Over Wintering

Jørn Lier Horst, Closed for Winter (2011, Vinterstengt, translated by Anne Bruce, 2013)

ClosedNorwegians seem to have summer homes. Or perhaps it’s just the middle class ones. They seem to be in the middle of nowhere and are perhaps a symbol of their relationship with isolation. In this case, we have Ove Bakkerud, seeking out isolation from a break up, who finds that his hytte has been broken into in his absence. And it gets worse: there is a murder victim at a nearby cabin, a cabin owned by TV personality Thomas Rønningen. Continue reading →

The Old Tracks

OS36The last thing I wanted to see, when I pulled the map out of my shoulder bag, was OS Outdoor Leisure 36 for South Pembrokeshire.

It isn’t up to date by twenty years.

And more to the point, I am in Kent.

Well, I guess there are worse things to see. I just can’t think of them right now.
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My Left Foot

Jørn Lier Horst, Dregs (2010, Bunnfall, translated by Anne Bruce, 2011)

DregsThere’s a kind of detective work in coming to this, the fifth in the Wisting novels, after the television adaptation of books nine and eight of the sequence.

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The Play’s the Thing

Richard Bean, One Man, Two Guvnors (based on Carlo Goldoni, The Servant of Two Masters, directed by Nicholas Hytner, National Theatre Live)
Robert Louis Stevenson, adapted by Bryony Lavery, Treasure Island (directed by Polly Findlay, National Theatre Live)
Mary Shelley, adapted by Nick Dear, Frankenstein (directed by Danny Boyle, National Theatre Live)
William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night (directed by Simon Godwin, National Theatre Live)
William Shakespeare and John Fletcher, The Two Noble Kinsmen (directed by Barry Rutter, Globe)
William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra (directed by Simon Godwin, National Theatre Live)
William Shakespeare, Macbeth (directed by Cressida Brown, Globe)
Inua Ellams, Barber Shop Chronicles (directed by Bijan Sheibani, National Theatre Live)

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Iced Blondes

Wisting (Directed by Trygve Allister Diesen and Katarina Launing, 2019)

I stumbled across Wisting a couple of months ago in the nether regions of iPlayer and downloaded the first episode a couple of months ago. I confess I’ve never seen The Bridge (soon to be a Radio 4 programme), nor Wallander, nor the original version of The Killing (but most of the American version). I did see Modus (possibly in reverse order) and Svartsjön (ultimately silly, but verging on the Todorovian fantastic, if I recall correctly), so my scandinoir experiences are thin (I think I gave up after the second film in The Girl with the Increasingly Passive Character trilogy). Continue reading →

The Young One

Young Rembrandt (Ashmolean Museum, Oxford)

Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn has all the makings of a tragic hero — with perhaps his fatal flaw of pride. He seems to have a meteoric rise — but as with the tulip bulb market, the bottom fell out and he, overstretched, crashed. He gets up to a couple of nasties — but that is a tale for another day.

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