A short review.

For discussion of John Ajvide Lindqvist's novel Rörelsen
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metoo
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A short review.

Post by metoo » Sun Sep 20, 2015 6:29 am

So, the book has been out for a couple of days. I've just read it, and here are some facts and perhaps some impressions, too.

The book starts with these words:
På Luntmakargatan 14 i Stockholm finns ett gårdshus. Jag var nitton år gammal då jag flyttade dit i september 1985. Efter att ha vuxit upp med mamma på Ibsengatan i Blackeberg vad det min första egna bostad.

At Luntmakargatan 14 in Stockholm is a courtyard house. I was nineteen years old when I moved there in September 1985. After having grown up with mum on Ibsengatan in Blackeberg it was the first home of my own.

Already in these first lines the fiction is revealed - Lindqvist was born in December 1968, and thus was only sixteen and still a high school student in September 1985. But don't think that this is a typo or a mistake - as Lindqvist has previously revealed, the assassination of Olof Palme in February 1986 is an ingredient of the novel.

The novel is written in first person, and revolves about what happened to Lindqvist in a few months of his life. It has the character of a memoir, and I suspect it is to some extent autobiographic. JAL probably moved in to an apartment at Luntmakargatan 14 when he was nineteen - only that in reality it wasn't until three years later. Likewise, I suspect some events in the novel are authentic. Other events obviously are not. And then there are the events that might have happened. These blur the line between fiction and reality - you keep asking: did he really...?

At 274 pages the novel is short, at least compared to the previous one's 410. I read it in a single day, as I usually do.

So, what about my impressions? Well, I always have a hard time giving judgement about books - except in a few cases when I clearly can say that I found a book litterally unreadable. This, obviously, wasn't the case here, but did I find it intriguing, did it keep me entrenched? Hard to say. I did read it in one day, but perhaps I wasn't obsessed the way I sometimes become when reading fiction. I was able to put the book away for a hour or so, a couple of times. I didn't push my daily chores to the future, but made my bed in the morning and washed my lunch dishes right away.

Addendum: Hm, upon revisiting this posting a few hours later I feel that it sounds more negative than I intended. Unfortunately, I find the question about whether I liked a book much harder to answer than if I disliked it. I need a few days to digest a story before I can tell, and regarding this one it's still too early. So, all that I can say right now is that at least I didn't dislike it! ;-)
Last edited by metoo on Sun Sep 20, 2015 7:17 pm, edited 8 times in total.
But from the beginning Eli was just Eli. Nothing. Anything. And he is still a mystery to me. John Ajvide Lindqvist

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Nightrider
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Re: A short review.

Post by Nightrider » Sun Sep 20, 2015 7:33 am

Thank you.
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EEA
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Re: A short review.

Post by EEA » Sun Sep 20, 2015 4:34 pm

Cool. Thanks for the review. :)

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johnajvide
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Re: A short review.

Post by johnajvide » Mon Sep 21, 2015 11:39 am

Well, I´m glad you didn´t dislike it, at least, and I hope it digests well.
You are actually the first person to write a review of the book anywhere, so I must compliment you on your speed. (the official review date is in the middle of october)
Yes, I lived in that hideous house and yes, some parts are biographical.
Just finished a long short story, "The Keeper´s Companion" which deals quite a lot with the Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game. One of those stories that just popped into my head more or less finished and just demanded to be written.
"Himmelstrand" (I am behind you) will be published by Quercus in England in the spring/summer of 2016, I´ve just been informed.
This autumn I´m going to write a few scripts for an (as usual) secret project, and then start working on the third part of the "Places"- trilogy: "I am the Tiger". The first sentence of that book is: "Hösten 2016 gick en självmordsvåg genom Stockholms undre värld". Then I just have to write another 10-15.000 sentences as intriguing as that one and I´m done.
By that time I might even have finished "Witcher 3". But probably not. It´s ... immense.

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Mishrashade48
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Re: A short review.

Post by Mishrashade48 » Mon Sep 21, 2015 2:02 pm

johnajvide wrote:
By that time I might even have finished "Witcher 3". But probably not. It´s ... immense.
Yes it is, as well as the real-time beard growth. :D

Thank you for the review metoo.
All of life's journeys come with meetings, partings, and reunions.

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metoo
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Re: A short review.

Post by metoo » Mon Sep 21, 2015 5:08 pm

johnajvide wrote:You are actually the first person to write a review of the book anywhere, so I must compliment you on your speed.
This was unexpected - the first reviewer! And you noticing it was even more unexpected, and certainly a welcome bonus...

I've translated that first sentence for the linguistically challenged, since Google Translate did such a poor job at it:
The fall of 2016 a wave of suicide passed through the underworld of Stockholm.
But from the beginning Eli was just Eli. Nothing. Anything. And he is still a mystery to me. John Ajvide Lindqvist

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Re: A short review.

Post by Jameron » Mon Sep 21, 2015 6:26 pm

johnajvide wrote:"Himmelstrand" (I am behind you) will be published by Quercus in England in the spring/summer of 2016, I´ve just been informed.
This is excellent news for the (as metoo puts it) linguistically challenged, such as myself. :D

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"For a few seconds Oskar saw through Eli’s eyes. And what he saw was … himself. Only much better, more handsome, stronger than what he thought of himself. Seen with love."

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Re: A short review.

Post by gattoparde59 » Mon Sep 21, 2015 7:21 pm

johnajvide wrote:Just finished a long short story, "The Keeper´s Companion" which deals quite a lot with the Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game.
!!! My son plays those pretty religiously.
metoo wrote:I've translated that first sentence for the linguistically challenged, since Google Translate did such a poor job at it:
The fall of 2016 a wave of suicide passed through the underworld of Stockholm.
Thank you. Speaking for the linguistically challenged, yes, some of us are special that way. :D

I'll break open the story and tell you what is there. Then, like the others that have fallen out onto the sand, I will finish with it, and the wind will take it away.

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a_contemplative_life
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Re: A short review.

Post by a_contemplative_life » Sun Sep 27, 2015 12:47 am

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metoo
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Re: A short review.

Post by metoo » Sun Sep 27, 2015 5:56 am

a_contemplative_life wrote:Is this the same book?
Yes.

This weekend the Gothenburg Book Fair takes place. JAL appears several times in the programme, and I presume that article is based on what the journalist heard him say in one of those.

I deliberately made my "review" very short and superficial, mostly because a longer one would have to include references to the first book in the trilogy, which most members on this forum has no access to yet. But there is more to say, of course.

A note: Google translates "gårdshus" into "farm house". It should be courtyard house, a building that is in the back of a city lot, and which you enter via the courtyard behind the main or street house.
But from the beginning Eli was just Eli. Nothing. Anything. And he is still a mystery to me. John Ajvide Lindqvist

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