Saturday, 25 January 2014

Review: The Little Old Lady Who Broke All The Rules

Title: The Little Old Lady Who Broke all the Rules (Kaffe med rån) 
Author: Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg
Translator: Rod Bradbury
Pages: 435
My Rating: 3.5 / 5 stars 

"79-year-old Martha Andersson dreams of escaping her care home and robbing a bank. She has no intention of spending the rest of her days in an armchair and is determined to fund her way to a much more exciting lifestyle. Along with her four oldest friends - otherwise known as the League of Pensioners - Martha decides to rebel against the regulations imposed upon them. Together, they cause uproar: protesting against early bedtimes and plasticky meals."

When I read this blurb, I was sure I wanted to read this book, so I bought it. I was really excited to start reading it, thinking it would be absolutely hilarious, and to some extent it was.
Although I did truly enjoy the story, it did not live up to my expectations. Or at least, so I thought while reading the middle part. However, when I got towards the ending, the story started to become better again, and funnier. What the funny thing is about this novel is that the story itself is not that hilarious, but little paragraphs are - like conversations, or thoughts of the elderly people.
What must be kept in mind, is that I read this book in translation. I do not read Swedish, which is the original language it was written in. It is also set in Sweden, and this means there are some elements which readers from other countries may not understand. At some instances, the translator explains these things, and sometimes he omits this which I think is done accurately because one can interpret.
What bothered me while reading it was the fact that even though the average vocabulary in this novel is quite easy, sometimes a random word in a sentence would be of high register. The problem with reading a translation is that you do not know whether this is really a footprint of the translator, or maybe the author herself also did this (perhaps to show how elderly people tend to use outdated words?).
After I finished it, for a little while I thought of giving it 4/5 stars, but I decided that would not be fair, because the middle part really was boring at some times, or at least not quite as entertaining as I had hoped it would be. 3/5 stars would be underrating it, hence my decision to rate it 3.5 stars. I would recommend this to people who want to have an easy and funny read. Enjoy.  

No comments:

Post a Comment