Appreciation Post #01 Veronica Mars

As a new series of writing I will be writing what I have baptised Appreciation Posts. These will be what some people might call nerdy, geeky or just simply obsessed. Others might call it as I do; appreciation. What they have in common is their love for an item within the world of popular culture. This is also the reason why I have chosen to write this series in English – because most of it will be from International (English speaking mostly) spheres and it will be easier accepted across borders, and more people can appreciate the appreciation.

As some of you may have noticed I am very fond of the phenomenon Veronica Mars. I call it phenomenon because it started simply as a TV series, then it became a Kickstarter film project and last on the line it has become a book series (albeit small one, with just one book so far, but at least two in total have been planned).

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I can honestly not remember how I discovered VM, for several years now it has just been a part of my DVD collection of the most memorable series I have watched, and I have watched quite a few. For some reason this one just stuck with me and perhaps even more so because of its cancelation back in 2007, which just left us fans with a rather speculative open ending. This was partly Rob Thomas’ hope that there would be a series 4 along the way, as we got to see his little project when the 3rd season was released on DVD, but unfortunately it never happened. Then come 2013 and I hear this rumour about something called Kickstarter, and just a year or so later, here I am at home with the VM movie! I am proud to say that I was a Backer on the Kickstarter project, although a small one I’m still very proud to have participated in the project and even more thrilled to have made it happen so every fan across the globe can now take home their own copy of VM to become even bigger fans.

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What is there to like about VM you might ask? Well, to that I can only say what is there not to like? To make it stand out, I’ve bulletined it for you, so you can tick it off on your own list of what you might look for in a series;

  • Thriller/Mystery – As any self-proclaimed mystery show it has the thrill of solving a case in every episode, pretty much just like any other crime series like CSI and all the spin-offs to that one.
  • Suspense – Just like all the other crime series, each season has the epitome mystery to solve, with little clues dropped along the season to help Veronica and us to figure out what actually happened in what constitutes as her biggest case yet, for each season.
  • Drama – Well, we are talking about high school students so of course there’s going to be some drama. Whether it’s all about who’s the biggest shall we say free-spirited girl at school or who stole money for the senior trip, you can’t get around the fact that there’s some kind of drama.
  • Love – Which of course leads to the love factor of any teen show. Veronica is a girl, so naturally there’s bound to be some love interest along the way (not to forget her particularly awesome relationship to her father; every father should be as Keith Mars!). Personally, I always rooted for Logan. He was just so wrong that he was perfect. Duncan was too perfect; he and Veronica had it too good to be true, which turned out to be true, whereas Logan provided the adrenalin she craves most of the times. Plus he makes her look better back when he was still a bit of a bad boy, but then he got his act together and joined the proud forces. I mean who can say no to something like this?vlcsnap-2014-05-07-17h09m20s68
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  • Humour – It’s got sass and a witty comeback or punch line for almost every stupid remark, or even good remark. The best part perhaps in my opinion, which says it all about the humour, is part of the opening scene from the movie, when Veronica puts on her ‘lipstick’.vlcsnap-2014-05-07-17h08m37s130
  • Friendship – The friendship between Veronica and Wallace, and later Mac too is just the best kind of friendship you can get, and should be what we all strive to get.

Let’s return to the movie for just a bit, I know many of you have seen it and think it’s pretty awesome, just like I do. I think part of this reason is because of many of cameos in it. I mean to name just a few there’s Dash Shepard (who, as you will all know is Kristen Bell’s fiancé and baby’s father) as an obnoxious guy at a bar hitting on Veronica.

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Then of course there’s James Franco as well. Enough said I believe.

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What I think was great about the movie was some of the many loose ends that were tied. So much was missing in those 10 years between the end of S3 and the movie that the fans had a lot of questions and I, at least, felt like I got answers for most of them. However, it also left me with a feeling of wanting more. Though it answered some questions it also opened for some new ones. For example, will Veronica stay in Neptune for good now? Thankfully, we could then turn to the first in a book series (which you can read my review of here), which I’m waiting on the second book to come out later this year.

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Another great thing about VM is the music. I have the soundtrack for both the series and the movie and both are really good. Before purchasing them I had heard of none of the artists before, but because of VM I started to listen to some of these artists just because of that one song on the album. Thanks to Rob Thomas and VM I found out about The Perishers, The Format, Ivy and Mr Twin Sister just to name a few.

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To conclude this long first appreciation post I guess I would just like to thank Rob Thomas for creating this sassy marshmallow and for bringing a little P.I. into all our lives. I can only hope for more of it in the future.

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The Library Book (Various authors, 2012)

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From Alan Bennett’s ‘Baffled at a Bookcase’, to Lucy Mangan’s ‘Ten Library Rules’, here famous writers tell us all about how libraries are used and why they’re important.

(Tekst fra goodreads)

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Da jeg faldt over denne bog var det ikke så meget for indholdets skyld, det var lidt mere på grund af udseendets og ideens skyld. Det at flere forskellige forfattere har skrevet hvad de mener om biblioteket som institution fandt jeg ganske spændende. Hele aspektet med hvor nyttig eller unyttig et bibliotek er syntes jeg er en spændende debat. Jeg kan se det fra begge vinkler, at de på flere punkter måske nok er dyre at vedligeholde, men jeg kan heller ikke se bort fra den store anvendelig de har.

Det er primært også den slags debatter de forskellige forfattere sætter i gang med sig selv. Der kommer flere forskellige synspunkter og personlige historier der fortæller om de mange gode ting ved biblioteker. Fra historier om hvordan bibliotikarere har mødt hinanden og næsten har opnået den ’lykkelige til deres dages ende’, og hvordan deres lyst til at læse blev vakt til live ved deres første barndommelig besøg til et bibliotek. En del forfattere krediterer deres mange besøg til biblioteker i barndommen som grunden til at de endte som forfattere. Det giver jo også rigtig god mening, eftersom man bliver fortrolig med litteraturen på en helt anden måde end hvis man bare sidder derhjemme med en enkelt bog fra tid til anden.

