A Fairy Tale

A Fairy Tale

Book - 2014
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"In a Europe without borders, where social norms have become fragile, a son must confront the sins of his father and grandfather, and invent new strategies for survival A young boy grows up with a loving father who has little respect for the law. They are always on the run, and as they move from place to place, the boy is often distraught to leave behind new friendships. Because it would be dicey for him to go to school, his anarchistic father gives him an unconventional education intended to contradict as much as possible the teachings of his own father, a preacher and a pervert. Ten years later, when the boy is entering adulthood, with a fake name and a monotonous job, he tries to conform to the demands of ordinary life, but the lessons of the past thwart his efforts, and questions about his father's childhood cannot be left unanswered. Spanning the mid-1980s to early-twenty-first-century in Copenhagen, this coming-of-age novel examines what it means to be a stranger in the modern world, and how, for better or for worse, a father's legacy is never passed on in any predictable fashion"--
Publisher: Brunswick, Vic. : Scribe, 2014.
ISBN: 9781922070869
Characteristics: 405 p. ; 21 cm.
Additional Contributors: Barslund, Charlotte


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Aug 03, 2015

I can give this book only two stars even though I acknowledge its literary value. In many ways, it's an extended piece of prose, sometimes lyrical, often whimsical and filled with angst worthy of a German romantic poet.
But the subject matter is in the end depressing. I found Bengssson's choice of structure generally annoying: an endless series of vignettes, snapshots of moments in time, seemingly irrelevant events (a few of which turn out to be of consequence, but most not).
Nor is the protagonist a particularly sympathetic person. Some readers may forgive his cavalier treatment of Petra, who loves him so selflessly but I cannot. His father's totally screwed-up state of mind and bizarre behavior was clearly a poor influence on him, but that shouldn't let him off the hook. All of us are to one degree or another both beneficiary and victim of our parents; it's up to each of us to become our own person. Peter made some poor choices. The reviews and commentaries about the book promise an exploration of "the unbreakable bond between a father and a son". While that relationship is certainly there, it falls short of expectations, even in its final denouement.

Mar 27, 2014

This book chronicles the day to day life of a boy on the run with his father. The story is interesting and there is a steady feeling of anticipation. It pulls you through page after page because you are determined to get to the point where you find the purpose. It does provide a conclusion but only through the reader's inference. I had to laugh at the end of it because I felt like the author had outsmarted me.

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