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Manny Rayner's book reviews

I love reviewing books - have been doing it at Goodreads, but considering moving here.

Currently reading

The Greatest Show On Earth: The Evidence For Evolution
Richard Dawkins
R in Action
Robert Kabacoff
Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies
Douglas R. Hofstadter
McGee on Food and Cooking: An Encyclopedia of Kitchen Science, History and Culture
Harold McGee
Epistemic Dimensions of Personhood
Simon Evnine
Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning (Information Science and Statistics)
Christopher M. Bishop
Relativity, Thermodynamics and Cosmology
Richard C. Tolman
The Cambridge Handbook of Second Language Acquisition
Julia Herschensohn, Martha Young-Scholten


Mälarpirater - Sigfrid Siwertz A quick Google search doesn't produce any proof, but it's hard to believe that this classic Swedish coming-of-age story didn't partly inspire Bergman's Sommaren med Monica, generally acclaimed as one of the most brilliant films of his early period. There's no girl, but many other elements are the same. The three boys steal a yacht and sail out to spend the summer cruising the Stockholm archipelago; after a while, food stocks run low and things begin to fall apart.

If you're a fan of the movie, you may well want to check this one out. While I like Bergman's version better, Siwertz has his own take on the idea and there are some extremely good scenes. Just as with the Bergman, it simultaneously manages to be idyllic and very disquieting.

Well, we've now seen the 1987 movie version, and I'm afraid it's rather disappointing. Most of the key scenes are there; the story's soul, however, has disappeared. The result is a cute teen adventure rather than a glimpse of the abyss lying behind the world's sunny facade.

Oddly enough, Sommaren med Monica is more like the book than the movie which is supposed to represent it. I'm reminded of Brazil and 1984.