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review 2017-12-18 04:05
Eskalation eines Psycho-Kleinkrieges
Der Professor - Amélie Nothomb,Wolfgang Krege

Im Rahmen meiner Autorinnenchallenge komme ich jetzt öfters in eine Enscheidungskrise und diesmal stellte sich beim Buchstaben N die Frage: Nothomb oder Niffenegger? Da mein Goodreads-Lesefreund Semion wahrscheinlich die Zwillinge von Highgate lesen wird, habe ich mich für die mir bisher noch nicht bekannte Autorin Nothomb entschieden, und ich bin positiv überrascht. Dies wird sicher nicht das letzte Buch bleiben, das ich von dieser Schriftstellerin lese.

Die Geschichte ist relativ simpel mit sehr wenigen Protagonisten strukturiert. Das pensionierte Ehepaar Hazel - Emile und Juliette - er war Lehrer für alte Sprachen - erfüllt sich endlich den Lebenstraum vom einsamen und einfachen Landleben. Abseits einer kleinen Ortschaft stehen zwei Häuser, die Zivilisation in Form eines Bauernladens ist leicht erreichbar, der noch unbekannte Nachbar ist praktischerweise auch gleich Arzt. Wie passend!

Der bereits in den Plot eingeführte Nachbar, Monsieur Palamede Bernadin, übt sich ab dem ersten Tag wie Sun-Tse in der Kunst des Psychokrieges. Jeden Tag kommt dieser Quälgeist um 4:00 Uhr Nachmittags vorbei, bleibt bis Punkt 6:00 Uhr, schweigt mürrisch und antwortet einsilbig wenn er was gefragt wird, bleibt aber hartnäckig im Wohnzimmer sitzen. Der gesamte Besuch ist eine einzige Qual und vergällt dem Ehepaar ihren Traum vom friedvollen Leben in der Idylle. Das Ehepaar Hazel hat auf Grund ihrer Erziehung zur Höflichkeit am Anfang wenig Instrumente, sich gegen das schlechte Benehmen des Invasoren in die häusliche Gemütlichkeit zu wehren. Aber nach und nach, gemäß der Kunst des Krieges beginnen die Hazels, Strategien als Gegenmaßnahmen zu entwickeln, die Palamede stets mit einer weiteren Eskalation beantwortet. Da hilft es aber auch nichts, einfach nicht zu öffnen, Monsigneur Bernadin poltert so laut an die Türe, dass er sie beinahe einschlägt, wenn Juliette Hazel krank ist, entblödet sich dieser übergriffige, unhöfliche Mensch doch tatsächlich nicht, im Schlafzimmer der Kranken aufzutauchen und sich hinzufläzen.

Die nächste Finte der Hazels ist, die Frau von Palamede miteinzuladen um etwas Schwung in die Konversation und die nachbarlichen Beziehungen zu bringen. Dieser Abend gerät zum absoluten Desaster:

"Eine Zyste, dieses Ding war eine Zyste! Eva war aus der Rippe Adams gemacht worden, und Madame Bernadin war sicherlich als Zyste im Bauch unseres Quälgeists herangewachsen. [...] Bernadette besaß keine Nase; zwei undeutlich erkennbare Löcher schienen der Atmung zu dienen. Zwei schmale Schlitze oberhalb davon öffneten sich vor den Augäppfeln, doch konnte man nicht mit Sicherheit sagen, ob diese Augen etwas sahen. Am meisten zu denken gab der Mund: man hätte meinen können, der eines Kraken. Ich fragte mich, ob diese Öffnung  wohl Laute hervorbringen konnte."

Zug um Zug steigert sich dieser Kleinkrieg und nach einem Eklat, begeht Palamede Bernadin einen Selbstmordversuch., der von Emile Hazel vereitelt wird.  Nun wird das Ehepaar noch weiter in den Strudel der Angelegenheiten der Nachbarn hineingezogen, denn die offensichtlich behinderte Nachbarin Bernadette benötigt Hilfe, solange ihr Mann im Krankenhaus weilt und irgendwie fühlt sich Emile immer mehr verantwortlich.

So geht die Story mit 2 Schauplätzen 4 Personen mit viel Action weiter, ein Psychokrieg der kleinen Nadelstiche. Kennt Ihr den Film "Das Duell" von Stephen Spielberg genauso ist die Stimmung und der Plot - sehr minimalistisch inszeniert - aber es tut sich wahnsinnig viel von der tiefenpsychologischen Seite her.   

Das Ende des Romans ist sowohl total moralisch verwerflich als auch atemberaubend, da ich zugeben muss, meine moralischen Skrupel ein bisschen über Bord geworfen zu haben und die schändliche Tat beginne, ein klein wenig zu rechtfertigen - beziehungsweise kann ich sie ein bisschen nachvollziehen.

