Sissel-Jo Gazan, Dinosaurens fjer (2008)

Jeg har læst en række meget blandede anmeldelser af denne danske krimi, men den meget langsomme antithriller var en positiv overraskelse. Biblioteksbog.

Jeg nød den meget anderledes krimi, som bruger masser af tid på at udfolde hovedpersonen Annas problemer med sit speciale: kan hun ´bevise´, at fuglen er en dinosaur? Bogen udstiller det danske universitetsmiljø med alle intrigerne, dolkene i ryggen (både metaforisk og i virkeligheden), og hvad politikernes pludselige nedskæringer fører med sig.

Desuden er det en historie om forholdet mellem forældre og børn, med masser af eksempler på, hvilke konsekvenser det kan have at lyve for sine børn. Den væsentligste historie er naturligvis Annas forhold til sine gamle hippiforældre og sin treårige datter Lily. Kunsten at overleve et speciale som enlig mor, uden totalt at overgive sit barn til sin hjælpsomme mor. Udmærket og troværdigt skildret, selv om Lily forhåbentlig er dobbelt så høj, som forfatteren åbenbart tror.

Men hvis man er til hurtige dramaer og biljagter, skal man nok vælge en anden bog.

Sissel-Jo Gazan, The Dinosaur Feather (2011)

I have seen a number of mixed reviews of this Danish crime story, but the very slow anti-thriller was a positive surprise. I borrowed it in the library.

I enjoyed the very different story which takes the time to unfold the main character Anna´s problems with her dissertation: can she ´prove´ the scientists who claim the bird is a dinosaur are right? The book exposes the Danish university environment with the intrigues, the back stabbing (which seems to be more than a metaphor), and the consequences of arbitrary, political cuts.

Furthermore it is a story about the relationship between children and parents, with several examples of which consequences it may have if you lie to your children. The main story is Anna´s relationship with her hippie parents and her three-year-old daughter Lily. The art of surviving a dissertation as a single mother without handing your daughter over to your helpful mother lock, stock and barrel. A fine and credible story – though I hope Lily is twice as tall as the author seems to believe.

But if your taste is fast-paced thrillers and car chases, you should probably try to find something else.

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About Dorte Hummelshøj Jakobsen

I am a Danish teacher. In my spare time I read, write and review crime fiction.
This entry was posted in Danish, review, review 2012, Sissel-Jo Gazan. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Sissel-Jo Gazan, Dinosaurens fjer (2008)

  1. Dorte – Thanks for the fine review of this. I keep reading different takes on this novel and I go back and forth on whether I’m going to read it. That must mean something ;-).

  2. Maxine says:

    Glad you liked this one, Dorte. My view was not quite as positive as yours overall, but I agree there is lots to like in this book. The Eng Lan version needed more developmental editing to focus it a bit, and some better copy editing – I was quite shocked at some of the poor grammar and sentence construction.

  3. Margot: I can understand the divergence; but I have enjoyed reading a couple of ´different´ books lately.
    Maxine: of course the translation is important (too bad, as the Danish book is definitely well-written), and I think your critique is valid. Most editors would probably have told the writer to cut away large chunks of the book – if she wanted to market it as crime fiction. I just enjoy ´slow fiction´ sometimes, but I have done my best to warn my readers what they can expect :)

  4. Sounds intriguing. I love a good Danish book! Is this a stand alone or is it part of a series?

  5. kathy d. says:

    Good review. I also go back and forth about reading this book. I suppose if it pops up in my library system, I’ll read it, but I won’t purchase it. It sounds very readable to me and I’m fine with slower-paced mystery fiction and the science that is brought into this book. The problems with grammar and lack of proper editing would bother me. If I had my own copy, I’d be doing copyediting as I read (sigh) but not with a library book. I hope it comes to my local library and if it does, I’ll try it.

  6. Amanda: it is a stand-alone (though it is written in a way that makes it possible for Gazan to write more stories about the policeman if she should choose to).
    Kathy: it is too bad the translation is a let-down as she writes really well. But apart from that aspect, I think you would find it interesting.

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