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A woman wakes up in the middle of the night A strange man is in her bedroom She lies there in silence paralyzed with fear The woman is an author and the man one of her characters one in a long line that waits in her driveway for the time when she'll tell their stori This unconventional novel by Karin Fossum will delight some readers and I suspect confuse and frustrate others Fossum a Norwegian is perhaps best known for her crime fiction series featuring Inspector Konrad Sejer Here she attempts something completely different and unusualAs the book opens a middle aged female writer whose name we never learn is cowering behind her curtains one night looking down her driveway at the long line of characters who are waiting for her to tell their stories The weight of the burden the characters impose upon her is almost too much to bear and she turns to drink and pills to get her through the nightOn this night though she awakens panicked in the middle of the night to find a man in her room One of her upcoming characters has jumped the line and invaded her bedroom He insists that the writer tell his story now The writer tries to explain that the man must wait his turn but he's worried because the writer is getting older and is not taking very good care of herself He's desperately afraid that she might die before getting to him and that his story will never be toldReluctantly the woman agrees to his reuest and the man comes to life on her computer as Alvar Eide He's single in his early forties and works in an art gallery He's a very uiet mild mannered man who has difficulty relating to other people But his life is well ordered and he is content with it Then one bitterly cold afternoon a young female drug addict stumbles into the gallery in an effort to get warm and Alvar does something totally out of character Rather than immediately insisting that she leave the gallery he offers her a cup of coffee and this simple act will change the course of his lifeAs the story progresses Alvar continues to periodically interrupt the writer He is concerned about the way he is being portrayed; he fears for what might happen to him The writer patiently explains that once things are set in motion she has little or no control She must follow the story wherever it leads her and Alvar must accept the conseuences Alvar is not sure he likes this at all but watching his progress and observing his interaction with his creator is a fascinating experienceWriters often say that characters sometimes assume a life of their own and I suspect that this is a difficult thing to grasp for people who are not writers and who assume that writers have complete control of the stories they write and the characters they create But while a writer might consciously plan out a book to the last detail that carefully constructed plan often cannot account for the actions of a mischievous subconsciousPerhaps only another writer who has experienced that moment when seemingly out of nowhere a character says or does something that takes you completely by surprise can really appreciate what Fossum has done here Which is to say that I enjoyed this book immensely but I can understand why others might not be as enthused about it as I am The Brides of Rollrock Island explain that the man must wait his turn but he's worried because the writer is getting older and is not taking very good care of herself He's desperately afraid that she might die before getting to him and that his story will never be toldReluctantly the woman agrees to his reuest and the man comes to life on her computer as Alvar Eide He's single in his The Daughter of Time early forties and works in an art gallery He's a very uiet mild mannered man who has difficulty relating to other people But his life is well ordered and he is content with it Then one bitterly cold afternoon a young female drug addict stumbles into the gallery in an The World of Rafael Salas effort to get warm and Alvar does something totally out of character Rather than immediately insisting that she leave the gallery he offers her a cup of coffee and this simple act will change the course of his lifeAs the story progresses Alvar continues to periodically interrupt the writer He is concerned about the way he is being portrayed; he fears for what might happen to him The writer patiently Camping Makes Me Happy explains that once things are set in motion she has little or no control She must follow the story wherever it leads her and Alvar must accept the conseuences Alvar is not sure he likes this at all but watching his progress and observing his interaction with his creator is a fascinating Idols for Destruction experienceWriters often say that characters sometimes assume a life of their own and I suspect that this is a difficult thing to grasp for people who are not writers and who assume that writers have complete control of the stories they write and the characters they create But while a writer might consciously plan out a book to the last detail that carefully constructed plan often cannot account for the actions of a mischievous subconsciousPerhaps only another writer who has The Daughter of Time (Inspector Alan Grant experienced that moment when seemingly out of nowhere a character says or does something that takes you completely by surprise can really appreciate what Fossum has done here Which is to say that I Tricky Twenty-Two (Stephanie Plum, enjoyed this book immensely but I can understand why others might not be as The End of the Line enthused about it as I am