Fazit: Für Fans der vielen Personen, des Gewusels und der Action in Romanen vielleicht ein bisschen zu minimalistisch, für mich aber absolut lesenswert und psychologisch köstlich! Definitv nicht die letzte Nothomb - Tipps von Euch diesbezüglich sind mir herzlich willkommen.

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review 2017-12-17 22:45
It's like reading an episode of hoarders!
Eddie: Grime Doesn't Pay: Brothers Grime, Book 2 - Audible Studios,Z.A. Maxfield,William Arden

'Eddie: Grime Doesn't Pay' is the second book in Z.A. Maxfield's series 'The Grime Brothers' and while I enjoyed it. It didn't quite match the first book for me. 

 

I really, really liked Eddie. Interestingly Eddie rhymes with teddy and that's what Eddie was he was just a total teddy bear and really, really good guy. I liked Eddie a lot. Eddie's one of Jack's partners at 'The Grime Brothers' and he's a really solid guy. Eddie works hard, he's a good friend and as his integrity is rock solid but he's also considerate and honest...in short Eddie's a keeper and it seems that Andrew wants to keep him.

 

Andrew's a school teacher and he's had Eddie on his radar since the first day Eddie brought his niece to school. I have to admit I never quite warmed up to Andrew. I found Andrew to be at times overly controlling and at times just downright obtuse....especially where his father is concerned.

 

I liked the way that Eddie's dyslexia was handled in this story. While Eddie's dyslexia is indicated as being one of the more serious types. While Eddie has worked hard to enable himself to be highly functional and independent he still struggles with his self esteem because he has dyslexia. Ironically it was being dyslexic that also contributed to Eddie's compassion. 

 

At the end of it all I just didn't feel the connection between Eddie and Andrew as strongly as I did between Jack and Ryan. 

 

We are once again given a series where we get a new pairing with each book but we also get to see couples from previous books since the core characters in this series are friends and so far also co-workers. It's been a while since this story was first released back in 2013 and I have to admit now that I've had the opportunity to experience these first two stories there's definitely at least one more story that I'd love to read and that's Dave and Gabe's story, because there's totally a story there. We first met both of these men in Jack's book and again here in this book and and I know for sure that the more I learn about these two...the more I want a story. I know it's been 4 years but a girl can hope, right?

 

One last note...'Jack' was my first time listening to Joe Arden who was the narrator for both of these books and I enjoyed the audio experience. The narration was solid. The character voices were solid and consistent, providing depth to the characters and I'm looking forward to enjoying other books narrated by this narrator in the future.

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review 2017-12-17 20:58
Sometimes, it's the things we don't expect, that turn out to be what we want...
In Case of Emergency: Gay Christmas Romance - Keira Andrews

Daniel and Cole first met 10 years ago as stepbrothers when they're parents had a passing thought to get married...the thought passed and took the marriage with it just as quickly. But Daniel's mother has reconnected with Cole, so when she learns that Cole's going to be in the same city as Daniel working on his thesis, well of course she insist that Cole use Daniel as his emergency contact and having no other friends or family Cole figures why not what's it going to hurt...after all no one every uses their emergency contact anyways, right? Well, until things happen and in Cole's case it's a trip on some stairs that lands him in the emergency room and has the university calling Daniel...his emergency contact...Daniel who's about to head out of town for a romantic holiday vacation with Justin his sorta'...kinda'...almost boyfriend.

 

So what's a man to do when he's left to care for his one time almost stepbrother who's got a broken wrist and a mild concussion and he's scheduled to go frolic in the snow with is almost boyfriend? Why take the almost stepbrother with him of course and this is where the fun begins.

 

It took a bit but I ended up liking Daniel. Initially Daniel was to say the least cold, standoffish and a bit of a jerk about Cole needing his help. While spending the holiday with Daniel is Cole's idea of a holiday in heaven he's also a really decent guy and he tries to convince Daniel to just leave him at home and he'd be fine. But once Daniel sets him mind to something he moves forward and doesn't change his mind. 

 

Once they arrive at the cabin, Daniel discovers in very short order that Justin not only isn't boyfriend material because really how wanted does one feel when the person they're planning on spending a romantic weekend with arrives at their romantic destination with with their own party...nope, Justin showed in real short order that he's someone who's just not even worth knowing. So in true Daniel fashion he makes the decision that things between him and Justin are over  before they really started...me likey this.

 

Finding themselves alone for the holidays the two men start to reconnect and Daniel soon realizes that even though Justin's gone his chance for romance and finding someone to love again is still there in the cabin with him.

