Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Hypnotist (a.k.a L'hypnotisateur) by Lars Kepler

This book...this book was amazing!. I loved the Millenium series and I was a litte bit renuent about this book, because of the whole "new Stieg Larssen" thing. But I was wrong to feel that way.
The book starts with a brutal family murder and the only survivor, a young boy,is in such shock that won't speak...the solution? to talk to him under hypnosis to try to figure out who the murderer is.
You are going to have a couple of important characters, Inspector Joona is incharge of the investigation, Dr.Erik Bark,the hypnotist,his wife and son, and a coupleof ancient pacients.
Everytime I thought I new who did it...I was proven wrong. Unlike another of my favorite book, Earth's Children, the author does not describe the surroundings so much, but you don't need them since from the begining you feel like you are inside the characters head.
And OMG! at the end of the book...a.k.a last nigth at midnight, I could not put the book down, I just needed to know what was going to happen.
I liked almost every character, except for Erik's wife, but that is for you to decide. You learn to like the characters as they are described so well, they grow into you so easily...I can't wait for the new book: The Paganini Contract...saddly, I do not speak sweddish yet, so I will have to wait for the transalation

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Momo by Michael Ende




Momo is one of my favorite books of all time. In general, I love Michael Ende…if you ever have the time I highly recommend reading both Momo and the Never-ending Story. But let’s just talk about Momo for now. She is a “lost girl” that just appears in the city. However she has a special power…she listens! She actually listens to people in a way that they can pour their hearts out and talk and talk; find their own ideas, resolve disputes, whatever.  Then something happens…the grey men come to town. Who are they? They are exactly that, head to toe grey people, dress in grey, with grey cigars…what do they want? Your time…as in they literally want you to give them your free time, so they convince you to “save” your money, instead of taking your time, enjoying what you do…do it in a hurry and that way you will be able to have tons of time later in your life…Ok this time I am really not giving away any of the exciting things of the book.  But I would like to tell you what captivates me the most of these 2 books. In both of them Ende touches the subject of how when you grow up you stop daydreaming and taking your time. Both, at least for me, underline the importance of the inner child, of letting go of stressful situations, of feeling the grass under your feet, of dreaming with impossible worlds in which anything is actually possible. I forget really often what it feels to be a kid. One of my “kid” moments is when I get to wear heels.  Don’t laugh…when I wear heels and I hear the sound of my feet against the floor I remember when I was a little girl and would here the “grown-ups” clacking their way in the street. The first time I heard that sound coming from my feet,  a ping of excitement crawled inside of me and since then, every time I hear it I can’t help but smile and feel like I’m 7 again…

 

Earth's Children 1-4 by Jean M. Auel

Recently (a.k.a 2 days ago) I finished the fourth book of this collection, and let me tell you...WOW. If you don't know the main story, here is the link to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth%27s_Children) but what you have to know is that is WAY more than the story of a Cro-Magnon girl 30.000 years or so ago. No, is so beautiful the way Jean Auel embellishes her attitudes, but the part I like the most is the way she describes when Ayla (the main character) has an idea…an idea that will change history. Personally, I think the books are brilliant, so I highly recommend them…the movie based on the first book, not so much. I will comment a bit on each book, but please have in mind that some spoilers might be there. I will try to spear tiny details, because the books are completely worth it.


So, the first book: The Clan of the Cave Bear. Ayla loses her family after an earthquake and is not another Cro-Magnon group that finds her but a group of Neanderthals. This book basically tells the story of how she has to get used to the ways of The Clan (the way the Neanderthals call themselves) against what her brain and past tells her. Don’t worry she makes it. However if you have strong feminist feeling, I would strongly recommend to take the book slowly. You see, The Clan ways often portray way too obedient women…what the man says goes…literally. At the same time, Ayla is such an empowering character that you will be happy to know that she breaks a lot of rules. Don’t forget however that this Clan become her family, so sometimes the love she feels for the group will make her overlook a lot of things that we would not accept now. The book ends sadly, so be sure to have the second book close to you to know what happens next.


The Valley of Horses

Ayla is alone for the most part of this book. No, wait, that is not accurate. She doesn’t have “human” company for most of the book. However…remember the thrill of the first time leaving alone? Well, she is not particularly thrilled, but she learns to survive all by herself, and that journey of she getting to know herself and what she is capable of is quite amazing. In the way she will befriend a horse, a magnificent mare that you will learn to love, and a cave Lion. For some readers this book may be hard to take in since there is not a lot of dialog, but keep on reading, it is worth it. On the other side of the story you have Jondalar and Thonalan, 2 Cro-Magnon men (around 18 years old) travelling in Europe…think backpack kids getting to know new cultures. This part I really enjoyed, the way the meet new groups of people and they learn of them, love them, etc. As you may have guessed Jondalar and Ayla will get to know each other…under sad circumstances at first, but they will fall in love. The way they have to learn from each other is really interesting, and the way the keep misunderstanding each other because of the different backgrounds is almost funny sometimes. The book ends with them leaving the cave in which Ayla lived while being in the valley, to explore more of the same valley…but a surprise awaits…


The Mammoth Hunters

Out of the valley Ayla and Jondalar meet this new Cro-Magnon group called the Mamutoi…the mammoth hunters. They join them and live with them for a while. I will tell you that in this book I wasn’t the biggest fan of Jondalar…you see, he has a serious jealousy issues. When they arrive to the cavern where the Mamutoi live, they met Ranec, a black Cro-Magnon that turns out to be really attractive to Ayla. Off course Jondalar doesn’t like this and because of his jealousy Ayla and him, fall into a ridiculous fight. Obviously the book doesn’t talk exclusively about this, is with this group that Ayla starts feeling part of the Cro-Magnon people again. She learns about The Mother which is the deity they have in the group, as well as she gets in touch with her affinity with the Mother. A new animal joins the group in this group, Wolf, which will make you remember the most playful dog you have ever met. At the end, Jondalar and Ayla are back together, but not before falling apart greatly, founding each other again and remembering how much they love each other.


The Plains of Passage

The last book I have read, but there are still 2 others. Ayla and Jondalar are travelling back to the region Jondalar comes from.  Once again the descriptions of the scenery made by Auel are magnificent, but for me is the constant dynamics between Ayla and Jondalar that caught me. Once again they will meet with groups that Jondalar met in the second book, and also a couple of new ones. The way the different societies visited are described reflects a lot of communities now a days, without losing the back in time feeling. Ayla keeps being haunted by these dreams that remind her of her life with The Clan,but at the same time show her the way to a future.

 

I am going to stop here; I really don’t want to give away any more information. Please try to read it, I can assure you that you won’t regret it