quite nearly a 5 star book, though some may disagree we all have our reasons for what we like i loved this tale i have read most of H kan Nesser s mysteries and have enjoyed his prose stylings from the first this concise and simple tale is no different brilliantly told, in spare but pointed language, with just enough mystery and feeling the characters are well drawn and easily imagined, the plot is complex but not overly so keeps one guessing, long into the story a Swedish coming of age reminiscing wrapped around a death, or is it the other way around anyway, it succeeds famously for this reader great over art too I ve always been impressed by Hakan Nesser s fiction His detective and police procedural fiction tends to beintellectually challenging andliterary than most books in the genre His characters, motifs and allusions are meticulously and beautifully crafted Until now, I ve read his Van Veeteren series, but I have avidly followed his bibliography of works, hoping thatof his books would soon be available in English translation The book that I ve been anticipating the most was Summer with Kim Novak, which has finally been translated into English and published.The book was worth waiting for It is set in 1962 in Sweden It tells the story of Erik Wasser s 14th summer the summer that his mother was dying a slow death from cancer that his father sent him to live with his 22 year old brother in the family s lakeside vacation home His father s co worker is also having a family health crisis The co worker s wife is entering a rehabilitation hospital to dry out from chronic alcoholism, so the co worker asks if his 14 year old son, Edmund, can go along with Erik Edmund is a quirky, strange lad, but Erik and Edmund hit it off and have what starts out as the best summer of their lives biking, swimming, boating, getting into trouble and pulling off escapades as only a pair of unsupervised young boys can.Both Erik and his older brother have an existential philosophical bent, and both have writing aspirations The older brother is a journalist who is taking the summer off to write his first novel Erik, meanwhile, draws what he calls cartoons, but what is really the prototype of a graphic novel The woman of the title, 24 year old Ewa, is a substitute teacher in Erik s junior high school She bears a striking, uncanny resemblance to Kim Novak, the film star All the boys in school have crushes on her, but she is engaged to a professional handball player, Bertil Albertsson, who is so strong and brutish that he is known as Super Berra Both Super Berra and Ewa spend the summer hanging around the lakeside resort town where Erik and Edmund are staying The boys witness a brawl between Super Berra and another young man at the local amusement park Super Berra does not fight fair and continues to beat his opponent s face and head after he has fallen and lost consciousness This disturbs the boys.Ewa embarks upon an affair with Erik s brother, and Super Berra assaults and batters Ewa He comes by the lake house to confront Erik s brother, but ends up talking only to Erik, letting him know that he intends to return to deal with his brother He does indeed return in the middle of the night when everyone is asleep but he never makes it out of the car park His dead body is discovered next to his car in the parking area shared by a few of the homeowners in the area His skull is cracked, apparently by blunt object The case is never solved The final two sections of the book cover Erik s emotions and thoughts about the case, first 15 and then almost 30 years later Erik does some investigating on his own, despite his closeness to the case and all kinds of emotional conflicts There are two possible interpretations of what really happened in this book The reader has to work through all the ambiguities, read between the lines and make a choice between them The book is beautifully written and, in the end, is a bit of an intellectual exercise. Schweden In Den Er Jahren Ein Kleines Sommerhaus An Einem Der Unz Hligen Seen Hier Verbringen Der Lj Hrige Erik Und Sein Freund Edmund Die Ferien Sie Schw Rmen Von Der Jungen Aushilfslehrerin Ewa, Die Aussieht Wie Kim Novak Und Sich Bald Beim Dorffest In Voller Bl Te Zeigt Zwei Tage Sp Ter Findet Man Die Leiche Von Ewas Verlobtem, Und Eriks Lterer Bruder, Der Eine Aff Re Mit Ewa Hatte, Steht Unter MordverdachtIahre Sp Ter Liest Der Erwachsene Erik Zuf Llig Einen Bericht Ber Ungekl Rte Verbrechen, Und Der Sommer Von Damals Bricht Mit Aller Gewalt Ber Ihn Herein Was Ist Damals Wirklich Geschehen A Summer with Kim Novak by Hakan Nesser.Erik takes us through his early teen years before and after the incident His mother in the hospital dying of cancer His Dad trying to keep the family together His older brother by 8 years , Henry the freelance journalist And Edmund Erik and Edmund spent the summer of their young lives together in a cottage by a lake with Henry Henry was writing his book and getting to know a beautiful woman Ewa Kaludis was a teacher for a time at Erik s school, who later turned up at the cottage with Henry.Erik and Edmund were coming of age and exploring the forest and the island around that cottage was a daily adventure Then the incident happened and life was never the same This is one author I know can be relied