Dec 24, 2011

A Small Death in Lisbon, finished?

So I have finished the book earlier than our schedule. I know some of you already have as well because I have seen you these days and you have confessed. I know as well that many of you are reading, but don't write anything in the blog, I hope in 2012 you will become more social with the rest of us and write some of your comments... don't be shy, you're English is just fine, we won't be looking for your mistakes, but for your opinions!
Now after my introductory paragraph, and hoping that I have not lost your attention yet, I get to my comments of the book. First of all, SPOILER ALERT!!!! (that is, if you haven't finished the book yet, don't continue reading).
I know the book is a page turner, but, there has to be more than that in a book. Mistery? Yes, I love mistery! Patricia Highsmith's "The Talented Mr.Ripley" is a great mistery and a great novel as well. What I'm missing in our dear "Small Death in Lisbon" is the part of great novel. When you have a mistery, and you add the components: police, sex, nazis, politics, drugs, exotic country, prostitutes and revenge; you get to something like this novel. But from my point of view, it has the same value as a CSI chapter, once you've seen 2 or 3, it's always the same, entertaining but the same. And at the beginning I was really expecting something more, it had a good setting, but from my point of view, there were too many forced connections like the Zé's tie is the same that the tie one of the bad guys is wearing because it's her daughter Olivia the one that creates them and she is the best friend of... the superbad guy is the guy that owns the bar that Zé loves to go to get his coffee just close to his apartment, the girlfriend has the means to publish the story, ain't that a little too much? For me it is.
And from the writing style, I have to say that although I enjoyed very much in the Oscar Wao novel the use of dominican expressions mixed the English because it felt very natural, in this novel, the use of some portuguese expressions felt "inserted" and you could clearly tell at times that the author was not portuguese when he was writing in first person as if he were Zé. And I remember another clear example, when he was describing Susana Lopes when she meets with Felsen, he says something like "she had what an american would have described as class", who cares about what an american had to do with describing her at that moment?
Conclusion, I have read it, it's entertaining, but there are many greater books to fill my time. I know it's not easy to write a novel, etc, etc... but it's not a book that I will recommend to my friends.

Dec 3, 2011

A Small Death in Lisbon: From Chapter XI to Chapter XXII

We are almost in the middle of the book, and so far no evident clue of the relationship of both stories, Felsen's and Ze's. However, there are some hints, a building in Lisbon that appears in the 1940s and in the contemporary investigation, the fact that the killed girl had blue eyes, but none of the parents did (if they are her parents at all!!!), and what else? what do you think points to the connection?