2011 Aussie Author Challenge Completed

The 2011 Aussie Author Challenge, hosted at Booklover Book Reviews, runs from 1 January 2011 until 31 December 2011. The aim is to read and review books written by Australian Authors – physical books, ebooks and audiobooks, fiction and non-fiction.

I’ve participated at the Tourist Level, reading 3 books by 3 different Aussie Authors: 

The Suspect, by Michael Robotham

Esta entrada es bilingüe; para ver la versión en castellano desplazarse hacia abajo.

Time Warner Paperbacks, 2005. Pages 470. ISBN: 9780751534795. First published in Great Britain in 2004 by Time Warner Books.

The Suspect, a psychological thriller, is the debut novel of Australian author Michael Robotham. The action is set in England and Wales, but it takes place mainly in London and Liverpool. The story is told in a first person narrative. The main character, Joe O’Loughlin is a clinical psychologist. When the book opens Joe, as the primary negotiator, is trying to prevent the suicide attempt of a young patient, who has been diagnosed a brain tumour. They both end up spitting to the people watching in the street below. At this stage the reader will know that Joe has a disease too.

Joe appears to have the perfect life, a beautiful wife, a loving daughter, a successful career and he gets involved, as a volunteer, with services to the community. But then a young woman is found murdered stabbed twenty-one times, every one of the wounds self-inflicted. The police turn to him to see if he can help them understand. He knows the victim, he also believes he knows the killer but as he gets closer to the truth, he becomes the main suspect.

The Suspect is a compelling thriller, with fine doses of humour and very well written. The characters are convincing and very well drawn. Although I could not sense empathy for the main character. The plot is pretty well-crafted but I found the solution too twisted for my taste. But all in all it was a satisfying read. I’ll definitively read another one of his novels in a not too distant future.

Michael Robotham began his career as investigative journalist in Australia and Britain. He later became a ghost-writer, collaborating on 15 ‘autobiographies’. Twelve of these books became Sunday Times bestsellers. Twice a winner of the Ned Kelly Award for Australia’s best crime novel, Michael has also been shortlisted the UK Steel Dagger, the ITV3 Thriller Award and South Africa’s Boeke Prize. His psychological thrillers have been translated into 22 languages. His last novel is The Wreckage (Sphere, 2011).

I’m counting it as my third book in the 2011 Aussie Author Challenge.

The Suspect has been reviewed at reviewing the evidence, mostly fiction book reviews

little, brown Book Group

Michael Robotham official page

Sospechoso de Michael Robotham

Sospechoso, un thriller psicológico, es la primera novela del autor australiano Michael Robotham. La acción se desarrolla en Inglaterra y Gales, pero tiene lugar principalmente en Londres y Liverpool. La historia está contada en primera persona. El personaje principal, Joe O’Loughlin es un psicólogo clínico. Cuando el libro comienza Joe, como principal negociador, está tratando de evitar el intento de suicidio de un joven paciente a quien le han diagnosticado un tumor cerebral. Ambos terminan escupiendo a la gente que mira desde la calle. En este momento el lector sabe que Joe también tiene una enfermedad.

Joe parece tener una vida perfecta, una bella esposa, una hija que le quiere, una carrera de exito y se involucra, como voluntario, en servicios para la comunidad. Pero entonces una joven es encontrada de veintiuna puñaladas, cada una de las heridas auto-infligida. La policía se dirige a él para ver si les puede ayudar a entenderlo. Él conoce a la víctima, él también cree conocer al asesino, pero conforme se acerca a la verdad, se da cuenta de que él es principal sospechoso.

Sospechoso es un thriller convincente, con finas dosis del humor y muy bien escrito. Los personajes resultan verosímiles y están muy bien elaborados. Aunque yo no he podido sentir empatía por el personaje principal. La trama está muy bien elaborada, pero la solución me pareció demasiado retorcida para mi gusto. En general ha sido una lectura satisfactoria. Definitivamente voy a leer otra de sus novelas en un futuro no muy lejano.

Michael Robotham comenzó su carrera como periodista de investigación en Australia y Gran Bretaña. Más tarde se convirtió en un escritor fantasma (negro, en castellano), colaborando en 15 “autobiografías”. Doce de estos libros se convirtieron en best-sellers. Ha obtendio dos veces el premio de novela Ned Kelly en Australia a la mejor novela negra. También ha sido finalista en el Reino Unido de la Steel Dagger, Premio de Novela de suspense de la ITV3 y Premio Boeke en Sudáfrica. Sus thrillers psicológicos han sido traducidos a 22 idiomas. Su última novela es The Wreckage.

Roca Editorial

Reseña en Mis queridos sabuesos,

Film review: Carnage (2011) by Roman Polanski

This post is bilingual. Scroll down to find the English language version.