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Brudd Author Karin Fossum

Until one icy winter day when a young drug addict skinny and fragile walks into the gallery Alvar gives her a cup of coffee to warm her up And then one day she appears on his doorstep Broken is an unconventional subtle and disturbing mystery from a master of the for Broken is Fossum's standalone novel it is a totally authentic exposition of a writer's intimate relationship and responsibility toward their characters A negligible line is drawn between the worlds of the writer and her character Alvar Eide they speak with one another directly every other chapter The reader is treated to a much literary version of this theme as seen in Stranger Than Fiction an excellent recent movie starring Will Farrell The movie is comedic and also displays the struggle between the truths of reality and those of the imagination Fossum has done something even significant she has shown the interplay of character and writer in a far realistic meaningful and advantageous mode Fiction is sometimes truthful than reality and reality is fictional than the imagination Alvar interrupts the writer's project by skipping the cue of other characters who are all vying for attention Alvar a rather limp individual is nevertheless persistent and demanding toward the writer In his fictional world he is an art salesman a nice person and a cypher living alone in order to avoid the demands of social life Throughout the novel he is driven to acknowledge the culpability being passive in a variety of ways A boring character is one of the hardest to write and yet to sustain the reader's attention; Alvar is indeed boring but he has hooked me from the get go The novel has reminded me to take imagination seriously it fiction can considerably enrich our uotidian lives Remember if you are familiar with Karin Fossum keep Sjer and the mysteries out of your mind while reading Broken it is definitely a novel and a good one at that The World of Rafael Salas exposition of a writer's intimate relationship and responsibility toward their characters A negligible line is drawn between the worlds of the writer and her character Alvar Eide they speak with one another directly Camping Makes Me Happy every other chapter The reader is treated to a much literary version of this theme as seen in Stranger Than Fiction an Idols for Destruction excellent recent movie starring Will Farrell The movie is comedic and also displays the struggle between the truths of reality and those of the imagination Fossum has done something The Daughter of Time (Inspector Alan Grant even significant she has shown the interplay of character and writer in a far realistic meaningful and advantageous mode Fiction is sometimes truthful than reality and reality is fictional than the imagination Alvar interrupts the writer's project by skipping the cue of other characters who are all vying for attention Alvar a rather limp individual is nevertheless persistent and demanding toward the writer In his fictional world he is an art salesman a nice person and a cypher living alone in order to avoid the demands of social life Throughout the novel he is driven to acknowledge the culpability being passive in a variety of ways A boring character is one of the hardest to write and yet to sustain the reader's attention; Alvar is indeed boring but he has hooked me from the get go The novel has reminded me to take imagination seriously it fiction can considerably Tricky Twenty-Two (Stephanie Plum, enrich our uotidian lives Remember if you are familiar with Karin Fossum keep Sjer and the mysteries out of your mind while reading Broken it is definitely a novel and a good one at that

