Laura Gonzalez


17 Dec 2017

Phantom by Jo Nesbø****

Reading dates: 18 November – 17 December 2017

Phantom is crime fiction as I like it: a well paced story, in an atmospheric place, with good, solid characters and a plot I can follow to the minutiae while it still surprises me. The storyline is clever, involving Harry Hole’s personal and professional lives as well as big picture issues (drug cartels, immigration, families falling apart). Two things let it down: Harry’s ability to recover from injuries which would kill anyone else (the gaffa tape around the neck was too much) and the word-smithery. Nesbø has tried to experiment by intermingling Gusto’s account (a letter, a recording, a ghost?) with the third person narrator telling most of the story, but they do not work together. Why is Gusto telling this to his foster (or perhaps real) dad? Just to mirror Oleg’s narrative with Harry? I just found that odd, even though his view point is necessary in the novel. It is not David Peace, though, and perhaps some of it might be due to the translation.

In any case, I cannot stop now. I found this to be my perfect Christmas read and it is not yet Christmas, so I will be going to the next Harry Hole straight away. I needed a bit of good old silly escapism, and Phantom is 4 stars because it fulfils that role very well.

Posted in Blog, Book Reviews, Reading

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About Me

I am an artist and writer. My recent practice performance, film, dance, photography and text, and my work has been performed, exhibited and published in many venues in Europe and the US. I have spoken at numerous conferences and events, including the Museum for the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, the Medical Museum in Copenhagen, College Arts Association and the Association for the Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society. When I am not following Freud, Lacan and Marx’s footsteps with my camera or creating performance works as part of my Athenaeum Research Fellowship at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, I teach postgraduate students at Transart Institute.

I am currently immersed in an interdisciplinary project exploring knowledge and the body of the hysteric. In 2013, together with Child and Adolescent Mental Health practitioner Frances Davies, I co-edited the book ‘Madness, Women and the Power of Art’, to which I contributed a work authored with Eleanor Bowen. My book ‘Make Me Yours: How Art Seduces’ was published by Cambridge Scholars in 2016. In this text, investigates psychoanalytic approaches to making and understanding objects of seduction, including an examination of parallels between artistic and analytic practices, a study of Manolo Blahnik’s shoes as objects of desire, a disturbing encounter with Marcel Duchamp’s last work, and the creation of a psychoanalytically inspired Discourse of the Artefact, a framework enabling the circulation of questions and answers through a relational approach to artworks.