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Spejl, skulder, blink by Dorthe Nors
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Spejl, skulder, blink (edition 2016)

by Dorthe Nors

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403285,656 (3.43)11
Member:sunny
Title:Spejl, skulder, blink
Authors:Dorthe Nors
Info:Kbh. Gyldendal 2016
Collections:Your library
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Mirror, Shoulder, Signal by Dorthe Nors

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» See also 11 mentions

English (2)  Danish (1)  All (3)
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Driving lessons.
Mirror, Shoulder, Signal was shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize 2017, and like it's colleague, the Man Booker Prize, this seems to imply a somewhat off-the-wall read. I haven't followed the International version of the prize in the past, but it probably represents my taste more than the English version.

This is a Danish author, in translation, and if I'm honest, not a lot happens. It's a short book at under 200 pages, and centres around Sonja, a middle-aged woman, who is trying prove something to herself by learning to drive. Her driving instructor won't let her touch the gear lever and changes gear for her, which is understandably frustrating.
She holds down a job translating a crime writer's novels from Swedish to Danish, and as he seems to be quite a well known author, this job gives Sonja some degree of respect. Meanwhile she goes for regular massage with Ellen, a somewhat forward masseuse who reads all sorts if importance into every ache and pain that Sonja confesses to.

Living in Copenhagen, Sonja frequently thinks with nostalgia of her childhood in the wilds of Denmark, where her sister, Kate, still lives. Kate avoids answering the phone and Sonja is progressively more frustrated by her inability to contact her sister.

"Sonja knows this much about love: there's not much of it in practice, but it's always thrived on people's tongues." (loc 777).

The translation was good and I guess I learned a little about life in Denmark, a place I've never been, but this is not a book I'll be encouraging everyone to buy. ( )
  DubaiReader | Aug 30, 2017 |
In English translation we have grown accustomed to thinking of Danish writer Dorthe Nors as a minimalist and miniaturist with her experimental list-based novellas in "So Much for That Winter" and short-short stories in "Karate Chop.". "Mirror, Shoulder, Signal" takes a further turn with minimal plot and drama, which presents its own challenges for the writer and reader.

Lead character Sonja is the Danish language translator of (fictional) Swedish crime novelist Gösta Svensson (the grisly-sounding nature of his novels made me think of Lars Kepler, himself a fictional construct). Sonja is disconnected from the world and her path back is portrayed to be learning to drive in middle-age with some very quirky driving instructors.

I've very much enjoyed all of the Dorthe Nors that I have read up to now,but couldn't seem to get engaged with this latest novel. It does have a wonderful meet-cute ending with another unorthodox character and that was the point at which I actually started to become interested, but then the book was over. ( )
3 vote alanteder | Apr 23, 2017 |
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SONJA IS SITTING IN A CAR, and she's brought her dictionary along.
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