Friday, June 26, 2015

Some books I've read 22

The Unbreakable Miss Lovely by Tony Ortega
About American writer Paulette Cooper who wrote a critical book about the Church of Scientology in the early 70s and the church went after her, their goal was to either put her in jail or make her commit suicide. They almost succeeded. And it turns out the church hasn't really changed its ways that much since then. Well written, in an almost cinematic style.

Le loup dans la bergerie by Gunnar Staalesen
The first Varg Veum novel is more or less a pastiche of Raymond Chandler. The story is set in Bergen, but does not really take place in a recognizable Norwegian society, rather relying on crime lit archetypes. And the solution is possibly a bit too clever. Actually, it reminded me of the plot of the first Columbo episode.

La belle dormit cent ans by Gunnar Staalesen
My favourite Varg Veum book so far. There's a good plot, a clever little thing happening toward the end, and the killer explaining what happened without a gun pointed at the detective, but there are also some quite touching sequences of Veum thinking about his dead parents and about how he as a divorced dad is slowly losing contact with his son.

Pour le meilleur et pour le pire by Gunnar Staalesen
A novel mostly about marriage, both the dreams and the reality of it as the years pass. Where does the love go? But yes, someone is killed as well.

Comme dans un miroir by Gunnar Staalesen
Slightly unusual or untypical novel from Staalesen. Some people are missing, but there were still no dead bodies at page 300.

L'écriture sur le mur by Gunnar Staalesen
What happens to the kids in a social democracy? Do parents know what their kids are up to? The book avoids lecturing, but gets slightly dated when mentioning subjects like extacy and house parties.

Anges déchus by Gunnar Staalesen
Maybe his darkest book.

Still one more Staalesen to go, Fleurs amères, the last of the eleven Veum books translated into French so far. There are another five or six books as yet untranslated.


  1. Hi Jason

    sorry to post randomly couldn't find an e-mail address, do you think you might have time sometime soon for a little e-mail interview about your work and your next book?

  2. Sure, an interview is OK. What's your e-mail? Or you can contact me through Fantagraphics' publicist Jacq Cohen.