Karin Fossum ↠ 2 Free download

Es He is so desperate that he has resorted to breaking into her house and demanding that she begin He the author decides is named Alvar Eide forty two years old singleworks in a gallery He lives a uiet orderly life and likes it that way no demands no unpleasantness Broken by Karin FossumBook Review by Jay GilbertsonImagine waking up late one night and there’s a man standing next to your bed You’d freak—right? Well not author Fossum She just sat up and had a chat with the guy Like she was expecting him and actually; she was Welcome to the strange world of Alvar Eide Though it’s hard to decide how in the world this novel is a mystery as the cover would have you believe pay careful attention; it’s slyly revealed And one also has to keep in mind that this is a translated work and perhaps the author’s voice was somehow muddled or re worked Since I don’t know Norwegian though I do have some coursing through my veins I had to rely on Charlotte Barslund’s the translator expertise in capturing Fossum’s voice And what a voice From the start there is a subtle tension that draws you into the bizarre world of how a story could unfold The writing is spare and concise and impeccable Chapters move from the character Alvar living his odd lonely life as an art dealer to his interaction with Fossum Of course you’re never sure if indeed the character is actually speaking with the author or if this is yet another character Therein lies the mystery and yet if you whittle things down a bit and are able to put the book aside and consider the odd use of having a character actually involved in the formation of how his life will or won’t actually turn out—it’s really a mind bender—and it’s fun “Well I would hate to be a nuisance I have absolutely no wish to intrudeI’m not normally like this But the thing is I’ve been waiting for so long and I just can’t bear it any longerI’m waiting for my story to be told” Fossum treats Alvar with a refreshing kindness that I really appreciated Most authors like to drag their characters through all sorts of misery and heartache and loss and then in the last breath in strolls a ray of hope in all its glory No instead this man is someone we know A true outsider yet with all the humanness each and every one of us struggles with One of the main themes of this story is the hunger we all have in one degree or another; to belong And the other is simply to do the right thing and as we humans do some of us anyway we wonder just what in the world is The Right Thing? One day as Alvar is living through his tightly structured life in walks a very troubled young woman and viola’ the story takes a twisty turn and that’s all I’m gunna say about that An aspect or character flaw that made me a little crazy was how no matter what was heaped into Alvar’s path he did nothing Several times I really wanted to reach into the story and smack him and tell him to “Wake up” If I had to classify this novel I would call it a very dark character study and a really compelling read—not for everyone—but perfect for you The Deception of the Emerald Ring (Pink Carnation, expecting him and actually; she was Welcome to the strange world of Alvar Eide Though it’s hard to decide how in the world this novel is a mystery as the cover would have you believe pay careful attention; it’s slyly revealed And one also has to keep in mind that this is a translated work and perhaps the author’s voice was somehow muddled or re worked Since I don’t know Norwegian though I do have some coursing through my veins I had to rely on Charlotte Barslund’s the translator The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry (Harold Fry, expertise in capturing Fossum’s voice And what a voice From the start there is a subtle tension that draws you into the bizarre world of how a story could unfold The writing is spare and concise and impeccable Chapters move from the character Alvar living his odd lonely life as an art dealer to his interaction with Fossum Of course you’re never sure if indeed the character is actually speaking with the author or if this is yet another character Therein lies the mystery and yet if you whittle things down a bit and are able to put the book aside and consider the odd use of having a character actually involved in the formation of how his life will or won’t actually turn out—it’s really a mind bender—and it’s fun “Well I would hate to be a nuisance I have absolutely no wish to intrudeI’m not normally like this But the thing is I’ve been waiting for so long and I just can’t bear it any longerI’m waiting for my story to be told” Fossum treats Alvar with a refreshing kindness that I really appreciated Most authors like to drag their characters through all sorts of misery and heartache and loss and then in the last breath in strolls a ray of hope in all its glory No instead this man is someone we know A true outsider yet with all the humanness The Pope and Mussolini each and The Burn every one of us struggles with One of the main themes of this story is the hunger we all have in one degree or another; to belong And the other is simply to do the right thing and as we humans do some of us anyway we wonder just what in the world is The Right Thing? One day as Alvar is living through his tightly structured life in walks a very troubled young woman and viola’ the story takes a twisty turn and that’s all I’m gunna say about that An aspect or character flaw that made me a little crazy was how no matter what was heaped into Alvar’s path he did nothing Several times I really wanted to reach into the story and smack him and tell him to “Wake up” If I had to classify this novel I would call it a very dark character study and a really compelling read—not for Diary of the Fall everyone—but perfect for you


10 thoughts on “Brudd Author Karin Fossum

  1. says:

    A great book by the ueen of the Norwegian crime novelists A gay man a candidate for the world’s most introverted person – no friends no travel no life really becomes involved with – a better term is “controlled by” a young girl who is a drug addicted prostitute One day she simply wanders in to the art gallery where he works She ends up dead and that is our crime to be resolved The book has an unusual twist in that the main character comes in to talk with the author about his role and his portrayal in the book The author comes across as almost as lonely and introverted as the main character A good read


  2. says:

