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I was born in Barcelona and have lived in the UK for many years now. I'm a writer, translator (English-Spanish and vice-versa) and I'm a medical doctor and worked in Forensic Psychiatry many years. I also have a BA and a PhD in American Literature and Film, and a Masters in Criminology. I've always loved books and apart from writing them I review them often. I write a bit of everything, check my books for more information and my about page for links. My blog is bilingual, English and Spanish.

Comments (23)

  1. dgkaye says:

    A riveting review Olga. So It sounds like you were glad you went back and read the first book. Knowing what the first book was all about now, would you feel if you’d only read the next one that you were missing out on something by not reading the first one?

    1. Thanks, Debby. The second book can definitely be read on its own, and you can follow the case well enough and it is a fascinating book in its own right. Having read the first book now, I understand the main character better and know where he is coming from, but I guess it depends on what kind of reader you are. I don’t know if it’s the psychiatrist in me, but I like to guess on the reasons behind character’s motivations, so not having it all laid out in front of me can work as an incentive rather than the opposite. This book is a lot about the place and the relationships between the people (and the drought, for sure), while the other one is more self-contained and claustrophobic because of the fewer characters we play with. I don’t think it matters in which order they are read, Debby.
      Have a great week.

      1. dgkaye says:

        Thanks so much for your in-depth reviews Olga. I’ve bookmarked them both. 🙂

        1. Thanks, Debby. I’m sure you’ll enjoy them whenever you get to them. (I know your list and, by the way, I read the Lottery, although after I read your comment. It seems they gave the author and the magazine a really hard time for writing the story)…

          1. dgkaye says:

            Yes, I read that. I think because her dystopian style was ahead of the times?

          2. I guess people found it very eerie and the message wasn’t reassuring or moralistic enough (if she had set it in the past, I guess they would have felt reassured, but it was not clear what period it was set on, and the characters were not necessarily bad people either. Considering what it said about conformity, and what had happened in Germany, perhaps it was too much for people. And she always refused to give it a clear interpretation.
            I wonder if you would be able to watch this. I remember at the time when it came out, I was quite young, and didn’t quite get what all the fuss was about. Many years later I must say I see it very differently.

          3. dgkaye says:

            I agree Olga, perhaps the message and the times (just after WWII) was too disturbing. And like you, I didn’t quite get the point of having the lottery. 🙂 Also, I just skimmed through this video, very disturbing! And what was the point of this similar story?

          4. La Cabina was considered, at the time, a criticism of the Franco regime in Spain. It garnered many international awards, and I think it’s not something one forgets once you’ve watched it. I noticed in the comments that many people remembered it from their childhoods. There is a point in stirring people and making them feel uncomfortable because conformism can have terrible consequences, as we all know. I guess it all depends on what we the authors are trying to achieve. There are horses for courses. Have a great day, Debby.

          5. dgkaye says:

            Thanks for sharing that Olga, I wasn’t familiar with it. But disturbing it was, just as I found the Lottery. 🙂 Happy Humpday Olga. 🙂

          6. Thank you, Debby. Happy Humpday to you too!

          7. dgkaye says:

            Lol thanks Olga. 🙂

  2. 😀 Why not? (Review the second one first.) I’m glad you did it this way, Olga. It’s kind of fun. Because often that’s how we end up reading things. Wishing you a lovely new week. Hugs.

    1. Thanks, Teagan. I think it worked very well for this one, even if it was accidental. It doesn’t always work out, though. I remember reading the second book in a series many years back, enjoying it but being curious as to what had happened before, reading the first one, and that one had nothing to do with the one I had read. I then kept wondering if perhaps they had been written in the opposite order and the next one to be published would be the one before in action, but I never learned if that was the case. Oh well! Have a great week!

  3. It sounds like some of us (me included) might benefit from reading this first.
    Either way, they do indeed seem like outstanding examples of the genre.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. Thanks, Pete. Although it is the same main character, the two stories are quite different. I’ve definitely put this author on my list and I’ll try and keep a close eye on her. Have a good week.

  4. Terrific review as always Olga and both books definitely sound worth reading.. I do enjoy Australian authors and will add to my list.

    1. Thanks, Sally. Sometimes hype is hype, but in this case, it’s justified. I think you’ll enjoy them both. I hope you had a great time away!

        1. It sounds lovely indeed. I should be off to Wales for another house/pet-sitting stint next week, so looking forward to a change of scenery myself!

          1. I hope I can get there OK, Sally. You’re right though. I’m sure we’ll keep each other warm!

  5. A wonderful review, Olga. You go to so much trouble to share information about each book you review.

    1. Thanks, Robbie. Different people write different types of reviews, but it helps me make up my mind and I hope it might be helpful to others who read them. Have a lovely Friday.

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