Da jeg fik bogen hjem med posten fandt jeg den bare meget mere indbydende fordi den er så itty bitty. Den er ikke meget større end en håndfuld og ligger nemt i hænderne til en lille aftenlæsning i sengen inden man lægger sig til at sove. Ellers lå den primært på sofabordet til en reklame pause der var lidt for lang, så kunne man lige fordybe sig i hvad Stephen Fry mener om biblioteket (jeg skal være ærlig og sige at han var en af de primære grunde til at jeg faldt endnu mere for den her bog. Jeg må indrømme at jeg har en mindre svaghed for Stephen Fry, nok mest af alt fordi hans stemme er så vidunderlig når han læse Harry Potter lydbøgerne).

Alt i alt er det dejligt at se hvordan man ikke er den eneste der sætter pris på et godt bibliotek. Desværre må jeg nok indrømme at jeg ikke udnytter biblioteket nær nok, det er noget jeg skal have gjort noget ved i fremtiden. Mit problem er bare at størstedelen af de bøger jeg vil læse har biblioteket enten ikke eller også er der ufattelig lang venteliste, så man lige så godt kan købe dem selv.

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Hvor meget bruger I biblioteket?

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Captain America, Winter Soldier

Sidste weekend var Kæresten og jeg inde og se den sidste nye Captain America film; Den der har undertitlen Winter Soldier. Det var faktisk ikke planlagt som sådan, jo vi havde snakket om at vi skulle tage os sammen til at tage ind og se den, men planlægningen havde det bare ikke i kortene. Sidste fredag havde jeg så en temmelig dårlig eftermiddag, og da maden jeg havde planlagt og taget op af fryseren og alt muligt ikke var tøet op, skød jeg pokker i vold og inviterede Kæresten på cafe-middag. Det udviklede sig videre til om vi da ikke også skulle tage i biografen, hvilket vi så gjorde.

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Captain America, Winter Soldier foregår umiddelbart efter handlingen i The Avengers filmen, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) forsøger at leve et forholdsvis normalt liv (hvilket indebærer en lille notesbog han skriver alt ned i folk anbefaler han skal slå op, hvilket strækker sig til alt fra The Beatles til Berlinmurens fald), samtidig med at han arbejder for S.H.I.E.L.D og direktør Fury. Han er siden hen blevet parret med Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson), bedre kendt som the Black Widow, og de to påtager sig diverse opgaver udstedt fra Fury.

Kemien mellem Rogers og Romanoff er alt andet end romantisk, de er nærmere som søskende (lige med undtagelse af et enkelt kys, men til deres forsvar var det for at skjule sig for skurkene), der skændes og diskuterer og hvem der til sidst får ret, mens der lige bliver smidt et par dating tips til Rogers fra Romanoff. Skuespils-kemien mellem Evans og Johansson er dejlig at se, de spiller kanon overfor hinanden uden at det bliver for meget. Lige under overfladen er der den lille bitte romantiske forbindelse der kunne opstå mellem dem, men så alligevel ikke fordi de mundhakkes og arbejder på tværs af hinanden til tider.

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Historien tager fart næsten lige fra første scene i filmen, hvorimod den første film gik en del af tiden med hvordan Rogers endte som Captain America. Det er altid en fordel ved den her slags 2ere, man kan gå direkte til konflikten og jagten på skurken. Som filme skrider frem bliver det hurtigt gjort klart at alt ikke er som det skal være i S.H.I.E.L.Ds hovedkvarter, og uden forhåbentligt at ødelægge for meget for folk der endnu ikke har set filmen, kan det nemt siges at Rogers’ handlinger skaber en hel del forandringer hos bureauet. Samtidig dukker der skeletter op fra Rogers’ egen fortid som spiller ind og næsten forhindrer ham i at redde dagen.

Den her slags film er altid ’nemme’ at se fordi verdenen er bygget op så solidt at man ikke sidder og rynker på næsen af noget, fordi tingene er bare som de skal være. Og selv om en bil er lidt for auto-styret tænker man ikke mere over det, for sådan fungerer det bare hvis man arbejder for S.H.I.E.L.D i Marvels verden. Derudover er næsten alle Marvels superhelte film forbundet på den ene eller den anden måde, så selvom man ikke nødvendigvis har set dem alle sammen kommer man hurtigt tilbage til Marvels verden. Og som altid slutter Marvels film af med en lille appetitvækker til en af deres fremtidige superheltefilm. Denne gang vil jeg personligt gætte på at den lille slutscene linker filmen her videre til den næste Avengers film som kommer næste år til maj.

Forrige anmeldelse: 12 Years a Slave

Næste anmeldelse: X-Men, Days of Future Past

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Chapter Two – Burn Marks

Det er den første fredag i måneden og som jeg har lovet begynder jeg fremover at udgive et kapitel fra min roman, som jeg stadig arbejder på. Sidste måned fik i første kapitel, i dag er det så tid til andet kapitel hvor I sammen Jennifer Paris opdager lidt flere ting om hendes familie.

(It is the first Friday of the month and as I promised I will henceforth post a chapter from my novel, which is still a work in progress. Last month you got the first chapter, today it’s tome for the second chapter where you will, along with Jennifer Paris, discovver more things about her family.)

 

Chapter Two – Burn Marks

Jennifer looked flabbergasted at her sister, who on the other hand had an apologetically look.

>>Jennifer, please say something?<< Sam gently nudged Jennifer making the locket slide to the bed. Jennifer blinked a few times but kept staring at Sam in confusion.

>>Alive?<< Was all she managed to get out and Sam merely nodded as a reply. For a long time the silence reigned between the two and neither knew how to break it. No matter what either of them wanted to say, it wouldn’t change a thing.

>>But mum… Then maybe she’s still…?<< Jennifer suddenly had a spur of hope in her chest but the sight of Sam and the sad look in her eyes quickly deflated it again. Sam had guessed Jennifer would come to this assumption, which only made the situation much more difficult.

>>No Jen, mum is dead. You attended her funeral yourself. We cannot change that. Neither can we change this. Dad is alive.<< Jennifer shook her head, contradictingly as the confusion whirled around inside her head.

