Imagination needs inspiration to bloom.


Extremely loud & incredibly close by Jonathan Safran Foer

Title in Swedish is "Extremt högt och otroligt nära".

The life of a nine years old boy, called Oskar Schell, changes forever one day, after several phone calls. It happens to be 11 september 2001. This is the beginning of a difficult time for Oskar, coping and struggling in the aftermaths of his father's death in WTC.

This book is very uneven. Sometimes Foer manages to hit all the right buttons, but then, suddenly the prose drift into a seemingly endless combinations of words and too many commas, and too long sentences which include the same words over and over again, like "crack up" and "heavy boots". Normally I like many commas and long sentences, but this was crazy.

It becomes a confusing mess, which is a big disappointment. Why the quotes from different persons on the same row, without explanation as to who says them? Is that a good distinguishing feature, or just messy and confusing? Sometimes, it's convenient because it creates a flow, but often it's not. The prose is too much, too often, and thereby there's no dramaturgy. That means the reader runs the risk of being desensitized. The 9/11-attacks are terribly sad and horrible, and therefor, when writing about it, it's very important to make it justice. However, occasionally Foer manages to capture the right words at the right time and portray it in a very moving way.


"The Genesis Code" by John F. Case

In Swedish the title is "Fader okänd"

Private detective Joe Lassiter suspects more than a simple murder, when his sister and her son are burned to death in a manmade fire. He uses his company and contacts to find some explanation, and it leads him  to a small community in Italy, where a priest has received a mindblowing confession.

The story that follows feels a little far-fetched but at the same time very fascinating. The thing most interesting is the reminder that today’s science is yesterday’s science fiction. When this book was published in 1997 the thing happening in the book was a relatively unknown science to the public. It wasn't exactly common knowledge and it didn't attract media attention.

Joe Lassiter is a credible character, apart from the fact that he seems capable of turning off his emotions occasionally. He would have benefited from being more emotional, but perhaps it is his way of coping. 

I will definitey check out more of the books written by the couple under the pseydonym John F. Case.

The following text contains spoilers!

A little information about the science theory of the book: When writing this book Case didn't know that in fifteen years the whole world would notice it. In 2012, John B. Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka received the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for the science which could be called a kind of reversible engineering - the fact that mature cells can be programmed to become pluripotent stem cells, capable of developing into other, different cells. It is fascinating to read and speculate about how far this science hypothetically could reach. And that is exactly what Case did, back in 1997.


The happy prince by Oscar Wilde

Whatever I read by Oscar Wilde I really like, and it always gives me a bittersweet feeling. The pattern in Wilde's literature is so beautiful. This one is no different. Similar to "The nightingale and the rose" this one is about great sacrifices for people in need, sacrifices that go unnoticed by the shallow and rich people - which could really make a big difference. The swallow is thrown away just like the nightingale was run over in the gutter. Certain deeds require a lot of unselfishness and determination, and can save the lives of other people. Simultaneously, everyone else continue their lives without caring. This contrast is heart-breaking because it makes me wonder how the world would be if everyone cared - especially the powerful people.


Jag tjänar inte by Jenny Åkervall

This is a book about the psychiatry of today, the political hierarchy, how a powerful bunch of people rule over the individual, and Sweden, in general, of today. It's very good at times, especially the society criticism and personal relations. 

The main story is about a psychiatrist who gets to help the security police with judging the level of danger a threat poses to a politician. However, that is not the most interesting part of the book. The thrilling part somehow falls into the shadows. Perhaps Jenny Åkervall handled too many themes, and the book would have benefited from just a few.

I think Åkervall is a talented, promising author and we probably haven't seen the last of her. As a former speech writer for the Swedish prime minister, she knows what she's writing about, and therefor worth reading. Interesting and insightful.