 

I liked the epilogue. It was nice to get that peek ahead in time and see that what started when Daniel and Cole are reunited by an accident ended up as something real, solid and very intentional as these two men came together to make a life as a couple.

 

'In Case of Emergency' is a sweet, holiday romance with second chances a touch of hurt/comfort, sexy hot tub times, a bit of Star Wars and one of my favorite parts...no, there are no dragons, but Daniel and Cole are living and loving in CANADA!!!

 

Cole's attending Carlton University...that's my hubby's alma mater. Daniel attended Western (also known as UWO or the University of Western Ontario, it's in London a couple of hours from Toronto). Anyways, my point is that the setting for this one on a personal level just added to how much I enjoyed the story. Yeah, I'm a dork. I get a little bit excited when I read stories that are set in Canada but when it's a story with so many references that are familiar to me...well, it just makes it so easy for me to settle into the story and enjoy, which is exactly what I did.

 

*******************

A copy of 'In Case of Emergency' was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-12-17 05:14
It's another swipe at the Tower of TBR thanks to the world of audio books...
Jack: Grime and Punishment: Brothers Grime, Book 1 - Audible Studios,Z.A. Maxfield,William Arden

I've wanted to read these books for ages now. I'm totally a fan of Z.A. Maxfield and while I haven't read all of her books I'm working on it and I've wanted to read this one for quite a while now. So while I still love to read my books like most things I have come to realize that audio books have a place in my reading routines. 

 

'Jack: Grime and Punishment' is the first book in the series 'The Brother's Grime'. Jack is one of the partners in a company that specializes in crime scene clean up. A company that came into being when Jack's career as a firefighter came to an abrupt end. 

 

Ironically when a job comes up to clean up the house of a suicide victim it's Jack's turn to move on from the past when the victim and owner of the house turns out to be Nick Foasberg...Jack's first love and the person who betrayed him in unimaginable ways. But if Nick is Jack's past then what does that make Nick's cousin Ryan Halloran...is it possible he's Jack's future?

 

To say the least Jack's career gave this story an unusual setting at times and there's a solid cast of interesting characters adding depth and dimension to the story. There was a fair amount of tension and misunderstanding between Jack and Ryan, which was appropriate given the history between these two and add in some interference from Jack's well meaning friends and things definitely got challenging for Jack and Ryan at times.

 

I've enjoyed reading Z. A. Maxfield for a few years now and now I'm enjoying her stories on audio book. I'll probably never conquer my personal Mt. TBR but between my e-books and audio books I'll certainly be giving it a valiant try...so, I'm off to the next book in 'The Brother's Grime' and then who knows where the world of audio will lead me in quest to conquer Mt. TBR.

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review 2017-12-17 03:41
All the world's a stage...
Between Loathing and Love - Andrew Grey,Tristan James

Payton Gowan long ago gave up his dreams of being an actor and turned his talents to making things happen for others, but when the reason for his careers change of course steals his treadmill at the gym Payton comes face to face with is past.

 

When Beckett Huntington bumps into Payton at the local gym he doesn't realize that he's not only meeting the person he blames for outing him all those years ago, the person who caused him to become interested in acting but the he's meeting the person who can help make all his dreams come true.

 

'Between Loathing and Love' is a quintessential 'enemies to friends' story. Payton is a nice guy he's honorable and in spite of the animosity of the past between him and Beckett he sees how talented the man is and he's totally professional in how he behaves in regard to Beckett's career. 

 

I wasn't so sure about Beckett at the beginning but as the story progressed he grew on me and I liked the change from the person we were given to understand him to have been as a young man in high school and the adult that he's become. 

 

There's definite communication challenges between Payton and Beckett which for me made sense given their background these two had a long of trust building to do and just generally needed to develop a better comfort level that allowed for open and honest communication.

 

There were some interesting secondary characters in this story...Beckett's neighbor Val was someone whom I'd like to see more of. He was an interesting character and I liked his open, honest nature and I'd really love to see how things turn out with him and Lars and then there was Rob and while I'm not going to say exactly where he factored into things I will say when last we saw him in this story he shared some things with Payton and Beckett that made me want to have more of a story about him. Then there was Beckett's douchebag co-worker while I don't need to see more of him, I will say he did add some interest in this one.

 

I really liked this story but I have to admit what really added to my enjoyment was the narrator...Tristan James. I cannot like this man is one on my top 5 list of favorites when it comes to narrators. If he's reading the story I just sink right in. I love his voice and the character voices are consistent, expressive and unique, injecting a tone that simply compels me to listen and I do so quite happily.

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