>>No. It can’t be. And anyway, what has this got to do with my nightmares?<< Jennifer got up from the bed in sheer frustration and started pacing the room.

>>Jen, it is true! And if you would sit down again I will tell you how everything is connected to your nightmares.<< Sam gently placed a hand on the bed for Jennifer to sit down again. Jennifer determinedly kept pacing the room all the while shaking her head and mumbling, mostly to herself.

>>Jen, please sit down?<< Sam begged apologetically. Jennifer gave her a harsh look.

>>You knew? And still you never told me? You and Anna? You both knew?<< Sam looked regretful as she nodded and Jennifer took a deep breath.

>>I think…. I think I need to be alone for a while.<< She didn’t wait for any response from Sam as she headed for the door. She hurried to her room and barricaded the door. She didn’t want to see any of her sisters at the moment. She just wanted to be alone with the many thoughts awakened in her head. After a while she could hear Sam moving around outside the door. But she never knocked or asked how Jennifer was doing. She simply stopped outside the door for a brief second and then Jennifer could hear her move downstairs to the kitchen to be with Jack and little Susan. Although Jennifer had wanted to be alone it became too much for her with all the thoughts and speculations flying through her head. There was too much new information to grasp.

Her father was not dead as she had believed him to be for her entire life. At the exact moment Sam had told her this, a tiny glimmer of hope had erupted within Jennifer. Perhaps her mother was still alive too? Despite the craziness of it, she couldn’t help but hope. Despite the fact that Sam had pointed out to Jennifer that they had both attended the funeral, Jennifer still couldn’t help but to believe there was a slight chance their mother was still alive. If her father was alive after she had believed him dead for all those years, shouldn’t there be a chance her mother was still alive when it had only been a few months? Finally it became too much for Jennifer. She dressed and slowly moved downstairs. The urge for breakfast had started to make its appearance in her stomach but the minute she saw Sam, that hunger disappeared.

>>I’m going for a walk.<< She announced and turned, heading out the front door as fast as she could. She could hear Sam tell Jack about their earlier conversation behind the closed door, but she didn’t stay behind to hear what she was telling him. All she heard before she trotted on was the non-existent surprise from Jack about the whole non-dead father issue. This both surprised and angered Jennifer because it meant he must’ve known about it before her too. Jennifer could feel the tears pressing behind her eyes though they weren’t tears of sadness, at that moment they were tears of anger and betrayal. She had been living a lie all these years with a family who knew the truth but had decided not to let her in on it. Though she was fiercely angry at them, she was also determined not to cry because of them. She wiped her face swiftly on her sleeve and walked away.

She had no direct plan as to where to go. She just knew she wanted to get as far away from her house and her family as possible. So she walked around with no purpose not really paying attention to where her feet took her. It was a while later she heard her name called by a shrill voice that made her stop and turn around.

>>Well well, if it isn’t Miss Paris. And she’s all alone.<< The voice shifted to a mocking baby-voice and Jennifer was confirmed in her assumption as she turned around and was face to face with Billy Christensen from school. As per usual he wasn’t alone but flanked by his two buffoon friends Martin Goldwen and Tom Fletcher, who followed Billy and did practically everything he told them. Billy Christensen was the self proclaimed ‘cool’ kid of the class. Ever since the age when you were labelled a nerd if you did the least amount of homework Billy had strived his hardest to do the exact opposite and instead stir up trouble at every opportunity. Anyone not exactly like him was an opportune victim of his pranks, when he wasn’t busy bullying the younger children in school.

>>Out walking all on her own?<< Billy struck up a hilarious laugh, and sure enough not a second after, Martin and Tom did the same. Jennifer didn’t respond in any way, but had frozen on the spot. Billy was smirking and he had that gleam in his eyes he always had when he had found a perfect victim. Mostly it was the younger kids in school but for some reason he had always had something extra to spare for Jennifer, and it had only increased as they got older. Jennifer never knew why, nor did she really care, she just did her best to avoid him whenever she had the chance. Of course that wasn’t possible all the time and it seemed Billy was keen on finding Jennifer in every crowd, whenever he had the chance. Billy wasn’t just pushy and annoying; hormones had also started to race through him as they grew into their teenage years, which made him even more unbearable. Because according to Billy, none was more handsome or charming than him and all the girls were supposed to fancy him. Billy was the tall gangly type who nearly always wore the same clothes, which became easier to distinguish as the smell also increased with the daily uses. His long hair was always sticking to his face and thereby, thankfully, covered more than half of it. This was a blessing due to the high level of acne he always seemed to be infested with; Jennifer always feared one would burst if you came too close.

Today was no different than the rest, and Billy seemed even more determined due to the deserted street.

>>Where’s your little friend? Huh, Miss Paris?<< Billy moved closer and Jennifer couldn’t do much else than cringe away. The stench of sweat crept its way up Jennifer’s nose and she kept her mouth firmly shut. She knew if she answered him it would only spur him on and he would never stop. If she responded in any way he would know he’d upset her and it would’ve made his day. Besides this it would give Martin and Tom a reason to crack their knuckles and look threateningly at Jennifer if she came too close. Not that that was ever going to happen if she could have any say in it. When Billy was involved she just wanted to get as far away as possible.

In the background Martin and Tom were grinning buoyantly. Both of them had been chosen by Billy to be his friends though not due to their loyalty. Billy had chosen them for the simple reason of their size, guaranteeing Billy a way out of trouble if he ever went too far, which happened on quite a few occasions. Martin and Tom never objected to any of the things Billy did or wanted, they were both as dumb as the day was long. Even when Billy’s pranks ended in Martin and Tom getting blamed, they stuck up for Billy and did as he told them.

Billy was circling Jennifer, his new prey of the day. As he walked in circles around her, he decreased the circle and came closer and closer to her, forcing Jennifer to hold her breath in short intakes to be able to stand it.

>>Don’t you have some poor kid to beat up today?<< Jennifer asked between breaths and turned to walk away. Martin and Tom, who had burst out laughing at Jennifer’s comment stopped abruptly with one look from Billy.

