The Enforcer | January 2018 (1899) | Lien 11: Add: Depuis 8 heures Téléchargement
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3.85  ·  Rating details ·  81 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
In this spellbinding and poignant historical novel—perfect for fans of All the Light We Cannot See and The Flamethrowers—a Swedish glassmaker and a fiercely independent Australian journalist are thrown together amidst the turmoil of the 1960s and the dawning of a new modern era.

1965: As the United States becomes further embroiled in the Vietnam War, the ripple effects are
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published October 9th 2018 by Atria Books
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Angela M
Oct 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
“As with all of my books, Shell was not written because I knew something. I write, always, compulsively, because I don’t know something. It is always about a question. At the end of that process I find I have no solid answers. Only possibilities, a whole new set of questions.”

I was taken by what Kristina Olsson writes to her readers in a beginning letter. It made me think that this is what good fiction should do - open up possibilities, make us think. This is exactly what this novel does. Quiet
It was the 1960s and Australia was on the brink of change. The Vietnam War was about to take a poke at Australia’s youth – and the Sydney Opera House was under construction. The draft for the Vietnam War was in the form of a lottery, and all the young people who were born within a certain time period had their birth dates put in a barrel. If you were lucky, your birth date didn’t come out. (My husband’s didn’t thank goodness!)

Journalist Pearl Keogh was in a desperate search for her two younger b
Oct 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: australian
“Writing about architecture is like dancing to music – a completely natural thing to do”. Wait, that’s not how that quote goes? Oh well.

The building of the Sydney Opera House marks a watershed moment in Australia’s history: symbolic of a coming-of-age for the nation, of forging a cultural identity distinct from the Britishness that had characterised the preceding era. Just think: Australia in 1965, when the bulk of Shell takes place, had the same prime minister as in 1939. Difficult to move for
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
An incredibly interesting book on many levels and served to highlight a big gap in my knowledge - Australia in the 1960s, its involvement in the Vietnam War and, especially, the controversy surrounding the building of the Sydney Opera House. I found it all fascinating.

The book is so much more than this, though. It features two equally sympathetic main characters, from very different cultural backgrounds. Axel, a glassmaker from Sweden contracted to create an artwork for the Opera House, and Pear
Denice Barker
Sep 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I don’t think there is an iconic image that identifies a place more than the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia. It wasn’t always so, it wasn’t always accepted. There was a time when was just being built and public opinion wasn’t so positive.
In the mid 1960’s everything was changing. There was a war in Vietnam and Australia was adopting a draft system that, understandably so, was not well received. Pearl was a reporter embracing the change and protesting in the streets to defend her right t
May 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I knew within the first few pages that I was going to love this book. I knew that I would hate to come to the end of these words which were only matched by the elegance of the Sydney Opera House. I read slowly, in order that I not miss even one small nuance, one exquisite thought.

Some novels are read for plot, some for character, and some, like Shell, for the beauty of the written word.

Axel Lindquist is a glass man from Sweden, brought to Australia by Jorn Utzon, the Danish architect of the Sidn
Sam Still Reading
Oct 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Sam Still Reading by: from the publisher
A book like Shell doesn’t come around every day, nor every year. This book is beautifully, tenderly written with every word crafted with an eye for detail. It is as admirable as the Sydney Opera House (the building of which is a major plot device) and as breathtaking as the glass sculptures crafted by Axel, one of the main characters. I can’t think of a better story to launch the Scribner Australia imprint. This is going to be an imprint to devour if Shell is any indication of the beauty and qua ...more
Oct 13, 2018 rated it did not like it
Thanks to netgalley for a free copy of this book.

I thought Kristina Olsson's book would be right up my alley: historical fiction, Sydney in the mid 1960s, the construction of the Sydney Opera House. Unfortunately, I did not like this book at all. Olsson utilized one of biggest pet peeves: no quotation marks. Instead, all dialogue was in italics and within the paragraphs instead of separated out. In addition, I did not like the structure, which continually switched back and forth between the two
Oct 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I rated this book 5 stars not because it’s perfect but because it captures the atmosphere & the times perfectly. You become immersed in the streets, suburbs & beaches of Sydney. The Opera House going up piece by piece & the problems associated with the build are tangible. The characters are also very relatable.
As I wrote when I posted a Sensational Snippet from Kristina Olsson’s new novel Shell, ( I have fallen in love with this book so it’s not going to be easy to write an objective review. I have mulled over the book for two days since I finished reading it, and I still feel a frisson of pleasure when I set eyes on it. It’s my Book of the Year, and it might even be the Book of the Decade, in the same way that Kim Scott’s That Deadman Dance turned out to be a ...more
Aug 29, 2018 added it
Rating and review to come.

