So I only read one book in October.
One book. So sad.
But you all, IT WAS THE BEST BOOK! Which is part of the reason it took me so long to read it. (See Also: I was very social during my normal reading times. ie: The Weekend.)
The Book: The Snowman by Jo Nesbo
Some things you should know about this book before we get started:
*It is the seventh book in a series featuring the same detective: Harry Hole
*I laughed a lot at that name, even though my own name is terrible and I should be more sensitive to these types of things
*I have not read any of the other six books and it did not detract from my reading experience
*It is a translation
*The reason I have not read all 6 other books in the last week is because none of them are translated to English yet. FAIL.
*I’m still kind of dumbfounded that it was a translation just because of some of the linguistic nuances.
*I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to type the letter O with a line through it and totally failed. Do you know how to do this? TELL ME.
*Jo Nesbo’s website was listed on the book jacket as www.jonesbo.com and every time I looked at it I saw the name Jones Bo. So that’s what I started calling him while I was reading this. And now I forever have to correct myself.
*Garrett listened to this book on audio while I read it, you know, uh…in book form and that was so fun! Our venn diagram book overlap is small, but we will definitely do that again! (Perhaps with Game of Thrones.)
Jones Bo’s Jo Nesbo’s newest book IS going to be translated! And I can’t wait because I think the tail end of this book is totally a precursor to the next book.
*Oh, that was many things, wasn’t it? Sorry about that.
Okay, okay — Let’s talk about the book.
Would you like a plot synopsis? It’s about a serial killer. Would you like a more detailed plot synopsis? Here go read this, I’ll wait.
So, the book contains many of the things typical of the detective/mystery genre: fallable detective, complicated relationships, creepy plot twists etc. But instead of feeling cliched and formulaic, this book felt very skillfully weaved together. Honestly, it is the kind of book that comes around once in a blue moon that makes me miss college. I wanted to go back and re-read it just to highlight words and themes and connections and make conclusions about overarching themes! It made me English-Nerd Giddy!
Sexuality. Alcohol. Isolation. Betrayal. Misogyny. Mental Illness.
You could write pages and pages on any one topic. You could buy new highlighters. THERE COULD BE MARGIN NOTES! Oh, it was fantastic!
Anyway, the other notable thing about it was that it scared the crap out of me. You see this was part of the reason that I took so long to read it. For some reason, there was one scene towards the beginning of the novel that just CHILLED ME TO THE BONE. Looking back, it’s not that scary — of course now that I know how everything worked out — but while reading it, it haunted me. And because of that feeling I had to stop reading it at night for a while. Anxiety dreams, you know. Not a fan.
So — we’ve got a page turning, awesome book — with no reading at night or on the weekends. You understand now, yes?
Garrett got through it before I did and kept harping on the fact that he felt the sexual undertones were a little overdone, but we disagree on this point. On a scale of Zero to The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo, I would say it is MAYBE a three. So do with that what you will. There were a number of plot twists — and many I did not see coming, which I enjoy in a mystery — but I did sort of figure out who the bad guy was before it was revealed. It was just…a feeling I had. Garrett, on the other hand, did not get that feeling at all, so whether that was a lucky guess on my part, or the difference between listening to and reading a book is debatable.
Speaking of audio books, it is lovely to be reading a transltion and be able to say “Hey babe, how the hell does your audio book pronounce THIS name?” So, uh..bonus if you can find someone to listen to it with you.
The thing that I loved the most about this book though, was the ending. I know that sounds weird since I just told you that I figured out the killer before I knew how all the dots connected, but it was! The way his identity unraveled was creative, and the climax of the book is not only exhilirating — IT IS SPECTACULARLY WRITTEN. Another entire term paper could be written on his devices alone. I loved them. And the ending felt cinematic in a way that is rare to find when you are reading.
So, in the end, I OBVIOUSLY recommend this book if you are into books of this nature. There are some creepy parts, but they make sense in the end so they aren’t gratuitous. There is some sex, but again it’s not raunchy for the sake of raunch. And there is great pacing! But be careful if you are a scaredy-cat like me, because this book will haunt you. Make sure you read a nice fluffy book with a hot pink cover afterward. That has been the perfect solution.
What did you read this month? Anything that rocked your world or made you want to re-write your thesis?