Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Book Review: Depths

Depths by Henning Mankell. This story is about a Swedish naval officer (Lars) who is tasked with measuring the depths of the oceans around certain archipelagos near Sweden. The Swedish navy is interested in finding secret navigable routes for its Navy in preparation for WWI. It is also the story of the depths of Lars's depravity and spiral of doom. This reminds me a bit of Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky. In that novel, we know the crime, we watch the agony of the despair until the ultimate punishment is meted out. In this novel, we watch the spiraling depths of despair, until we finally learn the crime(s).

This novel was recommended by Tyler Cowen:

It is a deeply disturbing book with an amazing portrait of a man spiraling out of control.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Book Review: When the wind blows

When the wind blows, by James Patterson. This was my first James Patterson novel. I was in NYC this past weekend, so I thought I would take this paperback along for the bus ride there and the train ride back to DC. The book is about a veterinarian (Frannie), an FBI agent (Kit), and a eleven year old girl (Max) who can fly. Max is part of a genetic research project initially designed to prolong life expectancy and leads to mutations. In addition to having wings and being able to fly, Max has other "super powers". The book is a page turner. However, it does not have any scientific depth nor is it really a clever murder mystery. That being said, it served its purpose as companion on a bus ride.