Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Listing Mysteries

1. How is the world does Persephone get to look so pleased with herself? Also, should I be worried about it?

2. How does Loki manage to look so intense? Seriously! I'm scared!

3. Just WHAT do I think about the book I just finished, Peter Høeg's Smilla's Sense of Snow? The writing was beautiful. I wanted to stop and take a quote down so many times I lost count. I reread several paragraphs because of their true-to-life details and pithy observations. The protagonist is the titular Smilla, half-Danish and half-Greenlander, and an expert on ice. She befriended a boy in her apartment building, and when he was found dead after falling off the roof, she can't make sense of the tragedy. Her past figures largely into her ensuing investigation, but so also do Greenland/Danish political relations and their disparate cultures. It's intriguing to watch the tensions play out. I thoroughly enjoyed Smilla as the narrator - her personality was so well developed. A strong scientist, a bit of a loner, and perseverant to a fault, I really liked her. Ah, but what about the plot?

It was odd to try to remember it from the movie which I had seen AGES ago with my mom. We'd gotten it because it sounded interesting (science! mystery! snow!) and because we have massive girl-crushes on Julia Ormond. I didn't remember much, but the book was MUCH better than whatever I could remember. I read a couple of reviews which mentioned that the first half was murky and beautiful and the last half was too "Mindless Blockbuster Thriller" to work. The book has a similar division, but it's more seamless and it's more natural to the story - he sets up the character and her surroundings and lets slip a few clues, THEN she digs in deep and has to keep finding more and more to solve the mystery. Sometimes I think mysteries skimp on the backstory and feel irritatingly immersive. I want to get a sense of how long this person's life went on without event before the Nancy Drew bug bit them. It's more believable that way. Then again, the more normal you make them, the harder it is to suspend disbelief when they become crime-fighting machines, so I guess that's why most authors avoid that. Bravo, then, to Mr. Høeg for being brave and making Smilla work, whether she's staring out at the snow outside her windows or kicking butt aboard a ship bound for Artic.

Okay, okay, I guess I really liked it!

3. How EXACTLY are we supposed to finish any home projects if we can't make up our inds? One of us is going to have to make a decision on just how much of our hard-earned cash we're going to spend AND how much of that cash we're spending on each of sundry projects. It's exhausting to think of it. So I guess it's Hubster's turn. Heh.

4. Just how is that I can't crank out posts during the daylight hours anymore?

1 comment:

Plankiest said...

Your girls! They are gorgeous!

Loki is stunning!