Saturday, October 22, 2016

164. The Red Room

The Red Room
August Strindberg
Around 300 pages

I have spent the last month reading "scary" list novels in preparation for Halloween (even my mother thought I was a dork for that one).  Of course, having already read Frankenstein, Dracula, and The Shining, there wasn't that much of a selection, but I did enjoy few remaining titles that I shoehorned into fitting my theme (In Cold Blood, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, and House of Leaves).  Anyway, onto The Red Room.

Basically, the novel tells the story of Arvid Falk, a young civil servant in a seemingly loveless marriage, who dreams of escaping the monotony of bureaucratic work.  He wants to become a writer, but becomes disillusioned by the corruption associated with publishing.  He finds a great group of friends to complain about stuff with, though, so I wish he would stop bitching.

So we get a Swedish, slightly worse version of Lost Illusions by Balzac.  Apparently, this is considered the first modern Swedish novel.  I definitely think I would have enjoyed it more if I was Swedish, as I had a hard time putting Falk's journey in context.

It would have probably worked better in Swedish as well.  Some of the phrases used just seemed odd, but I am going to blame the translator for that one.  I guess it is good to expand your literary horizons and read novels from every part of the world. At least, that's what I told myself to get through this one.

RATING: **---

Interesting Facts:

Wasn't translated into English until 1913.

UP NEXT: The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky.  I have already read this so expect another review up very shortly!