Tag Archives: #Addiction

Nesbø, Jo: Police/Politi (Harry Hole X) (2013/2014)

I read Police/Politi in Norwegian.

Some reviewers felt Police was too violent for them. All of Jo Nesbø’s mysteries are dark literature. He delves into the murky and seedy side of people and society. Police deals with consequences and corruption. This time Nesbø looks at corruption within the Norwegian police force. Not only the leaders seem to have trouble staying within the framework of the law. Some of its officers define the law in a manner that allows it to make sense to them. Justice, is after all not the purpose of the law. The purpose of the law is the law and how to define it.

Police was in no way a philosophical work. Entertainment and commentary seems to have been Nesbø’s purpose in writing it. However, I do not have a clue as to what his purpose was because I have read none of his interviews only some of the reviews out there. But it does raise some questions. The nature of corruption being one of them.

What we are willing to sacrifice on the alter of power? If there is one subject that keeps on popping up in stories and research papers, power seems to be it. Sometimes in the form of helplessness – as that poor gay kid must have felt when he came out to Bellman and got beaten up for it. At other times it comes in the form of wanting more power over others. Having power over Berntsen was never enough for Bellman. And sometimes power is portrayed as something we hope to get through others, kind of like the hope Ulla was left with once she and Michael had met in the hotel.

Nesbø also takes a closer look at another reason people kill. Love can influence people’s choices. My definition of love might not fit your. When the love of one person was killed many years ago, that person felt a need for revenge. Revenge took a long time coming, but once it arrived it was certainly thorough. Harry Hole came back to policing due to the path revenge wandered on.

Jo Nesbø is sneaky. Not until seconds or minutes before the culprit was revealed did I figure out who the killer was. No wonder with all the shady characters in the land of Nesbø’s imagination. Just as when I watch magicians, I was fooled by Jo Nesbø’s misdirection. Every time an author manages to trick me I am both pleased and annoyed at the same time.

What I like with police procedurals like Police is that there are no magic solutions to finding a culprit. Harry Hole certainly has Poirot-like qualities in his intuitive ability to see what others cannot. However, Harry makes mistakes and depends on his crew to find the data needed to draw his conclusions. My enjoyment of a mystery/thriller increases with the type of craftsmanship that Nesbø shows.

Warning: Descriptive violence

I had fun. Definitely recommended.


Reviews:


Police is available at bokkilden.no / amazon (various countries) / others


Translations (Original language Norwegian – my edition) Politi:

A WRITER’S CHRISTMAS CAROL

Wonderful description of the addiction of writing.

Gifford MacShane

Please Say Goodnight by Gifford MacShane
Sung to the tune of “All Through the Night”

Midnight now, my head is hanging,
Time to say goodnight.
Voices in my head, stop clanging,
It’s time to say goodnight.
I know there are chapters waiting,
Characters anticipating.
I don’t need your conversating,
Please say goodnight.

Heroes have good deeds to do,
But please say goodnight.
Villains will do evil, too,
But please say goodnight.
Demoiselle is left in peril,
Terrified of all things feral,
I don’t really mean to querul,
But please say goodnight.

Night is gone, the dawn is breaking,
PLEASE say goodnight.
My eyes are fried, my hands are shaking,
PLEASE say goodnight.
If I don’t sleep I will perish,
And your story none will cherish.
Voices, please, it may sound churlish
But PLEASE SAY GOODNIGHT!!!

Not familiar with this Welsh carol? Here’s the Kingston Trio’s version of the original. Obviously…

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Eminem: Cleanin’ Out My Closet (The Eminem Show) (2002)

Music, lyrics and passion make this Eminem song incredibly powerful. I’d say enjoy, but that wouldn’t fit the mood of Eminem’s Cleanin’ out my Closet.

In a later song Headlights (The Marshall Mathers LP 2) Eminem apologizes (kind of). Clearly Eminem’s childhood was extremely difficult. However, Eminem has gone through healing processes and sees his childhood in the same but a different light.

Eminem has the kind of music and lyrics that appeal to me. A lot of the time listening to him hurts. Even when I disagree with him I still find myself listening (yes even this 50 year old lady).

McDermott, J.M.: When we were executioners (2012)

I want to understand why writing a review of When We Were Executioners is so difficult.  Part of it has to do with how invested in the lives of Jona and Rachel I have become. Not only they, but also the two Walkers of Erin seem to have a profound effect on me. There is this area from my solar plexus to the tip of my chin that becomes warm and weepy just thinking about the quartet. Sometimes art does this to me. Whether I am dealing with happy art or sad art does not seem to make a difference.

When We Were Executioners falls within the last category. From the beginning of the serial Dogsland we know that Lord Joni doesn’t survive. We soon come to expect the same with Rachel, and in When We Were Executioners it seems impossible that her brother Djoss will make it either.