    This unconventional novel by Karin Fossum will delight some readers and I suspect confuse and frustrate others Fossum a Norwegian is perhaps best known for her crime fiction series featuring Inspector Konrad Sejer Here she attempts something completely different and unusualAs the book opens a middle aged female writer whose name we never learn is cowering behind her curtains one night looking down her driveway at the long line of characters who are waiting for her to tell their stories The weight of the burden the characters impose upon her is almost too much to bear and she turns to drink and pills to get her through the nightOn this night though she awakens panicked in the middle of the night to find a man in her room One of her upcoming characters has jumped the line and invaded her bedroom He insists that the writer tell his story now The writer tries to explain that the man must wait his turn but he's worried because the writer is getting older and is not taking very good care of herself He's desperately afraid that she might die before getting to him and that his story will never be toldReluctantly the woman agrees to his reuest and the man comes to life on her computer as Alvar Eide He's single in his early forties and works in an art gallery He's a very uiet mild mannered man who has difficulty relating to other people But his life is well ordered and he is content with it Then one bitterly cold afternoon a young female drug addict stumbles into the gallery in an effort to get warm and Alvar does something totally out of character Rather than immediately insisting that she leave the gallery he offers her a cup of coffee and this simple act will change the course of his lifeAs the story progresses Alvar continues to periodically interrupt the writer He is concerned about the way he is being portrayed; he fears for what might happen to him The writer patiently explains that once things are set in motion she has little or no control She must follow the story wherever it leads her and Alvar must accept the conseuences Alvar is not sure he likes this at all but watching his progress and observing his interaction with his creator is a fascinating experienceWriters often say that characters sometimes assume a life of their own and I suspect that this is a difficult thing to grasp for people who are not writers and who assume that writers have complete control of the stories they write and the characters they create But while a writer might consciously plan out a book to the last detail that carefully constructed plan often cannot account for the actions of a mischievous subconsciousPerhaps only another writer who has experienced that moment when seemingly out of nowhere a character says or does something that takes you completely by surprise can really appreciate what Fossum has done here Which is to say that I enjoyed this book immensely but I can understand why others might not be as enthused about it as I am


  3. says:

    I always breathe a sigh of relief on finishing a novel by Karin Fossum that I have made it through intact never mind that the process often feels as harrowing and traumatic as a slow evisceration Broken is a standalone work of true suspense that blurs the boundaries between fact and fiction and is uite different from the police procedural novels of Fossum which feature Inspector Konrad Sejer Indeed it is debatable which genre this novel fits into but either way it is an assault on the senses which invades the readers comfort zoneA fifty one year old author watches from her bedroom window the array of various characters who stand in her drive under the porch light and patiently wait for their stories to be told for it is her job to give life to them and that burden takes its toll Each is desperately hoping for a chance of her telling their story but one is impatient than the others jumping the ueue disrupting her sleep and breaking into the house to beseech the author to take up the rest of his story Given that the author in uestion is dependent on anti depressants sleeping pills and alcohol to salve her journey through each and every day she herself is as fragile as any of her characters The forty two year old single and self contained Alvar Eide is the character so keen for her to continue his story a perfectly orderly man undemanding and unassuming His life is dictated by routines and his solitary nature meaning he has no callers to his house and no friends to speak of He enjoys his job working in an art gallery and is a hardworking and honest employee with a true appreciation for the artwork that covers the wallsAs Fossum takes up the story of Alvar we get to observe his daily travails daily visits to the deli counter to purchase his evening meal on his way home from work through to checking his tuft of hair comb over is retained in position More and he finds himself uestioning whether he is a good man needless to say that the test Fossum presents him with is a young heroin addict who drifts from one place to the next From sheltering in the gallery and Alvar giving her a cup of coffee and his scarf she is soon borrowing money and encroaching on his boundaries all in all presenting a new challenge Fossum throws test after test at Alvar and he reveals himself to be weak willed lacking in spine and completely out of his depth with the young woman Art touches Alvar and the Broken referred to in the title is a painting that the gallery acuires by a little known artist depicting a severed bridge that speaks to Alvar's soul and seems to echo his own problems with making connections and attachments to other people It literally reflects how he has always felt and his own exclusion from society and priced at seventy thousand kroner it would reuire his life savings to purchase Yet as he finds himself immune to the will of the young drug addict and the first significant human connection he has made he supplies her with money when she emotionally blackmails into financing her habit From the threat of turning tricks and placing herself in danger Alvar soon finds his savings drained and his chances of acuiring the painting reduced to nil with his decisions no longer a conscious choice The alternating chapters move between seeing Alvar's daily life and then seeing him rejoin the author Fossum who is telling his story apologising for being a nuisance whilst also aiming to flex some muscle and manipulate the direction of his tale Fossum argues that this is against the rules but tells him the date of November 18th when he will take control of his own life once again The fate awaiting Alvar is almost a forgone conclusion in Fossum's hands It is hard to apportion blame in Broken but when a person begs an author for the opportunity to be explored they surely cannot expect to dictate the events that unfold given the real test is how one copes in the aftermathWhose story is this? Is Broken the tale of an author's torture as they wrangle with their creation or is Alvar Eide the main focus of the novel? Whilst I remain in a uandary as regards this what I can say with certainty is that is the tale of two vulnerable outsiders on a path to destruction and the good intentions and of a gentle man to contribute to society come back to haunt both of them A bizarre and uniue tale with typically sparing prose and honesty meaning it is by no means an easy read That the finale of Broken sees surprises and several unexpected stings in the tail is Fossum's forte and this tale of an eccentric loner sent a backbone revealing challenge could only have come from her pen It is ambitious of Fossum to tell a story of an author battling it out with her protagonist and it presents the reader with an insight into the mind of a creative genius Posing uestions such as how much of an internal battle authors have with their characters and the creative process it confounded me how I became so drawn into a fictional tale of an even fictional character This sounds confusing but Broken is a story to be read re read and processed gradually over time Marvellous


