Thursday, November 20, 2008
87. "The Dwarf" - Par Lagerkvist
Moving from two "princes," I read about this book several years ago, but it seemed a perfect time to review it now because of the dwarf's dedication to his Prince.
The prince is unnamed, but the dwarf is named Piccoline. He is not a jester or a fool, but a general aide to the Prince (always capitalized) during what seems to be pre-Renaissance Italy. Piccoline hates women, hates sex, hates other dwarfs, hates human behavior. However, he revels in degrading (though he hates when humans act degradingly) and killing, whether it's a kitten or another dwarf.
This is a fascinating look at evil and hatred, especially self-hatred. Piccoline is 26 inches of pure malice and fury, yet he is quick-humored. Some of his statements make the reader cringe, while others make one nod and agree. His brutal analysis of human nature leaves one hell of a scar after finishing the novel.
3.75 out of 5.0 Angry Dwarfs.
79-87 - The Dwarf was written by a Swedish author, so I decided to discover more about the Icelandic history, including Finland, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, and Greenland. Thus, I found The Sagas of Icelanders. This one is going to take a while - 751 pages.