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Moving mountains

Book Review – “Blood on Snow” by Jo Nesbø

OLAV LIVES THE LONELY LIFE OF A FIXER.

WHEN YOU ‘FIX’ PEOPLE FOR A LIVING – TERMINALLY – IT’S HARD TO GET CLOSE TO ANYONE.

NOW HE’S FINALLY MET THE WOMAN OF HIS DREAMS.

BUT THERE ARE TWO PROBLEMS.

SHE’S HIS BOSS’S WIFE.

AND OLAV’S JUST BEEN HIRED TO KILL HER.

———-

About the protagonist…

Blood on Snow tells the story of Olav; a hitman with a heart, a “fixer” for a heroin dealer in Oslo. The book is told through his eyes, which I found to be an interesting perspective, given that most books by Jo Nesbø are third person narratives.

Olav isn’t your typical, cold-blooded killer, though. He’s dyslexic and, despite being a fixer, admits among other things that he’s got a “weak, sensitive nature”, and falls in love far too easily. Pretty ironic, right? Also, at one point during the book, Olav speaks about his troubled childhood, and the bad relationship he had with his abusive father. In fact, he says that he gets the dark side of his personality from his dad, and describes it as being “like a virus, an illness in my blood”.

On to the story…

The book starts off on a typical snowy winter day in Oslo, with Olav having just shot his latest victim. The day after, when he is asked to go to his boss’ office for the next job briefing, he is instructed to kill Corina Hoffman, his boss’ wife.

Olav rents a room in a hotel just opposite the Hoffman residence, in order to observe Mrs. Hoffman’s daily routines, her coming and goings, following her wherever she goes. He is immediately taken by her beauty. Everything seemed normal in the apartment, with Corina, until one day he notices something shocking taking place. What’s more absurd is the fact that the same thing happens every day, at exactly the same time. Olav subsequently decides to take drastic action, which causes his original plan to kill Corina Hoffman to go haywire.

The second half of this pacy thriller then races by in an extended climax, which is where Nesbø really shines. The cinematic-like showdown in a church crypt is one of the best action scenes he’s written yet, I believe. And I certainly wasn’t expecting the plot twist towards the final pages of the book.

My rating:

four_half-stars_0-1024x238

 

Words of the Day

apposite” (adjective) – Appropriate, suitable, or fitting

Example: Jake drinks red wine with each meal and does not worry about what wine connoisseurs say is apposite for each dish.

languid” (adjective) – Very slow and relaxed

Example: After sleeping for hours, the cat moved leisurely in a languid motion.

Words of the Day

anathema (noun) – Something or someone that one really hates

Example: After the world learned of his heinous crimes, the dictator was considered an anathema.

amorphous (adjective) – Having no clear shape or form

Example: Under the microscope, the unknown virus appeared to be amorphous.

Words of the Day

ameliorate (verb) – To make (something bad or unsatisfactory) better

Example: Ameliorate your singing by taking a few vocal lessons.

amanuensis (noun) – A person employed to write or type what someone else is saying

Example: As the court’s amanuensis, the woman’s job was to type all of the meeting’s minutes.

Words of the Day

Welcome to Words of the Day: Gone Raunchy!

A double ‘d’ edition!

…  Double ‘d’, as in double the definitions, of course.

What did you think I was referring to? ;P

Yes, ladies and gents. Today, we’ll be looking at words, phrases and euphemisms that all have to do with… sex!

  • how’s your father” – A euphemism to refer to sexual intercourse
  • the old in-out” – A phrase referring to sex
  • slap and tickle” – Playful sexual activity
  • The Birds and the Bees” – An idiomatic expression/euphemism that refers to courtship and sexual intercourse

 

The fact that there are sometimes several words – which mean the same thing – that can be used instead of another, is amazing. That, I think, is one of the beauties of the English language.

– Preston Carbonaro

 

T Minus 1 Day

The wait is almost over! Less than 24 hours to go until I am in Sweden refereeing in this year’s edition of the Gothia Cup. And I’ve really been looking forward for this day to come.

This week has been quite busy, as I’ve been preparing myself both physically and mentally for this big event. Training, and going over the changes in this season’s Law of the Game, mainly. Just to recap, this is a huge tournament, with 1,762 teams from 82 nations taking part, and a total of 4,372 games to be played!

Now, seeing as this will be a rather eventful week – with approximately 20 matches in a week – I will not have the time to post anything on my blog, here. With that said, however, don’t think that I’ve totally forgotten about you, dear readers. For I spent last week writing posts which I’ve scheduled for the week that I’ll be away. And keep your eyes out for a “special” edition of Words of the Day, and a book review. So stay tuned 😉

Also, I will be taking notes during my stay in Sweden, so that when I come back, I’ll let you in on all that happened.

Till next week, my friends! Or as they in Swedish; vi ses!

– Preston Carbonaro

 

Book Quote

I told her I loved her. Just to see how it felt to say it to someone. Like shooting at targets in the shape of human torsos; it’s obviously not the same, but it still feels different from shooting at plain round targets. Obviously I didn’t mean it, just as little as I meant to kill the torso-people on the targets. It was practice. Familiarisation.

– Excerpt from Blood on Snow by Jo Nesbø

Fancy Some Fries With That?

An advertising billboard for local restaurant chain New York Best sparked controversy, over the weekend, due to it depicting Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” with a satirical twist – Christ and his disciples feasting on burgers, pizza, and hot dogs, and drinking milkshakes.

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I honestly do not see what’s so wrong about this. If anything, I think it was a clever, original, and funny idea to come up with.

The real funny thing, though? It’s the hypocrites that this damn country is full of.

First, the people who were so “offended” by this advert for “insulting” and “ridiculing” their religion, are probably the same so-called “devout Catholics” who blaspheme at least once or twice in every sentence.

Secondly, and probably the most ridiculous of all, is that the day after this billboard was put up, a certain Henry Battistino vandalised the poster by peeling off the part where Jesus appears. Not only that, but he shared pictures of the act on Facebook, claiming that “I saw our Lord, who died to save us, ridiculed to sell some pizza and chips” and “I tried to speak with the owners but was coldly and arrogantly told to send him an e-mail. My faith is stronger than any man-made law and I can never agree with the removal of vilification of religion [as a criminal act]”. Here comes the hilarious part (not in a good way). Henry Battistino, my dear friends, is the leader of the “Moviment Patrijotti Maltin” (“Maltese Patriots Movement”), the same guy who came up with the bright idea of selling pork sandwiches as a “protest against Muslims”. Remember that? Yep, the same friggin’ racist low-life.

To close this post off, I just wanted to say how much I admire the New York Best owner – Tommy Diacono – for the way he handled the whole situation. When speaking to the Times of Malta, Mr. Diacono said he had received lots of threats and abuse in anonymous calls and messages since the controversy began but he did not intend to press for prosecution. “I have the right to do so but I’m going to rise above it,” he said. “First of all, because they’re not worth my time and also because I want to give an example and turn the other cheek.” Ultra cool, if you ask me. Although, knowing me and my wanting to make a point, I probably would’ve pressed for prosecution.

– Preston Carbonaro

Words of the Day

tawdry” (adjective) – Shameful or indecent

Example: A tawdry love affair.

tersely” (adjective) – In a short and concise manner; briefly

Example: When Jessie is angry, she only gives terse responses.

 

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