  4. says:

    This is a book that comes along once and a while and takes you by complete surprise I am giving it 5 stars because I think it was clever yet simple and was successful in drawing me in to caring about what happened to the main character to the point of being on pins and needles I wanted to read it to see what was going to happen next and also was reluctant to on occasions because I was afraid things would end badly This is a departure from Karin Fossums usual crime series a one off and it proves that she is indeed a great writer The basis of the story is an author awakes one night to find a strange man in her bedroom A potential fictional character for a book she has in the future but the man insists she writes his story immediately because he is afraid she will die before his story is told Now I don't want to give too much away as this is a review and basically the purpose of a review in my opinion is to give a recommendation for or against the book and let everyone else make their own minds up about it I loved this book it was a simple plot a simple story about a simple man who had routine and order in his life and never deviated from this Then an event occurs one day that changes his life forever I really worried for Alvar Eide the main character I cared about what happened to him and this is always a mark of a good writer when they reel you in and make you care despite the fact you know it is fiction This is a book that I would recommend without hesitation It's uite short by most standards I only got it to fill in time while I was waiting an order of books to arrive into my local library It proved to be a great investment of my time and I am glad I picked it up


  5. says:

    What is the relationship between an author and her creation? It is this unconventional uestion that author Karin Fossum explores here She exposes her secret hopes and fears in the most intimate way The book opens with a character a mild polite man in his 40's who intrudes himself in the dead of night into her bedroom She will come to name him Alvar Eides Alvar was one of many prospective characters who haunt her driveway They are a panoply of humanity damaged brooding grieving and even briefly hopeful that await the attention of her writing Alvar is insistent He wants her to tell his story next even if it means sailing uncharted waters The dialogs between Alvar and the author will provide the reader with the charts needed to navigate this unusual bookFossum invents Alvar in the way an artist paints with oils She applies layers of translucent detail She makes him an art connoisseur employed at a private gallery There he is an observant matchmaker between client and the right work of art rather than a mere salesperson She gives him a backstory to add dimension to his overly cautious personality a timid repressed father and an overbearing self centered mother and the traumatic childhood impressions that froze him into a state of permanent anxiety Parallels between the author and Alvar emerge They both share a uniue sensitivity They both thrive on their cyclic routines She confides that like Alvar she is burdened with anxiety Will her stories be honest? Will people care? Is it enough if only she cares about her characters? She voices one of her many fears “that what I spent my time on has no importance whatsoever” p101 She describes the mix of elation and regret she feels when a book is completed The elation is short lived The regret is from parting with characters she has spent a year of her life with Having sold a painting of a waterfall which hung in the gallery for two years Alvar reflects “All the paintings hang there They were like old friends to him Selling a painting was always an ambiguous experience It meant it disappeared and he would never see it again Paintings he had been studying for several months could suddenly be snatched away But then a joyful event followed that never failed to lift his spirits Ole Krantz would hang a new one Today the waterfall was leaving and Alvar would miss its roaring water torrents p54The author's cyclic routine is darker Her anxiety returns as she summons a new character into her life and begins the process again Alvar's love for art is a passion The author's need to write is a compulsion Both of them are pricked by existential angst but being the experienced of the two she promises Alvar that she will provide him with opportunities for brief respite from his self doubt and anxiety and perhaps even for brief elation However he must make the choices He must be responsible for his own emotional liberation The author admits she is conflicted The story she writes will not be an altruistic endeavor It is a test of sorts It is also something she wants to discover about herself “I need to resolve something within myself along the wayWhere do I place you in terms of morality what do I think about the way you live your life Are you a coward are you arrogant are you socially maladjusted or are you an attractive man with a pure heart? You have a fair amount of resources and talents but you've isolated yourself and you're terrified of going off the rails” p135The cover proclaims that this is a mystery That is a misleading description The author coyly refers to this book as a modest story about a modest man It is really an engaging exploration of the writer's craft On finishing this book the reader will be drawn to wonder how Fossum has created such a disturbing impact with such sparse materials Her pace is unhurried Alvar's transformation from a colorless character to a sympathetic one is gradual The tension that moves the story forward is embedded in the author's changing relationship to Alvar rather than by the plot itself This was an interesting book


