The Girl Who Saved …

Currently reading The Girl who Saved the King of Sweden" by Jonas Jonasson—author of The Hundred Year-old Man who Climbed out of the Window and Disappeared—lent me by brother-in-law. I tried to read the latter, but gave up after a dozen pages, though I’m doing better with this one.

I am thoroughly bored by the unrelenting use of short sentences, but on the other hand the plots are so bizarre that I’m keeping going with it just to see how the author brings it all together to a conclusion.

But I’m not sure if I’ll make it … the short sentences are getting to me!


:cry: …that’s about the long-n-short of it, mate … init? :laughing:

Sorry about that, Mark, self control is crap, and gerrin’ worse as as I get older (amongst other things :frowning: ), but I whole-heartedly endorse your sentiments. Every time I put finger tips to keyboard, I open the sluice gate to long winded, rambling grammatical abominations. However, if I, for some inexplicable, bizarre reason, produce a short sentence (and this is the truth, no joke), I stop writing and think, “Hey! A short sentence … great!” I think common sense dictates, ‘The happy medium rules…OK!’, where sentence length is concerned. It’s a no-brainer. [size=50]<— see wot I did there[/size]
I daren’t tell y’ wot I’m reading at the mo.
Take care,

Thanks Vic. I agree, getting older is the pits! :frowning:

But, still, I want some variation in my diet, whether in a book or at the table, and the truth of it is I just get bored with writing like this. Perhaps when I get much older and more senile, I might regress to being something like a semi-literate 13 year-old, but in the meantime I still know how to parse complex sentences, to understand and enjoy them … something it seems people have not been taught how to do for many decades!


Vic-k and Mr X are old. I am not old yet. There is time to change. But not much. I don’t think I like it. We do not talk like machine guns.

That made my head hurt worse than the excess of rum I consumed while spending too much time in the sun. Then again there are examples, Mr N. Hawthorn is particularly egregious in “The Scarlet Letter” as is Mr H Melville in “Moby Dick”, of sentences that become so long and unwieldy that it requires multiple passes with note taking to figure out which of the fragments are related and how the multiple relationships play into the larger story when the “sentence” in question spans multiple pages or meanders between science, metaphysics, and rum induced hangovers.


:laughing: :laughing: I’ve read a couple of his offerings, but I don’t recall being impressed, one way or t’other. Have t’ get the Kindle Fire going on The complete Works of N.H. Sure I’ve read The Scarlet Letters. :confused:

I’ve often thought that Tolkien was a throwback to the old days of writing and reading as long form entertainment. He often takes you into the weeds between the full stops. I think folks forget that NH, HM and the like were the CINEMA of the day. No netflix, itunes, cable, etc. The words on the page painted the picture, communicated the message, and provided the escape from real life that we look to cinema and TV to provide. I find that the less I watch “things” the more I enjoy the long winded approach of the “old timers”.

I’ve never seen the draw to the modern staccato. I want rolling waves, not machine gun fire. Unless I’m reading a war story. Then… machine guns are appropriate.

Just copied this from my Kindle Fire:
The Old Manse
BETWEEN two tall gate-posts of rough-hewn stone, (the gate itself having fallen from its hinges, at some unknown epoch,) we beheld the gray front of the old parsonage, terminating the vista of an avenue of black-ash trees. It was now a twelvemonth since the funeral procession of the venerable clergyman, its last inhabitant, had turned from that gate-way towards the village burying-ground. The wheel-track, leading to the door, as well as the whole breadth of the avenue, was almost overgrown with grass, affording dainty mouthfuls to two or three vagrant cows, and an old white horse, who had his own living to pick up along the roadside. The glimmering shadows, that lay half-asleep between the door of the house and the public highway, were a kind of spiritual medium, seen through which, the edifice had not quite the aspect of belonging to the material world. Certainly it had little in common with those ordinary abodes, which stand so imminent upon the road that every passer-by can thrust his head, as it were, into the domestic circle.

Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Complete Works of Nathaniel Hawthorne (Kindle Locations 6813-6822). . Kindle Edition.
Got no problem with that passage … quite enjoyed it

House of the Seven gables:
Chapter 21: The Departure
THE SUDDEN DEATH of so prominent a member of the social world as the Honorable Judge Jaffrey Pyncheon created a sensation (at least, in the circles more immediately connected with the deceased) which had hardly quite subsided in a fortnight. It may be remarked, however, that, of all the events which constitute a person’s biography, there is scarcely one — none, certainly, of anything like a similar importance — to which the world so easily reconciles itself as to his death. In most other cases and contingencies, the individual is present among us, mixed up with the daily revolution of affairs, and affording a definite point for observation. At his decease, there is only a vacancy, and a momentary eddy, — very small, as compared with the apparent magnitude of the ingurgitated object, — and a bubble or two, ascending out of the black depth, and bursting at the surface. As

Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Complete Works of Nathaniel Hawthorne (Kindle Locations 18540-18547). . Kindle Edition.

Yes I definitely enjoy N.H.

Everything he wrote is like that. You will enjoy any of his prose. I enjoy most of the stories but you may have differing opinions.

Yup! I’ve read: Mosses from an Old Manse and The House Of The Seven Gables. I Met N.H. during my Henry David Thoreau phase, a few years back.

Anyway, as I was saying ( can’t remember when exactly) about T.T.F.R.B.O.O.T.W., I read this … -novelists
t’other day, and thought, 'Hey! Me and S.M, are on the same wavelength! 'owabout’at!!

There Are No Rules
“There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.”
W Somerset Maugham

There are no rules. Or if there are any rules, they are only there to be broken. Embrace these contradictions. You must be prepared to hold two or more opposing ideas in the palms of your hands at the same time.

To hell with grammar, but only if you know the grammar first. To hell with formality, but only if you have learned what it means to be formal. To hell with plot, but you had better at some stage make something happen. To hell with structure, but only if you have thought it through so thoroughly that you can safely walk through your work with your eyes closed.

The great ones break the rules on purpose. They do it in order to remake the language. They say it like nobody has ever said it before. And then they unsay it, and they keep unsaying it, breaking their own rules over and over again. So be adventurous in breaking – or maybe even making – the rules.


Nice piece.


Neat, but sorry I couldn’t disagree more with old Sommie: "… fortunately, no one knows what they are.”

It’s just the ‘long and short off it’… init?
…but the truth is in there somewhere.
an’ anyway, gerrin back on topic (yurrk ), just exactly how long is short, an’ 'ow short is long? :confused:

Maybe it was the translator who changed the text into very short sentences? I have no recollection of very short sentences in the original book.

You may be right, and if so, the translator has done the author a disservice to my way of thinking.

I’m just over halfway through but haven’t been able to get myself to pick it up again for the last couple of days, even though I’ve been casting round for things to do during an enforced period of rest. I’ve reached the point where I’ve lost any interest in finding out how it all ends, I’m afraid.


Sorry about that, Mark, self control is crap, and gerrin’ worse as as I get older (amongst other things :frowning: ), but I whole-heartedly endorse your sentiments.