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31 October 2009 @ 11:38 pm
R.I.P. Challenge books #1 and #2, and wrap-up  

Well, I managed to complete the R.I.P. Challenge by the skin of my teeth, or, as the literal and more appropriate translation of the Dutch saying goes, by hanging and strangling.

I have to confess my heart wasn't really in it this time around. To be sure, these past two months my attention has been taken up by ghosts, werewolves and vampires, but they featured in a TV series (Being Human) and a film (Let the Right One In) rather than in books. (Although after seeing the film I have put the book, by John Ajvide Lindqvist, on my reading list.)

Because I still wanted to complete the challenge I picked two of the shortest books on my list.

Book #1, The Victorian Chaise-Longue by Marghanita Laski, is about a woman who falls asleep on a chaise-longue and wakes up in 1864, almost a hundred years earlier, in the body of another woman. How to get back to her own time?

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usIt left me feeling rather blank. When I finished it I had actually no idea whether I liked it or not. I guess I felt slightly disappointed and found the ending a bit unsatisfactory. In my opinion Penelope Farmer handled the same subject matter better and with more logic in her book Charlotte Sometimes. Still, I give it 3/5, because I do want to keep it for now, and maybe reread it at some point.

Book #2, Het heksershol by Joost Hiddes Halbertsma is an odd little folktale about a man who sells his soul to the devil, the adventures he has, the tricks he plays, and his eventual bad end.

Upon Googling I found a review in English, focusing on the folkloristic aspects, here. I also discovered that Halbertsma, who died in 1869, is a rather big name in Friesland, with him and his brother working in the same field as the Grimm brothers in Germany. However, I thought this tale was only mildly amusing at best. 2/5, but I'm keeping it because I do like the cover illustration and frontispiece by Jaap Kuyper, plus the fact that, exactly 44 years and 1 day ago, my mum received this as a birthday present from her brother-in-law's parents. Their note is still in the book.


 
 
Current Mood: scaredghostly
Current Music: Ses baisers me grisaient - Emily Loizeau
 
 
 
heartofdavid: readandfloatheartofdavid on November 2nd, 2009 06:43 pm (UTC)
It left me feeling rather blank. When I finished it I had actually no idea whether I liked it or not.
Yes, I've read books that fall in this category - the okay-with-a-touch-of-blah. Usually, I've been unable to make any kind of emotional connection but still find the book readable.

Oh, I do like that book cover!

And the folklore site is very interesting, got caught up browsing through it.
Mnemosyne: thinking_lethe_ on November 21st, 2009 11:07 pm (UTC)
Glad you enjoyed the site!