Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Last Rituals by Yrsa Sigurdardottir

It's been a long time since a book gave me nightmares, but this one did. And when I woke up, I was angry. Why did the author have to make this book so gruesome?

I think Yrsa (to be correct in Icelandic) is a talented writer, and she's created a likeable protagonist, Thora, and a great setting at the University of Iceland with quirky professors and likeable janitors and an interesting subplot about some missing historial documents, and then she's plunked this totally revolting murder into the middle of it. I kept trying to read around the murder but that didn't work, as you would imagine. Finally I gave up. I'm really disappointed to not be able to finish this book, because I like Thora, and I like Iceland and all the other stuff, but what happens to this murdered guy (who seems like he deserves it) just makes me lose my lunch (or certainly my sleep) and I couldn't hack it any more.


Anonymous said...

Since you so vehemently disliked this novel, I took it upon myself to go into Google to see what others had to say about it.

My initial search turned up only one review (yours). But this was because the author's last name should be spelled "SigurdArdottir". So when I punched in the correct spelling, I was able to read more reviews.

The handful of reviews I perused were all favourable, although the words "gory" and "gruesome" were frequent.

That your reaction to this novel was so diametrically different from those of the reviewers I read, shows graphically how we experience things - in this case, literature - so differently. One man's meat is, so to speak, another man's poison.

Anyway, since gratuitous gore isn't my cup of tea (so to speak!!) I'll give "Last Rituals" a miss, based on your assessment.

Jeane said...

Wow. I've had horror films give me nightmares, but never a book. If it gets even slightly frightful, I just close the pages. Like you ended up doing. No book is worth loosing peaceful sleep!

Becky Holmes said...

Caroline, thanks for pointing out my typographical error (now fixed). I didn't vehemently dislike this novel. There were many things I liked about it, and I listed them.

Anonymous said...

I see that you like Iceland (and have been there)...so you may well like "The Killer’s Guide to Iceland" by Zane Radcliffe (if you haven't already read it). Apart from being a Contains lots of Icelandic idiosyncrasies - as well as being part travel guide, part mystery/thriller.

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