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Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir

Autor(a) de The Greenhouse

25+ Works 1,439 Membros 93 Críticas 4 Favorited

About the Author

Obras por Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir

The Greenhouse (2007) 465 exemplares
Butterflies in November (2004) 316 exemplares
Hotel Silence (2016) 267 exemplares
Miss Iceland (2018) 199 exemplares
Animal Life (2021) 62 exemplares
L' exception (2012) 52 exemplares
Le rouge vif de la rhubarbe (1998) 34 exemplares
La vérité sur la lumière (2020) 10 exemplares
La escritora (Spanish Edition) (2021) 7 exemplares
Eden (2023) 6 exemplares
Blizna (2020) 3 exemplares
Éden 3 exemplares
Stiklingen (2007) 2 exemplares
DJ Bambi 2 exemplares
Den sista kvinnan (2017) 1 exemplar
La mujer es una isla (2016) 1 exemplar
Eden 1 exemplar
Sessizlik Oteli (2021) 1 exemplar
Ungrú Ísland 1 exemplar
Upphækkuð jörð 1 exemplar
Randai: romanas (2019) 1 exemplar

Associated Works

Out of the Blue: New Short Fiction from Iceland (2017) — Contribuidor — 22 exemplares

Etiquetado

Conhecimento Comum

Nome canónico
Ólafsdóttir, Auður Ava
Data de nascimento
1958
Sexo
female
Nacionalidade
Iceland
País (no mapa)
Iceland
Local de nascimento
Reykjavik, Iceland

Membros

Críticas

After his wife divorces him, the status quo of visiting his mother (who has dementia), managing a company he cares little about and coming to terms with the insignificance of his life, results in Jonas' decision to commit suicide. Still, as an honest and thoughtful man, he soon realises that to do so at home would mean his daughter finding him and dealing with the consequences, which he is at pains to not burden her with.

Instead, Jonas decides a more feasible plan is to travel to the most dangerous country in the world and do it there instead. And with only the clothes on his back and a small tool box of essential tools (to attach a hook that he intends to hang a noose from) he finds himself boarding in the 'Hotel Silence'. an establishment run by a young brother and sister and struggling to resurrect itself after a recent civil war decimated the city's buildings, population and economy.

This is a quick, heartwarming story which examines purpose, fate, suffering, war and perspective. Jonas is an unassuming, likeable character and his struggle is written tenderly and not without humour and hope. A nice little read from Iceland, 3.5
… (mais)
 
Assinalado
Dzaowan | 16 outras críticas | Feb 15, 2024 |
See the full review and more here!

Two stars, largely due to general confusion throughout. I feel like I have to think more about this one and see if things come to make sense... or if this is just a confusing jumble.

Recommended: not really
Stay away if you want a point to the story, if you want clear reactions and reasons for things, if you want more than rambling conversations. Take it on if you have a group of people to discuss it with, maybe with one who's from Iceland, or if you want to have a kind of literary puzzle to decipher.

Thoughts:
I went into this with and entirely different expectation of what I would find, which jarred me a bit in the first few pages. Going through this, my overall impression is that the writing itself is beautiful despite being quite sparse, and I felt like it really reflected the mood and reality of Iceland. (I went to Iceland, and specifically Reykjavik, last December, so I was able to link places and issues they were talking about with my experience.) That more than anything is what kept me going through it: it was just somehow lovely in the words themselves. This is getting two stars because I feel that a critical aspect of this is just out of reach from what I read, but perhaps with discussion around it, that remaining piece would fall into place. I could see this being a favorite book for others, particularly perhaps with a book club or buddy reads.

As a story though? I'm totally lost. It was told primarily through conversations, sometimes in lengths of speaking that were so long I forgot who was talking or why. One technical difficulty with that were issues with punctuation that sometimes obscured who was actually speaking or what they were saying versus thinking - hopefully that's just an ARC issue, but when it interferes with my understanding of the book, I feel the need to call it out.