People die all the time. They die all the time in the city/town Dogsland – a city of crime if there ever was one. Drugs are its mainstay. Drugs come into the city and are sold and traded on to the citizens of Dogsland and other places. JM McDermott shows us the darker side of drugs, both from the point of view of the users, the dealers and lords – sometimes one and the same person. It is a path that many tread both in fantasy and in the real world. Addiction.

But then I suppose we all suffer from one sort of addiction or another. Some of us will do anything for affection while others will stop at nothing to get another shot of their drug of choice. It is all the same, and oh, so very sad. Maybe evolution needs us to be this way to keep the human race going.

Lord Joni and Rachel Nolander are both half-demons and a hunted minority. Perhaps with good reason, for anything their bodily fluids touch (except for each other) ends up disintegrating and sizzling away. Somehow that does not make sense for their fathers had to have sex with their mothers and there is certainly an exchange of bodily fluids at that time. But perhaps what goes for half-demons is not the case with full demons. Even in death Jona and Rachel are deadly. Keeping their remains (especially their skulls) for magical purposes will end up destroying the magician. But in the end that is the way we all go. Death is just another part of life that we try to avoid and forget.

Could this be another reason the Dogsland trilogy thus far has affected me so strongly? JM McDermott makes no attempt to hide death from us. Nor does he attempt to make it more or less than what it is. Thus far the deaths we have seen in this trilogy have been difficult and painful ones. I wonder what my own death will be like?

Definitely recommended.


Review: 

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When We Were Executioners on Amazon USA


My review of: Never Knew Another

I Cast Thee Out Facebook: A Story About Why I Decided to Nuke My Addiction to Social Media, and How It Fits In With The Story of Millennials

The power Facebook and other social media can hold in our lives.

McGuire, Seanan: Chimes at Midnight (October Daye VII) (2013)

Chimes at Midnight
Cover art by Chris McGrath
Cover design by G-Force Design
Internal dingbat by Tara O’Shea

I first discovered Seanan McGuire through her pseudonym Mira Grant. I enjoyed her Newsflesh characters so much that I wanted to give October (Toby) Daye a chance. Here I am seven novels later still reading about the adventures of changeling / knight / hero / granddaughter of Oberon: Toby Daye.

Why is it I like the October Daye series so much? My main reason has to do with the development of Toby’s character. Growth (whether for light or dark) in a character is what keeps me reading certain authors. If that development stops I move on. Thus far, I have had every reason to remain with October Daye and her faery world.

By now there have been so many losses and changes in Toby’s life that it is a wonder she is still up and about. McGuire has not given Toby the easiest life to live. Simple lives can be fun to read about but in the long run complexity is so much more fun. McGuire doesn’t slow down Toby’s challenges in Chimes at Midnight.

Once again, Toby discovers that just because something is bad for the changelings and for humans does not mean that the pure-bloods care. Some do, but faery who care about the lives of changelings and humans are definitely in the minority. So it has been throughout history. Many are the tales of faery interacting with people with devastating results for the person. Perhaps being immortal has something to do with that. At least that is an excuse we hear in Chimes at Midnight.

There is romance going on between Toby and Tybalt, but romance is not a major part of Chimes at Midnight. Action is. As with the other Daye novels, McGuire keeps her novels free from explicitness.

I liked Chimes at Midnight. When The Winter Long comes out I am going to buy it.

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Reviews:


  • Series: October Daye (Book 7)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: DAW (September 3, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0756408148
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756408145

Gay, Kelly: The Hour of Dust and Ashes (Charlie Madigan) (2011)

Cover art by Christian McGrath

Does Kelly Gay keep up her good work in The Hour of Dust and Ashes? Yes, she most definitely does. She has that rare ability of being able to keep her writing tight, very tight. That and her spelling and grammar helps the reader keep from being distracted. Add to that a pretty good plot, fun characters and talent and you have the flow.

Charlie Madigan is an interesting character. She is a believable woman in a fantastic yet believable world. Yes, this is all science fiction and fantasy, but the plot is about recognisable problems and her characters are flawed and gifted like the rest of us. Fanatics are fanatics and greed is greed.

Charlie suffers from a save-the-world-all-on-her-own syndrome. That makes it easy for her to take the blame for her sister’s ash addiction. It is true that Bryn got addicted to ash while helping Charlie out, but Charlie tends to forget that Bryn has her own will and this is creating trouble between the sisters.

When ash addicts begin taking their own lives, Charlie becomes desperate to make certain Bryn stays alive. Thus far the hunt for a cure has led nowhere. When Charlie goes to the oracle, Allessandra for help, she is told that she will need sylphs. On to Charbydon she must go and Hank and Rex get to go along with her.

Rex (the ex-jinn now revenant), Brimstone (the hellhound) and Hank (the Adonai) make themselves better known to us. We also get to see Charbydon at its best and worst. No wonder the people there think of Earth as a vacation spot.

We get tons of action and some of the fighting is explicit. If you don’t like that, consider yourself warned.

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My reviews on books 1 (The Better Part of Darkness), 2 (The Darkest Edge of Dawn), 3 (The Hour of Dust and Ashes), and 4 (Shadows Before the Sun)