The Cold Song by Linn Ulmann

Mike’s review

An absolute murderer’s row of blurbs: Jennifer Egan, Tom Perrota, Vendela Vida. Yigun Li and Peter Stamm written down for future reference. Otherwise the jacket wouldn’t have got me. Only picked up in desperation before I walked out of the Library, depressed, and walked into Lake Merritt.

Open with tossing out twenty years alcohol-free is too close to my thought process right now. It would absolutely tingle, right? It’d be an instant hit, right? And then I could chill the fuck out and possess the ability to relate to other human beings and have fun, right?

Most foreign sentence ever: “The news was full of stories about au pairs and nannies who were treated badly: Filipino girls who were forced to work ten-hour days for next to nothing […]” Ten-hour days? I wish I could make nothing and work that little.

WTF? I took a break and then came back to a four page chapter in which a mother takes half-naked pics of her daughter, a ten-year old tries to walk down the street and fuck by showing off the good and a middle-aged man runs his hand through the hair of a teenage girl with hardly a word.

“Today he had written the following: Note to self: Must elaborate.

You can’t just move to a strange place and think, oh yes, here I’ll be happy, here I’ll find peace, here I’ll be able to write my book.” This is exactly how I think. Everything would be different if my physical body was in a different location.

Sometimes I think I should actually review these books because this doesn’t mean much to you, if you’re reading this. How does this give you any idea whether you should or shouldn’t read this book? (You should. You should read all books, even bad ones.) But I can’t do that. “This book effectively used place to demonstrate the decay of the human body and spirit over time. The house was breaking down like all of the humans.” Suck a dick. No one cares. This is how I feel. No one cares about that either. I’ll go suck a dick, don’t worry.

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