Season of the Witch by Árni Þórarinsson
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
I did not like Arni Thorarinsson's "Season of the Witch". I felt as though I was reading a so-called "young adult mystery" for teenagers. Young people, some of them teenagers, are focal characters in the plot; but seriously, what can be interesting about teenagers? They know that they know everything whereas they know nothing. But even older characters in the novel are not drawn very well; I had difficulty trying to believe they were real people.
I love Nordic literature in general (not because of Stieg Larsson), and I rated some Icelandic novels very highly. I learned a lot about Iceland from these books. But although the plot takes place at a remote town in northern Iceland, "Season of the Witch" does not convey any feel for the place. The plot could as well be located in any other town in Europe or in the U.S.
There is very little depth in the book. The author tries to show societal problems due to influx of immigrants; he also provides some corporate business background to the plot, but these are shallow observations; they would belong in a paper rather than a novel. In a sense it fits the profession of the main character in the plot, who is a journalist.
The author attempts humor, but without much success; the last page of the novel provides a particularly lame example.
One and a half stars.
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