But first, from the Author's Note...
I write, always, compulsively, because I don't know something. It is always about a question. Or several. Ideas and notions and doubts coalesce into a long and intricate conversation with myself, or with an invisible other. In this case the conversation lasted five years. At the end of that process I find I have no solid answers, no certainties. Only possibilities, a whole new set of questions. The more I write, and read, and the olde
Melissa Dee
Oct 17, 2018 rated it liked it
My feelings about this book are very divided. On one hand, I was fascinated by Olsson’s evocation of the setting; Sydney in the mid-60’s was a culture deeply divided between its past and its future. On the brink of the Vietnam war draft, with the iconic Opera House in mid-construction, Australia was a country of immigrants unsure how to deal with its diversity.

Ultimately, though, the plot moved too languidly to keep me fully engaged. I was interested by Pearl and Axel, and their back-stories, bu
The cover of this one is just stunning in person! It's all pearlescent and stuff, but I'm also kinda in love with the fact that the title has a shadow on the water...
Oct 21, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: didn-t-finish
Strangely written & couldn't get ijnto it. Too many books to read so I gave up.
Nov 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Having recently completed a 1000-page novel that seemed less than the sum of its parts, I was quite pleasantly surprised by just how much Kristina Olsson's Shell exceeded my expectation that it would be a comforting, light read. A wonderful story of two strangers discovering each other, rediscovering parts of their personal histories from which they had become estranged, and a great deal more.
Kayte Nunn
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Adored this beautifully written book - it is as exquisite as the glass that it describes.
Kate Downey
Oct 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is one of the most intriguing reads I have had in a long time. Set in 1967 Sydney while the Opera House is being constructed and the Vietnam War demands the drafting of Australian soldiers, we meet our main protagonists: Pearl, a young reporter, and Axel, a Swedish glass artist. Olsson covers a lot of ground in this luminous and intricate novel aside from the political environment of the era, the anti-war protests, the obstacles and opinions regarding the architect of Sydney's iconic buildi ...more
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-top-five
I just loved this book. It resonated for me in so many ways. It took me back to Sydney of my childhood, the Opera House being built, the anti-Vietnam protests, my experiences of growing up in Balmain and that weird inferiority complex we had in Australia that fed into a real cultural cringe and fear of the new. I even have a memory of Jorn Utzen getting the sack. This is how deep it’s building settled into our consciousness.

I loved the way Olsson used light and water as a vehicle to tell the sto
Raelene Govett
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: literary
Fabulous. Poetic, sad yet uplifting too. Really captures the essence of the creative spirit. But what I liked most about this book was the undercurrent. The story was good, but the undercurrent really snagged my thoughts. How it captured the spirit of Australia today, that youthful yearning for a cultural heritage and history that we struggle to acknowledge has been staring us smack right bang in the face all along. An ancient, proud and strong history that’s not ours, but one that we could and ...more
Nov 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
2.5*. I understand one reviewer saying have patience.... No kidding!! I spent half the time re-reading sentences trying to figure out what the author was trying to tell me. It was painful!!! I loved the storyline and the historical relevance aspect but the prose was too “flowery” and time consuming. The lack of quotation marks disguised in italics didn’t bother me but the prose was confusing and time robbing, hence 2.5 stars.
Sep 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
It is 1965 and Australia is on the brink of change. The Sydney Opera House is being built. Australia’s young men are being conscripted into the Vietnam War. Shell tells the story of Pearl, a journalist and Axel, a sculptor in Glass. Both are haunted by their past, and seek meaning to their lives through their work. Kristina Olsson writes beautifully about their lives and their passions. This is an optimistic book, of hope for the future.
Carrie Echols
Jul 16, 2018 rated it liked it
I received this book from a Goodreads giveaway. I'm embarrassed to say I knew nothing about the Sydney Opera House, but after reading the book, I looked it up and it's quite a masterpiece, and now understand the title. I found the story a little boring, yet I think this author writes beautifully.
Sally Piper
Oct 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shell is a rare and beautiful book. Through Olsson's signature multi-layering of themes, she gives readers a unique and keenly observed account of the political, artistic and physical landscape of 1960s Sydney.
Jul 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
While the writing was beautiful and poignant, I found myself sometimes having to make an effort to stay interested. I did find it of historical interest with the people's reaction to the Vietnam War and the work on the Sydney Opera House.
Matthew Hickey
Sep 30, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Olsson has a beautiful turn of phrase, but the pacing of this book was off for me; the story moves glacially and, because of that, I didn’t care about either of the central characters.

The cover is magnificent.
Aug 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, giveaways
Slow to start for me but picks up nicely. Well written enjoyable book
Jul 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2-goodread_wins
I won an ARC in a GOODREADS giveaway.
Nicole Overmoyer
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for early access to this book in exchange for an honest review.
Aug 16, 2018 rated it liked it
I liked the writing style and the characters , but I would probably not read it again.
Oct 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Actual rating 4.5

A beautifully written story of a tumultuous time in our history.

A longer review appears on my blog, Kathryn's Inbox
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