Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Two Soldiers by Roslund & Hellstrom

She's been living here for so long.

Ms. Pronoun doesn't like to move or can't or likes the place she's at. The only question this raises is who cares? Next line:

It's mostly voices.
Maybe footsteps.

Prose that looks like poetry. And  maybe footsteps? That means maybe not; so if not, ignore that sentence then. Perhaps someone is making a run for some artsy-fartsy literary award? What follows is a paragraph with some curiousness. People pass by this pronoun's door and she wants to call them in so they can hold her hand. A little creepy. Then there is a break and more artsy-fartsy sentence fragments that sound like bits from a long lost Beatles' song written in a drunken stupor with Jimmy Savile:

Her face, so strange.
She's sixteen, maybe seventeen, or even eighteen.

I personally don't like sentences that offer no concrete information and whose only purpose is to further befuddle the as yet blank mind of the readers whose only reason to care so far is the fact they paid money for this book. Plus, it feels like beefing up the word count. Then:

But she looks old.

Eighteen is not old - well, it is if you are nine. Is a nine-year-old narrating?

Mind, these are separate paragraphs, even though they all should be part of one grand paragraph because they are all about one idea. They are separated into paragraph fragments to heighten some intensity that must only exist in the authors' (one?) mind, because I ain't feeling it.

The first two pages are broken up into four parts that on the surface don't have anything to do with one another. Briefly, in the first a pronoun is in a space she's lived in a long time and wishes to ask people in. In the second there is a pronoun who may or may not be dead, hands probing her body and a needle doing something again, again, again before giving up and breaking. In the third a pronoun is in a place with people screaming, there is pain she can deal with like her period, though it's more often and longer and someone had put her in an armlock. The fourth begins with the snowy weather outside a window the pronoun is looking out of where she'd made a snow angel before being dragged back in. There are guards, an ambulance and green uniforms. It feels jumbled and blurred which might be the intended effect, but the only questions this opening is raising is why am I reading this? I can't tell if this pronoun(s) is in an insane asylum, a torture chamber, or at daycare or all of the above depending on the holiday.

Then more short sections like:

Like waves. Like fire.
Something hitting, pressing, forcing. It's happening inside her body. But she has no control.

There is so much more of this style like:

The waves. The fire. The pressure. The pounding. The force.

At this point I've had enough of this pretentious attempt at creating tension and suspense. It reads like a six-year-old on a rampage with a dictionary. On page 5 we learn what this is all about and I laugh out loud.  All that for that? Hint: It isn't kidney stones. The wording doesn't fool me into getting hooked. Corny never hooks.
Her face, yeah, yeah, yeah, so strange, baby.

First thing said:

"Come on."

Verdict: Fail

Rudy Globird

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