Begoña y yo fuimos anoche a ver Carnage, estrenada en España el viernes 18 de noviembre con el título de Un dios salvaje. Una comedia de costumbres dirigida por Roman Polanski, con guión de Polanski y Yasmina Reza basado en la obra de teatro Le dieu du carnage (Un dios salvaje) de Yasmina Reza, y protagonizada por Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz, Jodie Foster, John C. Reilly. La película se presentó en el pasado Festival Internacional de Cine de Venecia.

La película, ambientada en Nueva York, fue rodada integramente en el interior de una casa con la excepción de la secuencia inicial y final. Un dios salvaje cuenta la historia de dos parejas que deciden tener un encuentro cordial después de una pelea callejera protagonizada por sus hijos. Lo que empieza siendo una charla con bromas y frases cordiales adquiere un tinte más violento a medida que cada uno revela sus propias contradicciones.

Un dios salvaje es una película que me hizo reír con un diálogo ingenioso y una excelente interpretación. Puede que no sea precisamente una obra maestra, pero este es el tipo de película que me hace disfrutar del CINE tanto.

My calificación: 9/10.

Film review: Carnage (2011) by Roman Polanski

Begoña and I went and see yesterday night Carnage, released in Spain on Friday 18 November. A comedy of manners directed by Roman Polanski, with screenplay by Roman Polanki and Yasmina Reza based on the play Le Dieu du carnage (God of Carnage) by Yasmina Reza, and starring Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz, Jodie Foster, John C. Reilly. The film premiered at the 68th Venice Film Festival.

The film, set in New York, was entirely shot indoors except for the initial and final sequences. Carnage tells the story of two set of parents who decide to have a cordial meeting after their sons have had a street fight. What begins as a chat with jokes and friendly phrases acquires a more violent tinge as each one reveals their own contradictions.

Carnage is a film that made ​​me laugh with a witty dialogue and an excellent interpretation. It may not be precisely a masterpiece, but this is the kind of film that makes me enjoy CINEMA so much.

My rating: 9/10.

Official website.


Carnage (2011) by Roman Polanski

The Wild Hunt or Furious Army (L’Armee furieuse) by Fred Vargas

L’Armee furieuse (Vivane Hamy, 2011) is Fred Vargas’ last novel featuring Paris police commissioner Jean-Pierre Adamsberg. It has just been released in Spain under the title, El Ejército Furioso (Siruela, 2011), translated by Anne-Hélène Suárez Girard.

Summary: It’s business as usual for Chief inspector Adamsberg at the crime squad. Although Veyrenc, his former Pyrenees arch rival is keeping his distance, the rest of the team are plodding along….Rettancourt that great bundle of energy. ‘La Boule’ the cat asleep on the photocopier as usual. Danglard with his glass of white wine spouting erudition. Mercadet still half asleep. Froissy backwards and forwards between his food stash and his office. A little old lady is waiting for the Chief inspector outside on the pavement. She has come all the way from Normandy. She doesn’t have an appointment and wants to speak especially to him. One night in her village, her daughter saw the ‘Armée furieuse’, an army of living dead who have returned to snatch sinners from the surrounding areas. Murderers, thieves, all those without a clear conscience feel threatened. The ancient legend is the harbinger of a spate of killings. Although far from his usual beat, Adamsberg agrees to take on the investigation in a village terrorised by superstitions and wild rumours. Helped by the local police, by his son (that he discovered in ‘An Uncertain Place’), and a handful of accomplices, he sets off to protect the sinners from their untimely fate.

From Wikipedia:

‘The Wild Hunt is an ancient folk myth prevalent across Northern, Western and Central Europe. The fundamental premise in all instances is the same: a phantasmal, spectral group of huntsmen with the accoutrements of hunting, horses, hounds, etc., in mad pursuit across the skies or along the ground, or just above it.

It has been variously referred to as Wilde Jagd (German: “wild hunt/chase”) or Wildes Heer (German: “wild host”), Herlaþing (Old English: “Herla’s assembly”), Woden’s Hunt, Herod’s Hunt, Cain’s Hunt, the Devil’s Dandy Dogs (in Cornwall), Gabriel’s Hounds (in northern England), Ghost Riders (in North America), Mesnée d’Hellequin (Old North French: “household of Hellequin“), Cŵn Annwn (Welsh: “hounds of Annwn”), divoká honba or štvaní (Czech: “wild hunt”, “baiting”), Dziki Gon or Dziki Łów (Polish), Oskoreia or Åsgårdsreia (Norwegian: “ride of Asgard”), Estantiga (from Hoste Antiga, Galician: “the old army”), Hostia, Compaña and Santa Compaña (“troop, company”) in Galicia, and güestia in Asturias.

Seeing the Wild Hunt was thought to presage some catastrophe such as war or plague, or at best the death of the one who witnessed it.

Teresa Solana visits London in November 2011

Teresa Solana in London

I presume she is talking about L’Hora Zen, that has just been released in Catalan. The third book in her series featuring the odd couple, the twins Borja (Pep) and Eduard.

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