry, the first being The Hippopotamus, and The Liar very much comes across as the debut novel it is. The story is weak and the ending feels improvised, although it’s somewhat ingenious. But The Liar was a joy to read because of the sparkling, crazy, humouristic language and endless puns. Like this passage. Donald Trefusis mentions a chess-player.
‘No doubt you followed his excellent match against Bent Larsen?’ ‘No,’ said Adrian. ‘I missed his match against Bent Larsen and somehow his matches against Queer Kasparov and Faggotty Syslov and Poofy Petrisian also managed to pass me by.’ ‘Tish and hiccups. Bent is a perfectly common Danish Christian name … (p 326)
(And another layer is added as I, being a Dane, didn’t realise the pun until the mention of Queer Kasparov and his collegues.)