Shame

shame2.jpgFirst of all, apologies for having been silent for a little while. I’ve been in France for a few days without internet access. However, the time was used well and I read two more books in that time (actually, it was three, but one was a copy of Marina Warner’s Reith Lectures, which was really work-related so it doesn’t count in the year’s tally), so I’ll write a bit about the first one now and follow up with another post tomorrow.

Shame is another novel by Karin Alvtegen. I often find it easier to read more than one crime novel in a row and since this was sitting on my shelf, it seemed the next logical read.  Once more it is a crime novel without a detective, but with two relentlessly converging narratives that can only lead to a tragic outcome. This is a relatively bloodless book, with a few accidental deaths, but light on murders. There is even the hint of a possible happy ending – a chance of redemption for the central character, which is unusual for Alvtegen. In that sense this is a novel which, whilst not being full of the joys of spring, is more optimistic than I would have expected. Again this is a pacey read, but the threads of the narratives are not particular complex. There are no real surprises here and, after having read 3 Alvtegen novels, I’m beginning to see a formula emerging.

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One response to “Shame

  1. Jayne

    This was my third Alvtegen novel, and I must say I do enjoy her work. It is, as you suggest, a little formulaic, but even so a very good read. I have enjoyed the cultural contrasts of reading this Scandanavian novel, having just been reading books based in Afghanistan and Africa.

    Alvtegen’s novels are refreshing and I have really enjoyed the difference voices of the narrators. The analysis of the experiences leading up to the events helps the reader to understand the characters. The factual way she does this enables us to be more objective in our judgment of the individual. I am not sure which of her novels I found the most enjoyable, but this one certainly dealt with realistic emotions of those who blame themselves for events which are, in reality, not their responsibilities. The way in which they punish themselves, both emotionally and in physical sense by self harm, strikes a chord for me.

    Thanks for introducing them to me Prof!

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