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review 2019-02-10 11:51
Shutterspeed (And A Bit On Flemish Literature)
Shutterspeed - Erwin Mortier

Flemish literature and I are not what you would call a happy couple. We more or less tolerate each other as long as we stay away and don't try to mingle. How I ended up reading a Flemish book in English translation beats me, but I am glad I did because this one might save me a trauma.

For those of you unfamiliar with Flemish literature, the main theme is often the coming of age of the main character who's spending the final time of their innocent lives. Some of my previous ventures into the genre ended not so great with me being either bored out of mind after reading a mess of a book (The Sorrow Of Belgium, hailed as one of masterworks of Flemish literature I kept thinking it needed a proper editor) or being disgusted out of my mind also by reading a mess of a book (The Melting, I didn't want to read it but it was the only book people were talking about and kept asking me why I hadn't read it since 'I read books'. The book basically just throws everything it can think of in terms of uneasy/gross things in hope of shocking the audience, but I felt beaten with this cheap trick to incite emotions). Also, the fact that my first thought on finishing Shutterspeed was ' Luckily this one didn't involve a rape '  accounts for something.

Shutterspeed while following the path of the coming of age and his last innocent summer, was much nicer to read. The story is rather slow and I had a slight feeling that had I been reading the book in Dutch I would have found the writing too melodramatic, but in English for some reason I'm more permissive. It's a short read and I would definitely try something else by Erwin Mortier.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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text 2015-02-19 19:29
TBR Thursday #28
Dark Vision - Debbie Johnson
City of God - Cecelia Holland
The Many Lives of Ruby Iyer - Laxmi Hariharan
The Curse Keepers Collection - Denise Grover Swank
Sea of Stars (The Kricket Series Book 2) - Amy A. Bartol
Harrison Squared - Daryl Gregory
Shutterspeed - Erwin Mortier
The Thorn and the Sinking Stone (Entangled Teen) - CJ Dushinski
Tookey's Talkies: 144 Great Films From the Last 25 Years - Christopher Tookey

Moonlight Reader started the TBR Thursday, and I think it's a good way to a) show what new books I've got and b) confront myself with my inability to lower my TBR. In fact, since I started recording it, it has risen significantly. I get the feeling I'm doing something wrong here...


Still no success lowering the TBR, so I just keep trying, and hope next week will be better, TBR-lowering wise. It would be a lot easier if there weren't so many books out there that sounded interesting. 


TBR pile currently stands at 348. (+20; seriously what happened; except that I added the Curse Keeper's Collection as individual books)

(Netgalley ARCs at 163 (+8))

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review 2013-05-08 00:00
Gestameld liedboek / druk 1: moedergetijden
Gestameld liedboek: Moedergetijden - Erwin Mortier Erwin Mortier, a Belgian writer, wrote 'Gestameld liedboek : Moedergetijden' in an attempt to capture the effects of Alzheimer's on his mother and his family. Recreating his youth and the life of his mother through snippets of memories, he tries to give his mother a fitting farewell.

And did he succeed. 'Gestameld liedboek' is absolutely stunning. It's one of the best books I've ever read stylistically speaking - Mortier has a way with words that sets him apart in Dutch writing. Ironically, the first thing his mother loses due to her disease is her ability to use words. This creates a beautiful tension, but also a sadness that is almost too sad to describe. This book is, sincerely, heartbreaking and extremely beautiful.

Now if you'll excuse me while I go grab something to eat and think of a present for my mother. Perhaps it will we this book. But I do know this - time is short, and one should always use it. Even if it's just to create more memories than any illness can take away.
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