upon to write a book story that brings out the best in each character and gets added to my favorites list. Det blir en h rd sommar It s going to be a hard summer Chose it as my must read during the course while studying Swedish.Can t say it was easy for me to read it since I m not that good at Swedish and it contains a bit specific language, some swear words and common sayings proverbs.But the book itself is good and it was interesting to follow the development of the story of one summer in 1960 s, told by a grown up man but through the eyes of the 14 year old boy It s a bit daring when it comes to revealing the awakening of teenager s sexual attraction It s in some ways sad and amusing in others It s full of thoughts, reflections about life and death, light loneliness and moments which change lives and which one can never forget.And it has an open end I loved the way Nesser didn t give an exact answer He made the reader wonder and make own assumptions.Personally I still wonder Jag kom att t nka p att n r min bror skrattade, var det som att bli kliad p ryggen S fin och mysig bok Genialisk skildring av sommarsverige, s rolig ton rsdialog Jag tyckte verkligen om den och den r helt klart en v rdig klassupps ttningsroman. Stand alone A Summer with Kim Novac 1998 2015 iBook.4 5 Interesting read Two teenage boys and an older brother of one, spend a very wonderful summer at a cottage by the lake doing what teenage boys do Both mothers are ill, both fathers coping the best they can, sending the kids off for the summer under the guardianship of the older brother trying to write his first book Adventures and quiet times combined with the re appearance of a stunning looking temp teacher resembling Kim Novac their last months of school, now at the lake too and events all wind up rather dramatically when a murder takes place in the night Years pass and the parties go their separate ways to meet up again later still curious Fabulous twist ending Actually a very interesting storyline approach Good read, as are most of this writers books. This is probably one of the best coming of age novels that I have come across I ve always struggled with book by Nesser and have never enjoyed them as much as I had expected, however this has made me think againa about giving him another try The voice of a teenage boy trying to act like a grown up comes through really really effectively here It really does sound like a genuine voice of a 14 year old I had a few inklings about the final twist, but have to say that I had dismissed them, so it still managed to come as something of a surprise when we had the final reveal of the story I would certainly recommend this as a summer read this year. The Summer of Kim Novak is a haunting and evocative novel, beautifully written to draw you into another place and time a true coming of age tale with added mystery and I loved every moment of it.Hakan Nesser weaves a magical web of intrigue around the reader, this is a tale of friendship, family, love and loss and from building the relationship between the two boys Erik and Edmund to the nuances of how much they can understand about what is going on around them, this is storytelling at it s best, a reader s dream.The sense of place is truly stunning the sights and sounds of Summer, the nolstagic sense of remembrance comes across in every part plus the story itself is highly compelling and unpredictably heart wrenching on occasion.The mystery elements are cleverly woven into the plot and the ending was pitch perfect for me all in all this was a really really excellent read and whilst I have not read Hakan Nesser before this I will certainly be looking fornow No doubt.Highly Recommended.Happy Reading Folks This was a book steeped in traditions of coming of age tales some of the innocence of childhood during one last endless Summer which is confronted with the illness of a parent the violence of relationships and the finality of death.Erik and his mate Edmund are spending their vacation by a lake with Erik s much older brother he s a man of 22 years of age they re eight years his junior full of pranks and schemes Out all day of their bikes, rowing across the lake or dreaming of girls for the first time.The book has been criticised in some reviews for the inadequate translation but I disagree I welcome the efforts made as I couldn t read it in Swedish and the story was one I wouldn t wish to miss reading.At times I thought two boys were Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn as the story recounts their boyhood adventures The story resonates with me as a child of the sixties and the crush the lads have for a supply teacher who appears like a film star.The idea of writing fiction and adventure stories also features in this wonderful tale, as does a love of crime drama and detective books I loved the thought that being grown up was repeating adult idioms or sayings and by quoting Perry Mason life was enriched.As a reader my ability to lose myself in this story was complete and the mystery of the Incident that curtails their fun is a mystery worth considering For me this author is a natural writer, with the greatest of all talents to share stories.
Inspector Van Veeteren
- 287 pages
- Kim Novak badade aldrig i Genesarets sjö
- Håkan Nesser
- 19 June 2018 Håkan Nesser