whodunit? jo nesbo's 'the snowman' & other cultural events
if you have a chance, take in the flicklost bohemia by joe astor, formerly of canton oh. it's a short documentary about the community of artists who lived, some for fifty years or so, in the apartments above carnegie hall. it will probably be shown as an art film around the country and is a fascinating peek at a world i, for one, didn't know existed-- right in my own back yard, so to speak.
i am sorry to say that for the first time i was disappointed in a metropolitan opera movie production. we saw mozart's don juan over the weekend. the eight leads (eight leads!!) all had fantastic voices. as a concert, it would have been beyond outstanding. but it was presented as an opera and something was off with the setting. the set was a three-storied vertical that we have seen many times in the past two years. it's not trite yet, so that's not what i'm complaining about. my complaint is that the staging did not taking advantage of the three levels. but worse than that, for the most part, the director did not take advantage of the whole horizontal stage either. i understand that if the scene calls for two people 'whispering' to each other, you can't have the stage full of peasants dancing, but so many times the characters could have moved, or someone could have passed in the background instead of showing us a tight little scene. but no carping about the music; it was magnificent.
now i am reading jo nesbos' The Snowman. it is advertised as following in the footsteps of steig larssson. really odd. nesbo was writing first for one thing and though i am not fond of larsson's trilogy, he is the sharper, cleaner writer of the two. norway is also the background of nesbos's novel and the book does feature a number of gory crimes against women.
The Snowman is the seventh in a harry hole series. i have not read any of the previous books. one thing i can say in favor of the snowman is that, although it probably connects with earlier books in the series, it does stand alone.
harry is a typical noir detective: he has a drinking problem; he has women problems; he is both an intuitive detective and a hands-on detective. for example, for no strong reason, he decides to go to a family owned shack that had been searched by police before. what do you know? it seems that during the previous search, the police did not open the large freezer where, guess what? harry finds a body.
i like very smart katrine bratt who is working with harry. i also like all of the red herrings we readers follow along with him. i have to say that if i were a serial killer, i would find something quicker to leave as my calling card than a snowman. think about it, wouldn't it be easier just to steal a rose from a neighbor's rose bush and leave it near the body than to spend a half-hour or so making a snowman in your victim's yard?