Friday, August 12, 2016

Review: Semester Reads for my norwegian culture class

Hi everyone!
So today I went to give you four reviews on the books I had to read this semester in my norwegian class. I read all the books in norwegian and I am also stating the norwegian titles. If you want to know the english titles and I don`t know if they are all out in english you might want to search for the auther. The first book I am presenting is definetly going to be published in german (I got to meet the translator and she worked with us on our translation of the book and she has made beautiful german translation of the book) for all my german followers who might want to pick up a copy of it.

The main or the longest book is by Morten A. Strøksnes and called Havboka. We also had to translate parts of this book which was quiet interesting.
But first to the book itself.
It tells Morten A. Strøksnes story how he and his friend Hugo went to catch a type shark. What is special about it is the fact that they are trying to do so in a rubber boat in the Lofoten through all four seasons. That is the main story line and the original title of the book also implies that.
The book teaches you a lot about the ocean, its animals and plants. The tides, astrology, etc. You get a lot of information. I admire Strøksnes for all his knowledge and the research he has done for this book on the one hand. On the other hand I found it sometimes boring reading pages of lexical texts and in parts a bit disgusting when he went even more into detail.
So it is a great book to teach our classes topic which was the ocean, but I wouldn`t have picked this book up on my own.
If you are interested in the ocean this is definetly a great book and you also get the funny story of how to catch a shark in a rubber boat through four seasons but I find that all the lexical texts are putting the main story in the shadow.

The second main book for me was Skipper Worse by Alexander R. Kielland. It is actually the second book of a duoligy but the storyline takes place earlier than in the first book (Garman Worse). So I would recommend reading the second book (the one I am presenting here) before the first (Garman Worse). This book tells the story of a sailor somewhere in 1800 called Jakob Worse. He comes back from a big trip and finds out that the ocean carrier he is working for is in financial trouble. He offers to help in the owner Konsul Garman offers him a share in the company calling it from now on Garman Worse (hence the title of the first book in the duoligy).
While this happenes the sailor Jakob Worse meets Madam Torvestad who is a fanatical Haugean who arranges for her daughter Sara to marry Jakob Worse, who is more in the age of Madam Torvestad then her daughter.
From now on everything else I would say storyline wise would be spoilery so I just leave it with saying the the book continues with a love triangle, fanatical religious people and the story of a marriage.
I liked this book a lot. There are lot of people thinking this might take place in Stavanger and somehow I (who have lived there for a while) got the same feeling when reading the book. I am usually not much into books of this kind but I really enjoyed it.
Language wise the old style got me in some trouble but it was always understandable. So I would definetly rate this higher than the first book I presented.

 The third book I went really quick into the back of my mind. It is by Johan Bojer and called Den Siste Viking (The last viking) and it is not about vikings.
It is about a fishermen during the 19th century. Due to the bad conditions during winter in the area where they live (Trondheimsfjord) the have to leave it and sail into the Lofoten to fish.
This book shows very well how the life has been during this time. The risks, the fears and so on. It is a really great book just not my taste.
The language is a bit tricky due to so many dialogues in a dialect. I didn`t have much trouble with it as I fine with a lot of norwegian dialects and most things made sence in the context but it is definetly not easy.
I liked it somehow and somehow not, I can`t really tell why. I think it is maybe due to the fact that the descriptions are so well that you really can imagine how it was back then to be a fisherman, but I am not sure yet.

The fourth book we read is Fjorten Dager I Nordsjøen (14 Days in the North Sea) by Leif Henriksen.
This book is told from different perspectives of workes on an oilplatform in the North Sea.
It describes very well what it means to work offshore. The risk, the life, the procedures, the jobs, etc.
I really liked the book. But I still wouldn`t rate it as high as Skipper Worse, although you absolutely can`t compare them to each other.
This book is more a quick read, the language is easy although I had some trouble with the terminology regarding what they are working with otherwise it was really easy to read. The different perspectives gave me a great inside and if you want to know more about life offshore/ work offshore this is a great book.

These were all four books we read.

I hope you liked this post.

See you soon.


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