  6. says:

    Broken by Karin FossumBook Review by Jay GilbertsonImagine waking up late one night and there’s a man standing next to your bed You’d freak—right? Well not author Fossum She just sat up and had a chat with the guy Like she was expecting him and actually; she was Welcome to the strange world of Alvar Eide Though it’s hard to decide how in the world this novel is a mystery as the cover would have you believe pay careful attention; it’s slyly revealed And one also has to keep in mind that this is a translated work and perhaps the author’s voice was somehow muddled or re worked Since I don’t know Norwegian though I do have some coursing through my veins I had to rely on Charlotte Barslund’s the translator expertise in capturing Fossum’s voice And what a voice From the start there is a subtle tension that draws you into the bizarre world of how a story could unfold The writing is spare and concise and impeccable Chapters move from the character Alvar living his odd lonely life as an art dealer to his interaction with Fossum Of course you’re never sure if indeed the character is actually speaking with the author or if this is yet another character Therein lies the mystery and yet if you whittle things down a bit and are able to put the book aside and consider the odd use of having a character actually involved in the formation of how his life will or won’t actually turn out—it’s really a mind bender—and it’s fun “Well I would hate to be a nuisance I have absolutely no wish to intrudeI’m not normally like this But the thing is I’ve been waiting for so long and I just can’t bear it any longerI’m waiting for my story to be told” Fossum treats Alvar with a refreshing kindness that I really appreciated Most authors like to drag their characters through all sorts of misery and heartache and loss and then in the last breath in strolls a ray of hope in all its glory No instead this man is someone we know A true outsider yet with all the humanness each and every one of us struggles with One of the main themes of this story is the hunger we all have in one degree or another; to belong And the other is simply to do the right thing and as we humans do some of us anyway we wonder just what in the world is The Right Thing? One day as Alvar is living through his tightly structured life in walks a very troubled young woman and viola’ the story takes a twisty turn and that’s all I’m gunna say about that An aspect or character flaw that made me a little crazy was how no matter what was heaped into Alvar’s path he did nothing Several times I really wanted to reach into the story and smack him and tell him to “Wake up” If I had to classify this novel I would call it a very dark character study and a really compelling read—not for everyone—but perfect for you


  7. says:

    Broken is Fossum's standalone novel it is a totally authentic exposition of a writer's intimate relationship and responsibility toward their characters A negligible line is drawn between the worlds of the writer and her character Alvar Eide they speak with one another directly every other chapter The reader is treated to a much literary version of this theme as seen in Stranger Than Fiction an excellent recent movie starring Will Farrell The movie is comedic and also displays the struggle between the truths of reality and those of the imagination Fossum has done something even significant she has shown the interplay of character and writer in a far realistic meaningful and advantageous mode Fiction is sometimes truthful than reality and reality is fictional than the imagination Alvar interrupts the writer's project by skipping the cue of other characters who are all vying for attention Alvar a rather limp individual is nevertheless persistent and demanding toward the writer In his fictional world he is an art salesman a nice person and a cypher living alone in order to avoid the demands of social life Throughout the novel he is driven to acknowledge the culpability being passive in a variety of ways A boring character is one of the hardest to write and yet to sustain the reader's attention; Alvar is indeed boring but he has hooked me from the get go The novel has reminded me to take imagination seriously it fiction can considerably enrich our uotidian lives Remember if you are familiar with Karin Fossum keep Sjer and the mysteries out of your mind while reading Broken it is definitely a novel and a good one at that


