Monday, 5 September 2011

Joe Abercrombie, Aesop and François Mauriac

So the last couple of weeks I've finished reading three books. Remember that I started reading Joe Abercrombie's "The Blade Itself" in the beginning of the summer, but then put it on hold to read "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" once again? Well, I've finished it now and I think I like it. It's the first book of three in a series called "The First Law", and this book is pretty much just a prelude where you get to know the characters and what they do. There are some suspicions, what's the Arch Lector really up to? And of course this is also the book where all the characters are assembled and where they go on their great journey. Since this is pretty much a prelude there are no real exciting moments, but the book can pretty much be defined as interesting. It's not exciting, but there's something about the book that makes you want to continue reading it, something that makes you want to know what'll happen next. My favourite character is by far Sand dan Glokta, an ex-excellent swordsman who was captured by the enemies during a war and tortured 'til disabled. He's in his thirties but have to live like a man in his eighties. We often hear him complain about stairs (lifts aren't invented yet) and how everything important is placed on the highest level in every building. He can no longer work as a soldier and has taken up work as an Inquisitor and as such often has to torture people during interrogations. He seems to enjoy torturing people, making them feel the same pain as he did. He's a sadist, misanthropist and an incorrigible sceptic, even when the First of the Magi, Bayaz, shows up he refuses to accept magic as part of the world. Simply put; I love him!
And then if we turn to look at Bayaz... He's pretty much a childish old man, kind of like Belgarath. But every high fantasy novel needs its fair share of Belgarath ;)

Well, I said I'd go through the bookcase starting at A, right? Next book in line that I hadn't read was "The Fables of Aesop". An old copy in Swedish. It was pretty interesting. All of them were of course very short, but they all contained some kind of proverb or apothegm. Some of them I recognised from having heard elsewhere in my childhood. However, it's always interesting reading in old Swedish. It's far from incomprehensible, but it's still different. Like the plural conjugations of verbs don't exist anymore. I am going to read everything in our bookcase, including the Bible, although I will read that one last :P After "The Fables of Aesop" I started reading "Oncle Ben's Cabin", also an old Swedish copy.

Our first assigned book in French as "Thérèse Desqueyroux" by François Mauriac. It was interesting reading it, maybe because it reminded me a lot of "Madame Bovary" by Gustave Flaubert, only "Thérèse Desqueyroux" is written about half a century later. Maybe a more modern version of "Madame Bovary"? Anyway Thérèse has me interested from the beginning, her behaviour is something out of the ordinary and extremely destructive. As most of these old important classical works it didn't seem to have a proper ending. It always bothers me.


  1. Can't believe you've read all those French books and NOT Les Misérables. Shame! SHAME!

  2. I haven't read anything by Victor Hugo actually ^^; But there are some more books in French that I'll have to buy and I'm planning on buying some Hugo then. Franska Bokhandeln i Lund is teh awesome ;)


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