>>Maybe.<< Billy jumped in front of Jennifer cutting her off. >>But we’re having so much fun here, aren’t we?<< He reached a hand out and slowly stroked it along Jennifer’s arm. Jennifer had to close her eyes out of pure disgust to keep from vomiting. She wanted to pull away but Billy’s hand closed around her wrist and soon his other hand closed around her other wrist.

>>Let go!<< Jennifer had opened her eyes again and was looking Billy straight in the eyes with the most venom she could muster.

>>Why though? Isn’t this much more fun than anything else?<< His grin turned deviously and he moved his long, skinny body closer and closer, making Jennifer grow ever more angry. She felt one of his greasy fingers run along her jaw line and she could feel the bile at the back of her throat. >>You two go make yourself useful somewhere else.<< Billy barked at Martin and Tom. Panic rose in Jennifer. This had never happened before. Billy always kept Martin and Tom around, no matter what. What could Billy have in mind that he didn’t want Martin and Tom stick around to see?

>>Let go!<< Jennifer repeated the best she could through clenched teeth only making Billy’s grin even wider. Jennifer could see Martin and Tom turn their backs on them with the same confusion as Jennifer felt.

>>Nah, I don’t think I will. This is much nicer. I bet you haven’t experienced anything like this ever before.<< Billy’s voice had turned to a whisper and his body was pressing against Jennifer’s. She wanted to run for it, but she could still feel his hand around her wrist and she knew he would only pull her back if she made a move. His other hand moved from her jaw line and was moving down her collar bone tracing the line of her shirt. Jennifer tried to pull her hand free, with no luck and this only seemed to entice Billy even further because next moment she felt his dry lips against her neck. Jennifer cringed at the touch and kept pulling away from Billy but he followed her body like a magnet pressing against every curve of her. Suddenly she couldn’t move any further, and she was backed up against a wall.

>>Stop it Billy!<< She both pleaded and commanded but her asking him to stop only made him grow bolder. Slowly, he forced one of her hands down towards his groin. His lips were still tracing Jennifer’s neck, though they had started to find their way down her neck towards her collar bone.

>>I like it when they tremble.<< She could hear him murmur and Jennifer realised only then that she was trembling. She willed herself to stop it and she struggled to think of a way out of it. Her hand was forced on his chest now, under his shirt moving up and down by the force of his own hand. After a minute or so doing this he forced her hand downwards to undo his pants. By now his tongue was tracing her neckline, trying desperately to move past her shirt. As he forced her hand to undo his pants he pressed his pelvis against hers and she could feel him against her, making her want to wretch. His other hand moved up her arm and surprisingly gentle took hold of her chin to move her face around. She saw his ugly face with his dry lips come closer and closer to her own, and then….

>>What the..?! What do you think you’re doing?<< Jennifer hadn’t seen what had happened; she had no idea how it happened. But next second Billy was backing away clutching his groin and crying out in pain. He was looking appalled at Jennifer. She saw Martin and Tom come running up the street at the sound of Billy’s cry of pain. Billy was looking at his hands; they were red and covered in blisters. The way he moved, or more specifically barely moved, suggested other parts of his body looked the same. Martin and Tom looked awestruck at what had happened to Billy. Jennifer saw this as her opportunity of escape and sat off in a run. She could still hear their voices behind her, but they didn’t come after her or try to stop her either.

>>What happened?<< Martin sounded confused.

>>Why did you let her go?<< Tom sounded just as confused and even surprised, which had Jennifer think this had happened before though not in the same way.

>>I kind of had to let her go you idiot. Look at my hands?! D’you think I want to look like this everywhere else? Damn it, it feels like I’m burning. Get me some ice idiots!<< Billy was shouting and he was mad as hell. >>You’ll pay for this you crazy…<< Jennifer was gone before he could finish his sentence. She didn’t stop running before she was sure she had escaped them and they hadn’t followed her. When she was sure she was alone she stopped to catch her breath. Once she was breathing normally again she found a bush, and wretched. She emptied her already empty stomach and still felt sick about what had just happened. She shook her entire body but knew the grossness of it wasn’t going to go away until she had showered at least ten times. When she had calmed herself she got up and noticed where she had ended; the town’s graveyard. Still breathing fairly hard she sat down on the nearest boulder and looked down at her hands.

What had happened? What made Billy back off and why had he cried out like that? Jennifer studied her hands front and back but nothing looked out of the ordinary. Anyway her hands had been nowhere near the places he claimed hurt. Well, almost not near. Jennifer suddenly felt a chill run down her neck despite it being a warm day in mid June. Billy’s hands had been red as if they were burnt, and he had yelled something about burning. This reminded Jennifer of her nightmare. But Jennifer had neither done nor said anything, so how could anything like it happen? It’s not like she had made anything happen on purpose, or…? She had desperately wanted Billy to let go of her, but had she wanted to hurt him like that?

She still couldn’t grasp how it had happened in the first place. Jennifer’s head was still heavy from the amount of information from that morning and the previous incident. She relaxed her shoulders and looked around. Although it was the beginning of a warm day there were still clouds hanging overhead. The sky was a boring and threatening gray and if she looked at the horizon it looked closer to black. She guessed it would rain later that day given the warm air around her. Despite this, Jennifer felt cold but she was sure it had nothing to do with the weather. She took a few calming intakes of breath before she moved down the many tombstones, searching.

It didn’t take her long to find the one she was looking for. It looked almost too new among the moss covered ones around it. Jennifer hadn’t set foot there since the funeral; she hadn’t been able to bear it. She could tell Sam and Anna must have come almost weekly because of the neatness of the grave. Jennifer crumpled to her knees and ran her fingers over the engraving.

Susan Paris
1958 – 2005
 
Beloved mother
Missed mother

This time it wasn’t tears of anger slowly finding their way down her cheeks, but tears of sadness. She could hear someone move around by a tombstone close by, but whoever they were they quietly went away again. Perhaps they didn’t want to disturb Jennifer in her grief, as she sat there crying. She wiped her eyes though she kept crying.

