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What books are you reading?

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I am approaching the climax of yet another Jack Vance SciFi novel:

This one is a lot of fun.  The protagonist is from an elite family.  But the dominant elites in the culture look down on those from his country or province or whatever it is, no matter how elite the individual.  The same person paradoxically alternately insists on the privileges due his caste and complains about the lack of egalitarianism in the society.

At the same time he has an obstinate personality that is somehow ingratiating.  A fun read to pass the time.  I wish I was set up to be able to look up words in the dictionary as I come upon them in the Vance books.  I thought William F. Buckley had vocabulary.  Perhaps Buckley has greater command of terms that express philosophical abstractions.  But Vance has mastery when it comes to describing particular things that may be common place or unique to a region or planet.

I already have my next Vance novel on hold request.  I guess I like to reserve Jack Vance in adVance.  :)

Two books by the least-prolific and least-known of the Scandi-noir pack.  I read The Butterfly Effect years ago, not long after it first appeared in English.  I promptly forgot author and title - I often do - but the book itself stuck in my mind.  I wanted to read it again, and eventually tracked it down through Wikipedia's Scandinavian noir page.

For the harder of seeing, here's the text OCR'd from the back of the book.

It is a cold, dark, windy night in Oslo, and Igi Heitmann pores over
the debris in her dead fathers office, trying to piece together the
last days of his life as a failed private eye. She discovers a curious
butterfly medallion in his desk - which in turn leads to the discovery
of a young woman, Siv Underland, in a snow-drift, two bullets in her
head and a gun in her hand. Igi learns that her father and the young
woman died within hours of each other. Who killed Siv Underland, and
did the same person kill Andreas Heitmann? Igi is an under-employed
research psychologist, with more than enough problems of her own: her
husband is a transvestite who often wakes up next to very attractive
men instead of next to her. But she soon finds herself in the role of
detective, on a trail that leads not only to the final days of her
father and Siv Underland, but to the city's underworld of corruption,
sadism and child abuse. Igi is caught amongst the shards of a dozen
shattered lives. She must tread carefully if she is to reconstruct the
violent and tragic truth of those lives, and not be killed herself in
the process.
--- End quote ---

That lead me to look for Rygg's other work, of which there appears to be only one:

Igi Heitmann is being stalked In the suburb of Oslo where she lives
with her cross-dressing husband and their daughter, someone is spray-
painting the walls of the houses. HEITMANN = CHILD KILLER, the
graffiti says. Who would think this, and how do they know where she
lives? On a bitter winter's evening, Igi attends the opening of the
exhibition of an avant-garde artist whose use of violent sexual
imagery has caused great controversy. Moving between the world of
pornographic art and the happy life she shares with her husband and
daughter, Igi must follow a dangerous and shocking path to the truth.

--- End quote ---

Rygg excels in a calm, detached portrayal of bizarre behaviour and horrific evil.



Looks interesting. Which one of these is the first saga?


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