Reviews by geneslibrary
Longing for the end
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Someone compared the author or his style to Stieg Larsson. Thus, I was expecting much from this novel. Sadly, after reading the whole book, I believe the ghost of Larsson would be livid at the comparison. Similarities between the two include the use of political history in creating a setting for the novel and commentary on Swedish society and police culture in particular, most notable the decline in the quality of both. Larsson creates entertaining, engaging stories that have interesting characters and good pacing. Persson buries the reader in detail and evil and incompetence far outweigh good and praiseworthy for most of the novel. With Larsson, two people made a positive difference in Swedish society. With Persson, the acts of good people almost didn't count. So, I found Persson's Between Summer's Longing and Winter's End tedious and depressing. I'm not sure why I stayed with it to the end except I have that failing after once starting a book. I've got to learn to go with early hints of disappointment and be willing to just say no.
A thinking cat? I have cats.
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This story opened like a college english writing assignment. The 'thinking cat' thing was just too 'cutesy'. Cats live with me so I know something about them. Douglas must live with an imaginary cat onto which she can project all kinds of unlikely capabilities. I think it'd be great if they could do dishes or keep the carpet clean. Reality has taught me otherwise and I couldn't suspend my disbelief for the sake of 'Louie' and his author. I gave up after 50 pages or so.
The Unengaging Prologue of Billy Chaka's story
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It was taking too long to get to anything of substance in this story so I dropped it. Too much squirming of old Japanese men and information about not particularly interesting Japanese cultural back waters. Someone interested in puppeteering might be engaged with this story but my puppet experience goes back to Howdy Doody (actually a marionette, but who really cares?) and I now look back on Howdy's performance as pretty marginal (of course, it was designed for pre-teens and, hopefully, I've matured since the days when I watched.)
The softly padded square
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The Square of Revenge by Pieter Aspe is a cozy (see Wikipedia for a good explanation of the genre, if you need it). Painted as one of the best mystery offerings of Belgium it dissapointed. I guess I've gotten used to the harder edged works of Larsson, Mankell, Nesbo, Nesser, etc. Their works seem closer to reality than the much softened stories of the coziests. Or, maybe, some people live in a much softened world. Any idea of where that is?
Operation wandering metaphor
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I didn't read Power's Gold Bug Variations so I don't know if he writes like this all the time but Wandering Soul was tiring to read. I began by reading sentences, one after the other (like we're taught). Ouch. Then, I resorted to reading only the simple looking sentences because the paragraph long ones were hurting my mind. I thought Powers was writing for a creative writing class and trying to be really creative (when he didn't have to be or when it didn't seem appropriate). I've taken a writing class or two but, if he did, he must have had a teacher who encouraged him to go to extremes and he forgot to turn it off (except for the simpler sentences that I fed on while trying to get through his Operation).

So, sorry Richard. No points for needlessly complex sentences of sleepy length. The story might have been interesting but you couldn't hold my attention long enough (or completely enough, given that I was resorting to selective reading) that I could understand where the story was going. I think I gave up after a hundred pages. Fellow reviewers, please don't write that if I'd only hung on to page 300 I'd have seen a masterfully developed plot. The hook should have been set long before then.