>>What’s happening to me mum?<< She asked the tombstone in despair. >>Why didn’t you ever tell me dad is still alive? Why did I have to hear it from Sam, who’s told it to everyone else but me? It’s my dad too!<< Jennifer’s voice no longer sounded sad but broken, angry and hurt. She pounded her hand in the ground and looked angrily at the tombstone. >>Like I wasn’t grown enough? Or important enough? Because he is only my father. But I guess you were planning on keeping this tiny bit of information from all of us forever, right?<< For several minutes Jennifer sat and raged at the tombstone and her mother. She was perfectly aware that she wouldn’t get a response but just the outburst of emotions and letting go of it seemed to help. She let go of the bound up feelings and thoughts that had piled up over the last months as the tears poured down her face.

Somewhere far away a slight thunder was beginning to be heard but Jennifer didn’t pay attention to it. Neither did she move when the rain started to pour and soaked her to the bone. It only meant rain water mixed with the tears on her already wet face (and Billy’s presence would be washed off her). Eventually, when she was all out of tears and she felt like she had said all she wanted to say, Jennifer thought about going home. Yet at the entrance to the graveyard the sound of home still didn’t sound too good. She looked up and down the street. The rain was really starting to pour and she was already soaked through and through. She didn’t want to go home but she couldn’t figure out where else to go. The rain increased, making it harder for her to see more than a few feet ahead and the cold from the rain had folded around Jennifer like a blanket.

In the end the cold won and Jennifer went home.

 Copyright Michelle H. Lindberg

To be continued in Chapter Three – Family Revelations

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The Language of Dying (Sarah Pinborough, 2009)

A woman sits beside her father’s bedside as the night ticks away the final hours of his life. As she watches over her father, she relives the past week and the events that brought the family together . . . and she recalls all the weeks before that served to pull it apart.

There has never been anything normal about the lives raised in this house. It seems to her that sometimes her family is so colourful that the brightness hurts, and as they all join together in this time of impending loss she examines how they came to be the way they are and how it came to just be her, the drifter, that her father came home to die with.

But, the middle of five children, the woman has her own secrets . . . particularly the draw that pulled her back to the house when her own life looked set to crumble. And sitting through her lonely vigil, she remembers the thing she saw out in the fields all those years ago . . . the thing that they found her screaming for outside in the mud. As she peers through the familiar glass, she can’t help but hope and wonder if it will come again.

Because it’s one of those night, isn’t it dad? A special terrible night. A full night. And that’s always when it comes. If it comes at all.

(Tekst fra Goodreads)

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Jeg ved godt man ikke skal dømme en bog på udseende, men det gjorde jeg altså med den her. Jeg havde læst nogle af Pinboroughs eventyr-genfortællinger og syntes faktisk de var ganske gode, så jeg tænkte at jeg skulle prøve noget andet hun havde skrevet. Da jeg søgte på hvad hun ellers havde lavet faldt den her mig mest i øjnene. Da jeg læste hvad den handlede om blev jeg også lidt mere interesseret, jeg læste det som en slags dyster fantasy og min næse var klar til at stikke ned i bogen.

Da jeg gav mig i kast med den i løbet af weekendens Read-a-Thon havde jeg ikke rigtig nogle konkrete forventninger til bogen. Men jeg fandt da hurtigt ud af at jeg havde fejltolket bogens beskrivelse. Dyster, jo det var den lidt, eftersom den har den kommende død af en aldrende far som drejepunkt for hele historien. Hans kommende død er hvad der bringer den skæve søskendeflok sammen og får hovedpersonen, den mellemste søster til at reflektere over livet, og mest af alt hendes liv. Det giver en historie om en utrolig voldelig ægtemand og et hvad jeg faktisk vil kalde et lettere sørgeligt liv for den mellemste søster. På den anden side lyder det ikke til at gå meget bedre for nogle af de andre søskende. Alle har lidt en eller anden last igennem livet, og er kun lige på vej til at komme oven på igen. Hver af søskende har en livshistorie som får læseren til at fundere lidt mere over tingene og hvilke valg man eventuelt skal eller ikke skal træffe her i livet.

Det var ikke som sådan fordi at jeg ikke syntes om bogen, men den fangede mig bare heller ikke på samme måde som så mange andre bøger har gjort. Jeg læste den mest af alt færdigt fordi der var Read-a-Thon, for det eneste der holdt mig ved lige var uvidenheden om hvor og hvordan faderen ville dø. På trods af at han var pænt syg af alderdom og muligvis også andet, viste det sig at hans død blev lidt af et plot-twist. I gennem bogen så jeg det ikke komme i det store hele, men i siderne op til faderens død blev det mere og mere tydeligt hvad der skulle ske. Spændingen blev klart bygget godt op, men slutningen blev efterladt lidt. Jeg sad i hvert fald med en lidt flad, manglende følelse til sidst.

Man faldt heller ikke rigtig for nogle af personerne, men det tror jeg er fordi de skal være lidt universelle. På den måde kan enhver sætte sig i deres sted og sætte tankerne godt i gang bagefter. Historien er lidt filosofisk på den måde; jeg sad da og tænkte lidt over tingene bagefter.

3 star

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Veronica Mars, the Thousand Dollar Tan Line (Rob Thomas & Jennifer Graham, 2014)

18209454Ten years after graduating from high school in Neptune, California, Veronica Mars is back in the land of sun, sand, crime, and corruption. She’s traded in her law degree for her old private investigating license, struggling to keep Mars Investigations afloat on the scant cash earned by catching cheating spouses until she can score her first big case.

Now it’s spring break, and college students descend on Neptune, transforming the beaches and boardwalks into a frenzied, week-long rave. When a girl disappears from a party, Veronica is called in to investigate. But this is no simple missing person’s case; the house the girl vanished from belongs to a man with serious criminal ties, and soon Veronica is plunged into a dangerous underworld of drugs and organized crime. And when a major break in the investigation has a shocking connection to Veronica’s past, the case hits closer to home than she ever imagined.

