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Ia Genberg

Autor(a) de The Details

4 Works 145 Membros 14 Críticas

Obras por Ia Genberg

The Details (2022) 132 exemplares
Sent farväl (2013) 8 exemplares
Klen tröst (2018) 3 exemplares
Söta fredag (2013) 2 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum

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Everyone has people, places and things that can evoke persistent memories. Various things can be triggers. In the case of Genberg’s unnamed narrator, the triggers are fever and a novel by the recently deceased Paul Auster. While perusing this novel, she begins to meditate on four relationships in her life. Using this structure, Genberg writes a novel that not only provides four intriguing portraits, but also evokes the kind of random, non-linear internal narrative that meditators often experience. “That’s all there is to the self, or the so-called ‘self’:” she muses in a decidedly Buddhist sentiment, “traces of the people we rub against.”

There is little in the way of earth-shaking suspense or plot here. Instead, the four portraits focus on minutia. In effect, Genberg provides the details, as her title suggests. These characters are not simple and their connections to the narrator carry considerable pain. Yet, each character also conjures levels of complexity that reveal their humanity. Clearly, they are the kind of people one tends not to forget.

Johanna was a generous and encouraging colleague in journalism. Nonetheless, she also could be cold and judgmental. Success was paramount for her. Her striving culminated in a career as a famous TV hostess. (Life) “was lived in one direction—forward.” The protagonist observes. “It’s how we differed from one another: I rarely completed anything big.” In the end, the narrator clearly felt betrayed by Johanna.

Niki was the narrator’s soulmate in her youth. She had the endearing quality of being passionate about books. She especially liked owning them. However, one senses that she was not particularly intellectual. Instead, she evinced traits that would characterize her as childish and self-involved—a less-than-ideal roommate. Niki was estranged from her wealthy parents, lacked a need for order or cleanliness, and could be moody or unpredictable. One might predict that this relationship could not end well. In fact, Niki just disappeared one day without a farewell or any forwarding contact information. A sense of abandonment pervades this memory.

Alejandro was a charismatic dancer, with whom the narrator had a brief but intense romantic relationship. He fathered her first child. He felt that the Swedish lifestyle was too confining and comfortable. He left seeking greater challenges. Though transitory, this connection was the most satisfying of the four for the narrator. She measures all of the other relationships against this one.

Her mother, Birgitte, was the narrator’s most painful memory because it is filled with regret. A childhood trauma left her mother adrift and clinging to rituals. She could be outspoken around others, but barely talked to her daughter. Understandably, this history left the narrator incapable of building trust in her own relationships.

Though brief, THE DETAILS provides important insights into what constitutes rewarding relationships. Notably, these are not always without suffering. Indeed, painful memories may be the most enduring.
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ozzer | 13 outras críticas | May 17, 2024 |
A very well written book, exceptional. A number of reviews describe this work as a fever dream, and that is indeed how it is set up and starts off, but it is not like a fever dream at all. The stories of the narrator’s past are detailed and structured, and full of her thoughts and feelings during the windows described- nothing at all feverish. They are sensitive and detailed, and brimming with the narrator’s pensive thoughts on others, and her own struggle to find her voice in her writing. The stories from the past are mostly in her 20’s, maybe early 30’s, and drinking, drugs, sex and writing are the azimuths of her life (with a little cleaning thrown in). It is fascinating and intimate getting to share her thoughts and views, and I whipped through it in a couple of evenings. If the fever dreams are an element, I guess they brought up key players in the dreamer’s life, but their parts are described post-fever by a lucid and crystal clear mind.
The final story is a significant break, and is about a different character, Birgitte, and how that character impacted her life and who she is. Spoiler, the rape of Birgitte as a child and its multi-generational impact are the central elements. Though touching, like the other parts of the novel, this didn’t quite fit with the rest of the tale, as good as it is on its own.

I’ll miss sharing the narrator’s thoughts now that it is done…
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diveteamzissou | 13 outras críticas | May 17, 2024 |
A woman is remembering people and events from her past. Each chapter is about a specific individual and how the narrator relates to them. Other chapter leads may appear as minor characters in other chapters.

This was interesting, but I felt it could have been great. I found the chapters became more interesting as the book went on--the later chapters (especially the last) illuminated more about the earlier chapters and why the narrator behaved as she had.
Dreesie | 13 outras críticas | May 11, 2024 |
The unnamed narrator of this novel is a middle aged woman who is experiencing an illness with high fevers and fatigue, which confines her to bed for several days. In the midst of her illness she recalls and revisits Paul Auster's [The New York Trilogy], which was given to her by Johanna, a lover from her past who has found fame as a well known radio broadcaster. The book consists of four characters who have been integral to the life of the narrator: Niki, her roommate in college, who the narrator attempted to befriend while being repeatedly ignored and pushed away; Alejandro, a lover who was a member of a local rock band; and Birgitte, her mother, who had to overcome her own demons after the birth of her children. Each character is somewhat inscrutable in her or his own way, although the narrator’s life was greatly impacted by each of them.

I found "The Details" to be a lovely novel to read, but its ethereal nature and structure means that it neither it nor its characters will stay with me long, and I would be very surprised if it wins the International Booker Prize.
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kidzdoc | 13 outras críticas | Apr 14, 2024 |




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