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Preview: Comments on: Tomorrow Pamplona – Jan van Mersbergen

Comments on: Tomorrow Pamplona – Jan van Mersbergen



Celebrating the pleasures of a 21st century bookworm



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By: An Overview of Posts for Dutch Literature Month (1) | Iris on Books

Thu, 16 Jun 2011 11:43:33 +0000

[...] her introductory post, she has posted a progress report. She has also posted two reviews: one of Tomorrow Pamplona by Jan van Mersbergen, which leads her to an interesting discussion of negative and positive [...]



By: lizzysiddal

Sun, 12 Jun 2011 12:22:13 +0000

Oh, good point! If the protagonist had been a professor or some literary figure, someone would have mentioned Roth and Coetzee. In that case, this would have been a very different "review". There'd have been no positives! Sometimes my literary scotomata are absolute. As for the charge of misogyny - Hemingway can be. Don't know about Kerouac - never finished On the Road. As for Tomorrow Pamplona, I'm not sure whether Danny really loves Ragna. Infatuated, yes. But love? He certainly hates her (with just cause) at the end. Does that make him misogynistic - on balance probably not ..... but we don't know how this bad experience is going to affect him in the future, do we?



By: gaskella

Sun, 12 Jun 2011 10:18:13 +0000

I enjoyed this one despite the masculinity of it; indeed I have more problems reading fluffy books than macho ones usually. I loved your review - and the banter with Parrish!



By: parrish

Sun, 12 Jun 2011 07:57:36 +0000

Fair enough neither of the chaps & Danny imparticular are the brightest of beings, but that would make it a different book maybe one about a professor or some literary figure, what surprised me most about your original response was the charge of Misogyny, which I thought not only harsh but not true & if reversed would probably make at least 90% of chicklit & a good deal of Bronte/Austen novels open to the charge of being Mysandrist (had to look that up) . As for the blog tour question, It's a good one & your safe having posted mine already as part of the Blue Bookcase lit-hop :o ) on a slightly different note I'm enjoying Caesarion, thanks muchly & again am enjoying this pondering.



By: amymckie

Fri, 10 Jun 2011 19:43:42 +0000

I love the way that you chose to review this. Definitely a new take, and I would agree. Wasn't my favorite because those things don't attract me.



By: lizzysiddal

Fri, 10 Jun 2011 19:12:12 +0000

I found that this review made me think a bit more, Parrish. Particularly about the section I didn't include. C) Stream-of-consciousness +-ive gets into the head of the protagonist, reveals the inner man and the hidden mystery of the past, negates all those annoying conversational silences -ve: can be unstructured nonsense (though, thankfully, it isn't in this case), confirms suspicions that the protagonist isn't the sharpest tool in the box. The narrative technique is very controlled and the greatest strength in this novella. The juxtaposition of the suppressed taciturnity of the road trip with the no-holds barred revelations of the past ensured that I read to the end despite disliking the characters. (Both male and female - if you think I was tough on Danny, don't get me started on Ragna.) Despite my prejudices and judgements I enjoyed the read .... and was surprised at the ambiguity of my response to the great reveal. Just who is the most morally degenerate? Ah ha, just found my question for the author's blog tour. (No "borrowing" please!) As Charlie said, the truth of this story does indeed lie somewhere between the extremes I depicted in my original piece. But writing that assessment wouldn't have been half as much fun.



By: Charlie

Fri, 10 Jun 2011 08:32:55 +0000

Certainly there was the idea that I was missing something in the way that they both acted but the flash backs for Danny really helped with that. I think in both examples you've given, the story is somewhere between the extremes, and I think it depends on the individual how much they are going to enjoy it (thinking of the positives and negatives you've listed.) There's no clear cut bias to it, and definitely some surprises when you think you understand the characters.



By: parrish

Fri, 10 Jun 2011 05:32:02 +0000

Yes it was written from the male perspective, It's a story about 2 blokes so oestrogen levels may be lower than the norm but although its set partially around boxing I didn't think particularly action packed as most of it was an internal dialogue Danny had with himself, then there was that dreamlike scene with the old lady by the river that was beautifully written & a wonderful interlude on their trip. Also I agree the sex scenes were lustful, but is that a purely male thing & in that regard Danny adored Ragna, so the love missing was from Ragna. Back again to the yes its written from the male perspective, but that doesn't necessarily make it misogynistic. Yes the attitude more Robert's to test himself with disregard to his partner & kids would test your patience, but that's the case whatever your gender, Also the end comment suggests women aren't brave enough to face the consequences of their action, so I'm guessing that's tongue in cheek. Enjoyed your review, made me ponder thanks