The characters' stories all felt unconnected to each other. Hekla was the only constant link, and it felt more like each individual talking about themselves, through the medium of Hekla to the reader. Strange moments were sprinkled in as well, such as when Hekla and Jon John are talking about his difficulties with men and women, and in the middle there's a rare line of description: "Two dogs start fighting in the alley." I feel like it should mean something, it should matter that there's this uncommon moment of description, but I have no idea what it would mean. They were not fighting; they were in agreement. If you figure it out, let me know

This is one of those stories where it's about the characters and their mindsets, rather than about a particular plot or conflict. In fact, I have a hard time pointing out a conflict. I even have a hard time pointing out the ending, besides that it was the last few pages. Why was that the last few pages - I have no idea. I really wish I had someone to discuss this book with, as I feel that would help me coalesce some meaning from it, some significance. I feel like it's there, but I'm just missing it.

Thanks to NetGalley and Grove Atlantic for a free advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
… (mais)
 
Assinalado
Jenniferforjoy | 15 outras críticas | Jan 29, 2024 |
This quiet little nordic novel was the perfect read to usher in the new year, with its wintery setting and philosophical musings on life and death, light and dark.

Dómhildur is a midwife, descending from a long line of midwives on her mother's side and from undertakers on her father's, so life and death are her daily bread. As a terrible storm approaches Reykjavik in the days leading up to Christmas, Dómhildur comes across an old box of letters and manuscripts in the flat she inherited from her grandaunt, who was also a midwife known for her unconventional methods. With Dómhildur, we slowly uncover her grandaunt's collection of reflections on all stages of human life and nature and meet some of the people around her, each with their fears, quirks, and hopes.

The writing is gorgeous and lyrical but never heavy, even despite the sometimes peculiar sentence structure. This is a credit to both the author and the translator, as it couldn't have been easy to translate this book! I really enjoyed getting lost in Dómhildur's and her grandaunt's musings. There are a lot of themes at play here, from the most obvious ones to subtler ones to ones that most likely would only emerge on a re-read. Life, death, light, dark, parenthood (but especially motherhood), what it means to be human and our relationship with nature all feature prominently. Still, there are many more besides and the more I think about it, the more I find.

What I struggled a bit with, especially at the beginning is the structure of this book. There isn't a plot as such: it's more a collection of events, like vignettes, that prompt further reflections or arise as memories from something Dómhildur's grandaunt wrote. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but several times it felt disjointed and more than a bit chaotic. I'm not a huge fan of stream of consciousness and similar narrative modes so I had a hard time with this aspect, but if it doesn't bother you then you might enjoy this even more than I did!

Despite that, I enjoyed the slower, more reflective pace that had been missing from some of my previous reads. I liked the writing and the characters and really appreciated how some of the heavier reflections were balanced with lighter moments brought about by some of the side characters; simple, ordinary exchanges that could easily be overlooked but immediately brought up a smile. It's a short book, but it's not a quick book: Animal Life asks, and deserves, that the reader takes their time with it, stopping to marvel at the miracle of life in all its forms.

Definitely recommended to anyone looking for a thoughtful, meaningful read. I'll be looking forward to checking out some of the author's other works!



I received an e-arc of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. This did not affect my opinion of the book in any way.
… (mais)
 
Assinalado
bookforthought | 4 outras críticas | Nov 7, 2023 |
Can't recall where I read an enthusiastic review of this. To quote myself in an earlier review of something I have mercifully forgotten: ICK. I should have known better after reading this summary: "After a day of being dumped—twice—and accidentally killing a goose, a young woman yearns for a tropical vacation far from the chaos of her life. Instead, her plans are wrecked by her best friend’s four-year-old deaf-mute son, thrust into her reluctant care. But when the boy chooses the winning numbers for a lottery ticket, the two of them set off on a road trip across Iceland with a glove compartment stuffed full of their jackpot earnings.... What begins as a spontaneous adventure will unexpectedly and profoundly change the way she views her past and charts her future." Don't. Just don't. Consider this my holiday gift to you: I read it so you don't have to.… (mais)
 
Assinalado
Gypsy_Boy | 17 outras críticas | Aug 26, 2023 |

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Associated Authors

Stefano Rosatti Translator
Brian FitzGibbon Translator
Elías Portela Translator
Ylva Hellerud Translator
Arvid Nordh Translator
Kim Middel Translator
Sabine Leskopf Translator
Éric Boury Translator

Estatísticas

Obras
25
Also by
1
Membros
1,439
Popularidade
#17,872
Avaliação
½ 3.7
Críticas
93
ISBN
140
Línguas
14
Marcado como favorito
4

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