(Text from Goodreads)

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I decided to write this review in English. Partly because I wanted it to be available to some of the amazing Read-a-Thon readers but also because there is such an amazing VM fan community across the world. So I wanted to make this easy accessible to everyone across the globe. I know I might be a bit slow to read this, but also a bit fast to read this compared to some.

As you can read it’s 10 years since Veronica left Neptune and 2 months since she came back to rescue high-school sweetheart Logan out of a dilemma. If you have seen the movie you know what happened and I won’t tell you just to be sure not to spoil it to the very last amount of people who have yet to see it. All I will say though, is the fact that we are right back to the centre of what Veronica is all about. Getting to the bottom of things and solving the sometimes very corrupt sides of life. It is a mystery thriller at its best, with some surprising plot twists along the way.

Perhaps the best thing about this book is the fact that we don’t need to spend an awful many amounts of chapters getting to know the characters, we are well aware of how much of a marshmallow Veronica is and how much of an adrenalin junkie she, and how she is not willing to give up until she knows everything – and by everything I mean everything. To make it even better we get to see more of the dynamic duo of Wallace and Mac, and hear a bit more about their lives and how strong the friendship still is between the three of them.

It becomes clear right away that Rob Thomas is behind the majority of this novel, the language and tone of the series is well marked in the book, and the fast-lipped one liners from Veronica are perhaps even better because I can re-read them and re-live her quick wit over and over again. And because we know it’s Kristen Bell it’s even easier to picture her reacting in all these situations.

“Oh, I guess you wouldn’t know, since you left the actual investigating for me to do. Well, buckle up, my friend, because I’m about to hand you actual clues to an actual crime, wrapped in a bow.”

You can almost imagine Kristen/Veronica clapping her hands together in mock celebration as she delivers this line. I think this was another thing I like really much about this book, the fact that it was so easy to pictures things made the story come so much more to life and that is something that can sometimes be lacking in some books. However, when you are dedicated Marshmallow it is much more enjoyable to read this story.

The plot gets solved, of course, it wouldn’t be Veronica if it didn’t, but it also leaves some doors open for us to wonder about what could happen next. I hope that is intentional to create a buzz about a second book while we all keep hoping for more of the series or just another movie. Either way would be really great. If you are yet one of those left clueless as to who Veronica is, check out this quick trailer for the show and then I advise you to the utmost strongest to go watch all three seasons and the movie this instant, you won’t regret it!

6-star

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Read-A-Thon #Status Update

The Read-a-Thon is officially happening. This will be my update post and it will primarily be in English. Normally I blog in Danish, at least on this blog, but quite frankly it’s a bit of a wonderful change to get back to some English blogging. But enough about that, let’s get on with some reading.

14.00 pm: As the first book I have chosen to finish the one I was already in the middle of. It was just getting to the good part of solving the crimes, so what could be more interesting?

Veronica Mars, The Thousand Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas & Jennifer Graham.
Total page count: 324.
Pages read today so far: 121

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16.30 pm: Finished my first book, although not completely as it was one I had started during the week, so I just need the last 100 pages or so. With a late lunch break and some other small breaks I am now fully endorsed in the Read-a-Thon experience and am about to decide what to read next. In the mean time I’m currently tidying up a bit around the house between solving these little puzzles Little Miss Reader created for the 3 hour mini challenge. Normally I don’t really do that many puzzles but these are kind of fun, must be because they are book related.

The Library Book by various authors
Total page count: 173
Pages read today so far: 141

17.40 pm: I just read a few entries in The Library Book for a brief change of scenery so to say. Time is running by faster than I would like it to. I feel like I just glanced as the clock and it was 16.00 pm, but the proof is undeniable. We’re closing in on 4 hours of the Read-a-Thon and I have to start thinking about some dinner soon. In the mean time, my next book has already gotten comfortable in the sofa, just waiting for me to come pick it up and allow myself to be carried away to a new world.

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19.05 pm: It’s five hours into the readathon and I feel like I have progressed rather well. It’s just about time to get some dinner, and luckily I have such a sweet boyfriend (who has been a little bored all day, because I just read and read), who made dinner, so I had the time to read even more. How amazing is that? So halfway through The Language of Dying I will take my place at the dinner table for some food and a resting break for my eyes.

Oh, yeah I should also say that reviews will be posted eventually in the coming days of what I’ve read. So far I want to focus on just reading and being part of the reading experience. So stay tuned over the next couple of days if you want to know more about what I actually think about the books I manage to read.

Hour 7 Mini Challenge: 6 Word Celebration Challenge
Old, used, or new worlds await.

The Language of Dying by Sarah Pinborough
Total page count: 131
Pages read today so far: 272

22.40 pm: After some dinner I thought I needed some fresh air, before the sun disappeared completely. So a quick stroll down by the harbor and small ice cream made a nice break before I returned to the sofa and the rest of my book. It was a bit of a sad book, but a review will follow sometime in the near future. I think I will need a short break to re-stock my snacks right now before I continue with the next book from the pile. Though I am considering to read a bit on one of the many e-books I also have waiting for me.

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23.30 pm: Okay, that’s just about it for me in the first run of things. I could probably stay up an hour or two more, but I honestly prefer to go to bed now and then get up an hour or two earlier tomorrow morning instead. Also, for the last couple of hours the boyfriend has been watching Star Wars so I think we both could do with a mind break from everything – aka. Some sleep is well overdue. However, for my first ever Read-a-Thon I think I’ve done pretty well. I have finished 2 books, read some essays and just before I decided to go to bed, I started my third book, which I will of course continue with tomorrow. So off to be for me now, but I will be back in a matter of hours (because I bet they just fly by, as they have done for me today) for some more reading.

Until then, happy reading through the night.

09.10 am: After about 8 hours of sleep (yes, I know sounds like a lot, but it’s the weekend and I need to catch up) I’m up and ready to do some more reading. I just read a bit in The Library Book and am now trying to decide what to have for breakfast and what to read next. Breakfast might have to come first priority though. I started a third book last night, but after reading about 30 pages or so I figured it wasn’t really such light reading as I was in the mood for. A book about WWII and the brutality of the KZ camps aren’t really what you want to read right before you go to bed, or on a sunny Sunday for that matter. So right now I’m trying to figure out what to read instead. I might branch outside the pile I already selected and pick something completely else from my still growing To Read pile on the floor (because there’s no more room on the shelves).