  8. says:

    45 a very strong one Alvar Eide really wants to be a good person He is somehow traumatized by an experience as a child when his parents purposely ignored a woman asking for help after her car crashed That is why he tries so hard The problem is that Alvar really isn't a people's person He is shy paranoid naive and ordely to the point of madness He is what we would call a control freak And he is obviously totally unprepared to deal with people and with unexpected situations This is already a good premise if a bit overused But Karin Fossun is a wonderful writer She turned this into a dark story where it could have be humorous and she added the bonus of going beyond linear story telling by creating a relationship between character and author so that they really are the two main characters This means we never loose sight of the fact that Alvar is a fictional character created by a person because we witness that process of creation But at the same time the author is also a character in the book and we are left wondering what separates the line between fiction and realityIt is a wonderful twist on the usual unsocial man's tale But it is than that The overlooming threat of suicide provoked by the character's inability to deal with life turns this into a desperate and fatalistic novel But at the end there's a ray of hope Harsher critics might point out that the ending does not fit the story she was telling and the mood she created Perhaps it is true But I feel that dear fragile Alvar who really wanted and was to be a good person deserved hope I am glad he got it somewhere wherever he is now


  9. says:

    Since I read so many mysteries I usually don't review them or add them to my Goodreads list but this is an exception After discovering Henning Mankel many years ago I really became a fan of the many Scandanavian mysterythriller authors Karin Fossum Norwegian is one of the best Although catagorized as mystery has the library mystery stickerthis is not part of her previous series This is a very literate exploration of the relationship between a writer and the characters heshe creates and how the author lives with them and in some cases how they take over hisher life I also really liked her discussion of art and how we choose art the main character works in an art gallery The story is suspenseful but it is much about our relationships and friendship and taking chances


  10. says:

    I was expecting something along the lines of the previous Fossum novels I'd read first rate murder mysteriespsychological thrillers and so was rather startled by what I gotThe conceit of one half of this novel is that fiction writers interact with their characters as if the latter were real people I know for my own humble part that this is very often true An author who seems very much like Karin Fossum finds that a man has pushed to the front of the ueue of potential main characters outside her house to invade her living space and demand that he be the protagonist of her next novel A shy loner he's never dared to assert himself like this or really in any way beforeAt first reluctantly she accedes to his demands and the story that she writes about him forms the other intertwined half of the bookHe becomes Alvar Eide middle aged solitary gay socially inept overly self analytical manager of a commercial art gallery One day a frail young homeless junkie pushes her way into the gallery and inspired by a rare burst of fellow feeling Alvar gives her a cup of coffee expecting never to see her againBut instead the young woman who changes her name at whim invades his home and his life much as Alvar has invaded the home and the life of the author pillaging him spiritually and for her fixes financially His life savings which he'd intended to invest in a painting he's fallen in love with Broken depicting a half destroyed bridge that leads to nowhere vanish despite his will into his parasite's veins And yet although he loathes what's happening he's honest enough with himself to recognize that he too is getting something out of their unwritten bargainEven so the situation can end nowhere but badly After two or three chapters I almost put the book aside there are plenty of pretentious novels around and this seemed to be just another of them with its interminable paragraphs and its overall air of being designed to be good for me but luckily I kept going because Alvar's half of the story less so the other got well and truly under my skin It created a genuine suspense for me a real sense of apprehension as to what might come next yet this apprehension and I'm trying to choose my words carefully here was born not of terror or excitement but of something akin to irritation or even anger I was infuriated by what life or the nameless author? had chosen to throw at Alvar and I kept compulsively reading in hopes that life would get its deserved comeuppanceIn the end I enjoyed Broken really uite a lot At the same time it was the first Fossum novel I'd read where I was conscious throughout that I was reading a translation the words didn't vanish the way they normally do and I wondered too if it had been written very early in Fossum's career and dug out of the drawer for publication once she'd established herself as a titan of Scandi crime fiction So I have mixed feelings in other words But on balance the mix leans toward the favorable