Profile for R. Kotvis > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by R. Kotvis
Top Reviewer Ranking: 3,490,909
Helpful Votes: 6

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
R. Kotvis "Roelof Kotvis" (The Netherlands)
(REAL NAME)   

Show:  
Page: 1
pixel
The Dogs of Riga: Kurt Wallander
The Dogs of Riga: Kurt Wallander
by Henning Mankell
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

1 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not recommended, 21 Dec 2011
Not a very good book, I'm sorry to say. The plot is rather thin, and anything that could have added any literary quality to the story is lacking: no intricate metaphors to contemplate, no depth of character whatsoever, no nicely crafted prose. Most annoying, however, is the author's complete and utter ignorance about the city that features so prominently in his book: the descriptions of the city of Riga are totally inadequate. In 1991, when the action takes place, Riga's television tower had only been completed five years earlier. It's one of the tallest buildings in Europe and it dominates the Riga skyline: you really can't miss it, especially not if you cross the river as the main character does on several occasions - yet it's not even mentioned in the book. Nor is the Academy of Sciences building ("Stalin's Birthday Cake"), a nineteen fifties' skyscraper just south of the city centre, or any of the numerous beautiful Jugendstil buildings. The cathedral, the parks, the statues, the orthodox churches with their shiny cupolas - all suspiciously absent. Mankell's Riga doesn't bear any resemblance to the real Riga, and any cheap city guide would have sufficed to add a little credibility to a story that is in dire need of it. Riga may very well have been a dreadful place to live in 1991, but things weren't as grim as Mankell paints them.

The book has a certain entertainment value; unfortunately, that's the only positive thing I can say about it.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 3, 2012 3:15 PM BST


The Mystery of the Enchanted Crypt
The Mystery of the Enchanted Crypt
by Eduardo Mendoza
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly entertaining, 25 Aug 2010
The ultimate anti-hero Gonewiththewind is released from a psychiatric institute to assist the Barcelona police in their search for a teenage girl gone missing. Without money or place to stay, he only has his imagination, his wit and his survival instinct to rely on.

The plot may not be as well-wrought as one would expect from a detective story, but the wonderful cast of characters, the vivid depictions of Barcelona's lesser neighbourhoods and the hilarious situations Gonewiththewind finds himself in more than make up for this shortcoming. Mendoza's accessible style makes for light reading. This may not be Nobel Prize material, but it's very, very entertaining.


Page: 1