How are you guys doing? I’m so impressed that most of you have lasted through the night, it’s incredible!

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12.20 pm: Wow, we’re back to pm again, where did the time go? Unfortunately, I haven’t read that much in the last few hours. The parents-in-law came by for a quick visit, so we decided to whip up some impromptu brunch, which meant I had to spend some time in the kitchen instead of with my book. I decided to continue with one of the e-books I’m currently reading, The Wizard’s Promise. My hope was to finish that one too, but the with last hours closing in on us, I’m beginning to doubt it. I’ll just try and read as much as I can in the last couple of hours here.

The Wizard’s Promise by Cassandra Rose Clark
Total page count: 198
Total pages read so far: 358

13.25 pm: It’s close to the end, and I’m beginning to realize I won’t reach my goal of finishing the e-book I’m currently reading. Instead I’ve taken a break to answer the last hour meme.

1)      Which hour was most daunting for you?
None really, I didn’t really stress too much with this, so I didn’t push myself either to stay up too long. This meant I read a leisurely pace and didn’t feel pressured to reach a specific goal before a specific time.

2)      Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
Hmm, considering the small amount of books I’ve gotten through I don’t really think I have an answer for this one.

3)      Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
Not really, I think everyone has done an incredible job. I only want to improve myself and my amount of reading.

4)      What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
I really liked all the mini-challenges. It was a good way to break from the constant reading, and they were all really fun and creative.

5)      How many books did you read?
I finished one I was in the middle of, started and finished one and read a few single chapters here and there. So, combined I would say it totaled to perhaps 2 books.

6)      What were the names of the books you read?
Veronica Mars, The Thousand Dollar Tan Line + The Language of Dying + The Library Book + The Wizard’s Promise.

7)      Which book did you enjoy most?
Definitely Veronica Mars. As a huge VM fan this was by far the best!

8)      Which did you enjoy the least?
I did start one by Ana Novac, a diary of her years in a KZ camp, but quickly put that aside because I wasn’t really in the mood for that kind of reading.

9)      If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?

10)   How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?
I would most definitely participate again. I want to up my game and get a lot more reading done. This first time was a bit of breeze for me, as I didn’t push myself whatsoever, so I want to improve that. I’m considering perhaps signing up as a cheerleader, but that decision will have to wait.

14.35 pm: It’s a bit late for a very last update, but the last half hour got substituted for a walk in the sun with the visiting in-laws. This meant I had to scrap my goal of reading for the pleasure of company. In total I only managed to clock in about 360 pages of reading during these 24 hours. It’s not that bad, but compared some so many others in this readathon it’s a small start. It was my very first Read-a-Thon, but a part of me feels like I could’ve done far more. Well, I guess there’s always a next time.

I think the best part about this experience has been the massive online community and getting to hear from so many other people reading while I was reading. On top of that, you get to explore so many interesting blogs that you probably wouldn’t have found it if weren’t for this kind of event. I think my blog-following-count has gone up just a bit, but I’m not completely sure yet. I haven’t had the time to sort all the way through the many blog suggestions.

For now I will say a massive thank you to all participating in Dewey’s Read-a-Thon, even though I was just a small contender it was a massive experience for me.

I will definitely see you next year/time!

 

(Reviews will follow during the next few days, for now I need some blogging rest.)

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Read-A-Thon #2

The hour is almost upon us, the Dewey Read-a-Thon is drawing closer and closer. I just got home about 30 minutes ago from a small trip downtown to stock up on snacks and things to keep me to the fire so to say. I can honestly say I have no idea what to expect from this experience, as it is my first Read-a-Thon ever. However, I have heard very much about it and am excited to take part in this international experience. And because it is such an international event I will be posting my updates in English. I have yet to decide whether to post my reviews in English (or both) yet; I think I will leave that decision for the lateness of the hours. The later it gets, the lazier I will probably become. This is also why I can quite frankly say that I will most likely not last the entire night; I have reached that age where I need my sleep, however small amounts it might be. I also think that if I do get some rest, I will that much more prepared to read some more in the last hours of this Read-a-Thon.

With only 15 minutes left to go, I have stocked the kitchen supplies with snacks as you can see. There was a small sale at the local supermarket with 25% off fruits and vegetables so I thought it would be a great idea to take the healthy route to snacking for this. The chocolate will come in hand of course when I reach those critical hours and I get close to that scary Hangry feeling, which I’m pretty sure my boyfriend would like to avoid.

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For my first choice of reading I want to finish the one I am currently reading; Veronica Mars, The Thousand Dollar Tan Line. A spin-off of the TV-series/film that has become a very cult thing across the nation, and even more so when they succeeded in a very massive Kickstarter event. But more on that in another future post. With that said, as my first choice of reading I still have a few e-books on the iPad that might get some attention throughout the next 24 hours as well.

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To introduce myself a bit more to the entire Read-a-Thon community, here are my answers to the pre-hour meme:

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
From the little country called Denmark.
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
It’s a tie between The Land of Stories by Chris Colfer and Grimm Tales by Philip Pullman. Both are in the category of fairy tale interpretations, which is one of my favorite genres.
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
Probably the chocolate. I’ve been keeping my sugar levels low throughout the week, and could do with some chocolate.
4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
Okay, hmm, 26 years old, high school teacher in English (so it’s a real pleasure to blog in English for a change), of course I love books. Some people buy too many shoes (I do that too though), I buy too many books, at least according to my boyfriend.
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?
I honestly have no idea. Right now, the reading and the international experience, but the later it gets I will probably be looking more and more forward to some sleep.

