Thursday, August 29, 2019

New release: THINGS FROM BELOW and Other Stories

New book release on Amazon:
THINGS FROM BELOW and Other Stories

Contains the horror novella "Things From Below," plus three other tales of the macabre:
- "Sniper, Viper..."
- "Man Bites Alien"
- "Served"

Read sample chapters HERE!

 #aryngve #books #shortfiction #literature #horror #weirdfiction #skräck #lovecraftian #macabre #bookrelease #book

Bokmässan närmar sig....

 
På Bokmässan i höst kommer jag att stå i monter A01:52 för att sälja och signera min nya bok REX OMEGA (utgiven på TiraTiger Förlag).
 
Detta är en lättläst, underhållande, lätt satirisk thriller där kungen av Sverige är huvudpersonen - läs mer om den HÄR.

På söndagen kl.10 ska jag medverka på Fantastikscenen på mässan (i Fantastikgränden), för att presentera REX OMEGA.

Vi ses på mässan! :-)


Monday, August 26, 2019

Book reviews: ADJUSTMENT DAY by Chuck Palahniuk


ADJUSTMENT DAY (2018) by Chuck Palahniuk.

Rodney King famously asked: "Can't we all just get along?" In this satirical novel, an American underground insurrection answers the question with a loud "NO." (However, the insurrection does not get the last word....)

I don't want to spoil too much of the plot, so let me focus more on the style, structure and message of Palahniuk's irreverent novel...

1) The narrative is non-linear, i.e. we jump back and forth in time. It can get very confusing. I don't think this stylistic device always works out - especially the ending.

I actually double-checked the final blank "leftover" pages to see whether I had missed something, because the story seems to fall apart in the last 12 pages.

2) The book contains several "meta" jokes that made me laugh. For example, characters in ADJUSTMENT DAY talk derisively about Chuck Palahniuk and his other novels.

There's also a hilarious joke about Stephen King's frequent use of the "Magical Negro" stereotype.


3) The narrative jumps between many different characters. I think several of them were underdeveloped, especially Shasta. Even in a broad satire like this, characters need to be a bit more than just plot devices.

4) ADJUSTMENT DAY features many quotes from a book-within-the-book, a kind of "insurrection bible" that is part of the story. Perhaps these quotes will cause more misunderstandings than any other part of the novel.

The thing is, that "bible" is a mess of self-contradictory, frequently racist bullshit. It is clearly not meant to be taken seriously, but some readers might do so anyway. This "Missing the Point" fallacy is the bane of satire.


Despite the above criticisms, there are parts of ADJUSTMENT DAY that work really well. It successfully pokes fun at the idea that Americans should segregate along lines of race/culture and only live with "their own kind" to be their "authentic selves" (guess how that works out).

ADJUSTMENT DAY is uneven, sometimes confusing, sometimes very funny - and it touches a raw nerve in American culture.
Recommended.

#bookstagram #bookreview #bookreviews #bookcover #review #reviews #novel #literature #chuckpalahniuk #adjustmentday #fightclub #satire #metafiction #america

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Arbete pågår: Illustrationer till en kommande bok...

Jag håller just nu på med att göra bilder till en bok av en annan författare. Här är ett litet smakprov...

Detta ska bli uppföljaren till en barnbok som kom ut förra året, och som innehöll bl.a. talande apor. (Kan ni gissa vilken bok det är...?)

Fler arbetsprover från mina andra arbeten finns här:
http://aryngve.com/artist.html


Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Book review: THE THREE MUSKETEERS by Alexandre Dumas


THE THREE MUSKETEERS (1844) by Alexandre Dumas.

I listened through this novel as a free Public Domain audiobook (see librivox.org). It was originally released as a magazine serial in French.

NOTE: The English translation I listened to may have been slightly "bowdlerized" by British publishers, who were uneasy with the French author's relaxed attitude about sex.

You see, while Charles Dickens and other British writers entertained Victorian readers with novels about chaste characters who never even dreamed about doing anything below the belt, Dumas's heroes had mistresses, drank hard, cursed and casually killed people in duels.

The novel's main protagonist, the reckless young swordsman D'Artagnan, can be read as a kind of 17th-Century James Bond. He takes on a secret mission, seduces a woman, is himself seduced by an evil female spy, and foils a plot to disgrace the Queen of France.

What elevates this story above simplistic pulp adventure is Dumas's sense of irony, and a certain cold-blooded cynicism. The heroes are really a bunch of self-serving womanizers and bruisers, who ultimately fail to make any change to the corrupt society they live in.

The famous phrase "One for all and all for one" does occur in the novel - once. The camaraderie of D'Artagnan and his three musketeer friends does feel genuine.

Entertaining, sometimes outdated, definitely "problematic" - but interesting, especially if you're into "gritty" fantasy literature and historical fiction.

#bookstagram #bookreview #alexandredumas #thethreemusketeers #classics #literature #booksuggestion #book #novel #novels

Friday, August 09, 2019

Möt mig på Bokmässan i höst!

 
På Bokmässan i höst kommer jag att stå i monter A01:52 för att sälja och signera min nya bok REX OMEGA (utgiven på TiraTiger Förlag).
 
Detta är en lättläst, underhållande, lätt satirisk thriller där kungen av Sverige är huvudpersonen - läs mer om den HÄR.

På söndagen kl.10 ska jag medverka på Fantastikscenen på mässan (i Fantastikgränden), för att presentera REX OMEGA.

Vi ses på mässan! :-)


Monday, August 05, 2019

Book review: THE ELEMENT ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SECRET SOCIETIES

THE ELEMENT ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SECRET SOCIETIES (2006) by John Michael Greer.

I'm a skeptic and I don't believe the world is being run by secret societies. (Seriously, does it look like anyone is in charge of things?)

There's a lot of history on offer in this book, and sorting the facts from fiction. One thing I learned was that many secret societies functioned as insurance funds during those times when public social security was weak or absent. Or that secret societies exist in African countries and Native American tribes.

Still, l wonder: What is it that Western secret societies, you know, *actually do* today? (Apart from social networking and frat parties for grownups?) Sad to say, this book answers lots of questions except that one.

What's commendable about this encyclopedia: it takes a firm stance against disinformation, paranoia and bigotry.
Various conspiracy theories are listed and debunked. (More recent ones, such as "Q Anon," are missing.) Curiously, though, the book does promote the "Shakespeare didn't write his plays" hypothesis.

Anyhow, this book makes a great source of inspiration for fiction writers. If you want to learn more about secret socities, or you want to try your hand at writing conspiracy thrillers, or you're just curious, this is an entertaining introduction.


(Caveat: the author is himself a Freemason. Is he REALLY telling us everything...? ;-))

See also my review of Umberto Eco's FOUCAULT'S PENDULUM, elsewhere on this blog (or in my Instagram feed).

 #bookreview #bookreviews #johnmichaelgreer #theelementencyclopediaofsecretsocieties #conspiracy #conspiracies #secretsociety #secretsocieties #freemasons #illuminati #bohemiangrove #masons #bavarianilluminati #aleistercrowley #masons #occultism #theosophy #hermeticism #anthroposophy