Book roundup: Tore Rem, Megan K. Stack, Michael J. Totten

Tore Rem - Sin egen herre (2009), Født til frihet (2010) - En biografi om Bjørneboe

Tore Rem – Sin egen herre (2009) / Født til frihet (2010)

Jens Bjørneboe has been so much to so many that it is impossible to entirely like or dislike him. He abandoned Rudolf Steiner’s bullshit mysticism, and became a passionate individualist, but a whimsical intellectual. He was open about his faults, but also a myth-maker. He got beatified as the saint of radical clichés, but that’s hardly his fault. It was a small pond. Almost forgotten now is how he was a product of a time when Norway was part of the Germanic cultural sphere. Our move to the Anglo-American sphere left a vertical cultural gap through the decades, with him on the other side, burning Disney comics. He never did “love America”, and his world is further apart from us than it seems.

Recommended: Yes. And like any good biography, it uses both the age to study the subject, and the subject to study the age.

Megan K. Stack - Every Man in this Village is a Liar, Michael J. Totten - The Road to Fatima Gate

Megan K. Stack – Every Man in this Village is a Liar (2010) / Michael J. TottenThe Road to Fatima Gate (2011)

Along with the blood and death and the pain that never goes away, one of the things all wars seem to produce is a trickle of excellent war reporting, hiding within a torrent of lies and fantasies. So also in the Middle East. It’s not worth the cost, but there it is, poetry and insight from pain.

Recommended: Yes, both. Stack for the writing, Totten for the macro insights. Their first-person observations are particularly interesting in light of the revolutions that came afterwards.

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