Friday, 10 June 2016

Flesh, Bone and Mercy

I’m feeling quite angsty for various reasons and I’d like to write a blog post about it because I do like a good moan. But then I realised there’s a chance people I know will read this and I wouldn’t want (most of them) to read me writing about that stuff. So I’m going to write a bit about some books I’ve read and shows I’ve seen instead. K?

Flesh and Bone

I accidentally stumbled upon Flesh and Bone on Amazon Prime, a TV series made by Starz. Maybe it’s common knowledge but I hadn’t heard of it. It’s about a girl from Pittsburg who is an amazing ballerina and becomes star of the show in a major ballet company in New York. But it’s not just that. It’s about a girl who’s had a ‘tough’ childhood and has a…troubled relationship with her brother. By troubled, I mean, TROUBLED. Now, I like my disturbing stuff but this was disturbing, whilst also being entertaining but not gratuitous. Maybe you could call it jaw dropping. Because the relationship with the brother is the kind of relationship that’s not shown that often. (Shush - no-one mention Game of Thrones.)

It’s also about the absolutely cut throat ballet industry. One of the directors of the company is such an awful human being I don’t know how he can live with himself. In fact, how he seems to cope with his detesting of himself and his general anger at the world is to be evil to others. I suppose he is abusing them. 

I suppose abuse in many ways is the major theme of this show, of yourself, of your body, of others, of your family, your lovers, your students. 

But don’t get me wrong, it’s not a ‘makes you want to kill yourself’ show. It is addictive and tackles the tough issues really well. It doesn’t shy away from them but it doesn’t show the situations as totally hopeless either. It is a highly intelligent show and a work of art and I can’t believe I haven’t heard of something so amazing before.

This is in the ilk of Top of the Lake people. But a bit more accessible.


In a slightly lighter vein, but only slightly, I’ve just finished Mercy by Jussi Adler Olsen. This one’s a book. It was one I know was popular when I was a librarian (for those who know me, I know, I wasn’t an actual librarian but it’s just easier than saying part time Library and Info Asst and part time Services Support Asst ok?) This a crime drama set in Copenhagen. I’ve just been to Copenhagen (did I mention that?) so I’m allll about the CPH. They mention places I went to and the area I stayed so it is extra exciting to read.

Mercy is about a detective who is disliked by his colleagues but is really good at his job. He is relegated to the basement to work on a load of dead end, unsolved cases. In the meantime, the book ‘flashes back’ 5 years to a politician who is kidnapped. The books switches between the politician in her prison being tortured over 5 years and the detective in the modern day basement who is becoming interested in her case.

What I love about this book is the detective’s character. Yes, he’s a bit of an arse. He is surly and sulky but his thought processes are described so imaginatively. He is funny and quick witted and a sarcy bugger. Maybe this is what all surly nobheads have going around in their head without you knowing it? Maybe when you’re talking to them thinking “How can you be such a dick?” they actually have a complicated, yet witty scenario playing in their head but you can’t hear the narrator. Unless you’re in Stranger than Fiction.


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