User Profile

Jan Kjellin

Janne@bookrastinating.com

Joined 1 year, 3 months ago

Primarily likes to read scifi/horror/fantasy/anything on the edge of the ordinary...

Falun, Sweden. Will post in swedish or english, depending on the language of the book.

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Jan Kjellin's books

Currently Reading

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started reading Misery by Stephen King

Stephen King: Misery (Paperback, 1988, New American Library) 4 stars

Paul Sheldon. He's a bestselling novelist who has finally met his biggest fan. Her name …

Content warning mentions part of the plot that should be obvious, but you never really can know, can you?

Scratching the surface

2 stars

I wouldn't go as far as to call out Abrahamsson as a charlatan, but this collection of lectures and articles explains very little or virtually nothing about those unseen forces mentioned (promised?) in the title. Nor does he go in-depth in any of those texts. It'a a mere scratching on the surface, an obscured invitation ("DO YOU WANT TO KNOW MORE?" of sorts to apply for a membership that will provide to you the Truth - if you can handle it. ("YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!").

I have friends in deep rabbit holes who would love this book for it's mix of talks on individual spiritual growth paired with the occational dog whistles about contemp(t)orary, woke society.

That said; some of Abrahamssons main points about the creative force of opposites and his mentions of magic/magick as a term for the unmeasurable, invisible (occult) aspects of existence do resonate with me. …

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reviewed Piranesi

Piranesi (2020, Bloomsbury Publishing) 5 stars

From the New York Times bestselling author of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, an …

The House gives you wings

5 stars

With splashes of Kazuo Ishiguro's "The Buried Giant" in a setting partly reminiscent of Mervyn Peake's "Gormenghast"-trilogy, Clarke's book is a melancholy, yet innocent, account of the life of the man known to himself (and referred to by the Other) as "Piranesi".

Between the lines lies the question of identity (also asked by Ishiguro); who this "Piranesi" is, was and will become forms a central part of the story. As does the general question of what defines me as an individual and how this current manifestation of "Me" relates to earlier manifestations of myself. Where does yesterday-Jan Kjellin reside and what influence - if any - does he have the power to wield over now-Jan Kjellin? And further: what influence will now-Jan Kjellin have over tomorrow-Jan Kjellin? Does yesterday-Jan Kjellin sleep inside me? Can I wake him when/if I should need him?

Let's get back to the book, though. I …

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reviewed The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett

Stephen Baxter, Terry Pratchett: The Long Earth (Paperback, 2013, Corgi Books) 4 stars

1916: the Western Front. Private Percy Blakeney wakes up. He is lying on fresh spring …

Not that original, after all

3 stars

Methinks Pratchett and/or Baxter may have read Philip José Farmer's Riverworld novels and then forgot they did. Further elaboration past that point seems redundant. In all fairness, I have to admit I still thought it was ok. Too bad it didn't have a proper ending, though.

Shahram Khosravi: 'Illegal' Traveller (en language, 2011, Palgrave MacMillan) 5 stars

Based on fieldwork among undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers, Illegal Traveller offers a narrative of …

On being inbetween and outside

4 stars

This was an interesting read from start to finish. The auto-ethnographic framing provides a hands-on perspective to questions easily dismissed as too theoretical, far-fetched or even general (as in being able to apply to all and anyone who has ever felt displaced) to have relevance in discussions on migration and refugees, as well as racism and nationalism.

The border as intertwined between the imagined communities of nations is something Khosravie doen't really discuss explicitly until the latter part of the book, but it's nonetheless present throughout the entire text. Crossing - or rather entering - it, transforms the human and displaces her to outside a world where nationality defines her very existance and thus strips her of her (human) rights.

Leaving is easy. It's entering that's at the root of the problem. I appreciate the way Khosravi manages to navigate through immigration policies and the often atrocious handling of refugees …

Shahram Khosravi: 'Illegal' Traveller (en language, 2011, Palgrave MacMillan) 5 stars

Based on fieldwork among undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers, Illegal Traveller offers a narrative of …

It seems the book can be divided in two; the first half being - as said in the description - "a narrative of the polysemic nature of borders, border politics, and rituals and performances of border-crossing". However, after Khosravi has arrived in Sweden and left the refugee center in Kiruna, another story emerges. On racism and the sisyphusic (sp?) struggle of trying to become part of the new, post-border-crossing, society. I'm not quite sure yet what I think of that. It's interesting, but is it relevant to the overall narrative? Or is it more of an epilogue? I guess I'll see, once I've finished it.

Oksana Maksymchuk, Max Rosochinsky: Words for War (2018, Academic Studies Press) 3 stars

"The armed conflict in the east of Ukraine brought about an emergence of a distinctive …

A war not a war

3 stars

Reading this collection of poems in parallell with the constant newsflow from Russia's invasive war in Ukraine does affect my understanding of it. The words are undoubtedly accompanied by televised images, realizing the depicted places in ways far surpassing my own imagination.

This of course make it difficult to provide a nuanced review. How do I disregard the current siege of Marioupol [I read the book in may 2022 -Janne] to evaluate the flow and sincerity of Boris Khersonsky's poems? How can I not weave in the constant flow of reported atrocities while reading Borys Humenyuk's depiction of blood red seagulls / dropping pieces of human flesh / like rain / stolen from the battlefield?

Some of the poems - as well as individual verses and lines - I'll carry with me as the war rages on. Others, I have to confess, weren't in my taste. But the overall feeling …