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Bengt Ohlsson – Se till mig som liten är

Posted in Book reviews, and Fiction

Set up in Stockholm between 1970’ and 1990’, Se till mig som liten är follows life of Martin, whose life is turned upside down by his parents’ announcement about an upcoming divorce. It deals with its consequences, growing up, getting own life experiences and.. that’s it. It sometimes happens that book’s synopsis and style look interesting enough for you to buy/borrow it and when you finish it, all you have left is that “Meh, I dunno” feeling. For me it was unfortunately this one.

When I don’t fancy some book, or actually things in general, I’m usually trying not to judge by saying to myself “How do you know you would do better?” or something similar. Because it’s pretty easy just to throw opinions around, it doesn’t mean they are justified. But how should I review a book I ended up praying for it to end? Let’s see.

The main character is portrayed incredibly authentically, especially in the first part of the book back in 1970’s. I could relate myself to his way of thinking until some point, when I just started to think how small prick he really is. You know these kids having it all and are still bitching around, just because they have no idea what does it mean to be in someone else’s situation? Well, if not, read this book. Martin hates the fact his parents are getting divorced, but on the other hand he wasn’t extra keen on them being as a family either. Later on, when he’s a young adult he still doesn’t have much understanding for his parents’ actions, but what can you expect from a young adolescent? Not to generalize, but I guess there are not many who can acknowledge that even parents are people and want/need to carry on their own lives the way they have right to.

Se till mig som liten är has a great style and I really like how Bengt is writing because it takes a few seconds and you are just flipping through the book – so easy to read it is. But I was all the time waiting for something. It actually happen to me one year ago too, with a book almost everyone loves – Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. Maybe it’s just my readership, but I’m looking for some plot, some peak in the storyline which makes me wanna say already mentioned “Whaaaat”. I couldn’t find it. The end of the novel is kind of predictable because, according to all stereotypes, what you’ve been through as a kid you’ll be through later on by yourself. And I don’t believe this. Neither did I believe Martin’s attitude towards his wife.

Is it a readable book? Sure, very. Is there any action, interesting situations? Not much. Why to read it? Read it if you enjoy reading multi-generational novels, focused more on relationships’ dynamics.

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