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Read-A-Thon #1

Så siger kalenderen den 22 april, påsken er slut og der er kun 4 dage til det store internationale Reaad-a-thon som løber af stablen på lørdag/søndag (hvis man altså regner i dansk tid). Jeg har været en smule forvirret mht. start/sluttidspunkterne, men nu har jeg vist fået styr på dem. De danske tider er altså med begyndelse lørdag eftermiddag kl. 14.00 og med slut søndag eftermiddag samme tid. Det er noget bedre overkommeligt end de tider jeg oprindeligt havde ladet mig fortælle/læst mig til, som var 02.00 til 02.00, for ærlig talt jeg er ikke meget for at opgive min dyrebare nattesøvn. Jeg kommer nok også til at give efter for søvnen på et eller andet tidspunkt alligevel, det er efterhånden en del år siden jeg har holdt mig vågen i 24 timer med god grund (det er en god bog skam også, men så er det for spændingens/hyggens skyld og ikke for at læse bare for at læse). De få gange har været på rejser når man kommer over de der tidszoner eller når man arbejder skæve tider på festivaler som frivillig – mere om det en anden gang.

Om end alt andet er jeg så småt begyndt at finde bøger frem, jeg har jo en hel del at vælge imellem og jeg har forsøgt at vælge nogle af dem så lå øverst i hvad jeg helst vil læse, men også af dem så er knap så lange. Det er efterhånden svært at finde bøger som ikke er alt for lange, for det er de lange bøger jeg netop køber for at der kan være noget godt at læse i længere tid. For når man læser så meget er det nødvendigt at bogen holder lang tid, så jo længere jo bedre er det ofte.

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Men altså, jeg er landet på de fem du kan se på billedet. Jeg har kun en dansk med i udvalget og det var primært på grund af dens længde. Ellers ville jeg intet have imod kun at læse engelsk, det gør jeg jo primært mest alligevel. Hvem ved, det kan også være den bliver skiftet ud løbende.

Ellers har jeg valgt Grimm Tales og The Library Book for deres anvendelighed i afbræk fra lange tekster. Det er jo små korte historier, noveller, essays osv. som jeg er sikker på vil falde i som god pauselæsning, inden man bevæger sig ind i næste eventyrlige univers.

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Nu er spørgsmålet bare hvor meget jeg kan ignorere nogle af de opgaver jeg får fra mine elever her op til weekenden, til fordel for at læse bare for at læse for hyggens skyld.

Hvad har I tænkt jer at læse og hvordan planlægger I ellers Read-a-Thon?

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Den hundredårige der kravlede ud af vinduet og forsvandt (Jonas Jonasson, 2012)

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Den hundredårige der kravlede ud ad vinduet og forsvandt af Jonas Jonasson er en morsom og livsbekræftende historie om den 100-årige Allan Karlsson, der stikker af fra plejehjemmet. 

Allan kommer ved et tilfælde i besiddelse af en narkohajs kuffert stoppet med pengesedler, og så går den vilde jagt gennem Sverige, hvor han får flere nye venner og allierede i kampen mod gangsterne, der vil have deres penge igen, og politiet, der konstant er fire skridt bagud i opklaringen. Alt i mens dramaet udspiller sig i det midtsvenske skove, hører vi om Allans lange liv forinden i tilbageblik, der bringer os tæt på mange af verdenshistoriens helt store begivenheder og personer.

(Tekst fra Saxo)

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Jeg fortryder egentlig nu at det har taget mig så lang tid at tage mig sammen til at få læst den her bog. For den har overrasket mig noget så positivt på flere måder. Jeg lod mig fortælle at den mindede en smule om Forrest Gump og det er så ganske rigtigt. Vores hundredårige Allan bliver både budt på middag af General Franco, Harry Truman, Winston Churchill, Stalin og Kinas Mao. Der er en hel del flere historiske personligheder vi støder på, men efter noget tid bliver det svært at holde styr på dem alle sammen igennem Allans livshistorie. I stedet skal man bare vælge at følge med historien og dens udvikling.

Jeg blev meget hurtigt glad for Allan som person. Han er både sympatisk og medgørlig, men også en person man fatter medlidenhed med på grund af de oplevelser han kommer ud for igennem livet. Det faktum at han er stort set total afviger når det kommer til politik af enhver art kunne jeg kun identificere endnu mere med, hvilket nok også gjorde at jeg fandt ham des mere elskværdig. Allans tilgang til livet er også meget nem at forholde sig til.

”Det er som det er, og det bliver, som det bliver.”

Det fungerer som hans motto i livet, og det resulterer i at han tager livet meget let og aldrig rigtig bliver ophidset over særlig meget. Det er også af den grund Allan kommer til at opleve så meget i livet, fordi han ikke rigtig tager på vej og bare følger med strømmen, så at sige.
Den måde historien er strikket sammen gør at vi får et indblik i verdenshistorien samtidig med vi følger Allan på vejen. Jeg syntes faktisk det var meget underholdende at få ny viden om historie på den måde, det var i hvert fald meget mere underholdende end mange af de ordinære historietimer jeg kan huske fra min skoletid.

Spol frem i tiden til historien umiddelbart efter at Allan er hoppet ud af vinduet på sin 100 års fødselsdag og vi kan læse om endnu et mærkværdigt ’eventyr’ der involverer 50 millioner, en meget voldelig bande (dog på kun 3, næsten 4 medlemmer), en grilbodsejer med næsten eksamensbevis inden for næsten hver tænkelig branche, en elefant, en ilter rødhåret kvindelig gårdejer, en aggressiv anklager og ikke mindst et par beklagelige mord.

Jeg vil klart anbefale den her bog. Jeg sad flere gange og grinte højlydt over bogen, og jeg kunne næsten ikke lægge den fra mig. Jeg havde den med i fitness, mens jeg spiste morgenmad og da jeg var på familieweekend i påsken. Den var så hurtigt læst at det næsten var ærgerligt. Jeg sad lidt med en forventning om at Allan ville dø til slut (han er jo trods alt 100 år!), men det gjorde han ikke. Derfor var bogen lidt uafsluttet for mit vedkommende, mest af alt fordi jeg bare gerne ville læse mere om Allan og hans mærkværdige liv.

6-star

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