February 27, 2014

Dead Man's Tale by Joanna Chmielewska (Review)

Title: Dead Man's Tale
Author: Joanna Chmielewska
First published: 1972
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: ★★★☆☆

I was not sure if I should write about this book at all, as according to Wikipedia there are no English translations of Chmielewska's books. Or at least there were no in 2008, and I doubt anything has changed since then... But I thought "hey, I'm trying to be multilingual here, so to heck with it!" :)

The novel is an "ironical detective" bordering with chick-lit. My mom recommended me the book, otherwise there's no way I would have picked it. My mom also doesn't often read this kind of literature, but she swore it was really funny. Well, it did turn out to be funny, but only after I had got used to the overly simplistic and over-the-top writing style. Who would have thought that I'll need time to get used to pulp?

The novel tells about a middle-aged woman who happens to hear the last words of a dying gang member and is left the only bearer of the secret where the gang's vast funds are hidden. The gang smuggle her to Argentina and try to make her speak, but she is not an easy person to scare into doing something, so she rather prefers to escape. What follows is a mad around-the-world chase, in which female "logic" always triumphs.

It was really funny how she deals with problems in her own, female way. Like measuring petrol needed to cross the Atlantic in wash-basins, knitting a net to hold the steering will when she can't switch on the auto-pilot on a yacht and many more. It's interesting that she IS really clever, and is able to infer her coordinates from the position of the sun and the stars, for example, but sometimes she relapses in such a true-blonde fit, that it's totally impossible to predict what she'll do next.

In my book:
A nice and funny relaxing read if you don't care about your brain turning to mash from the lack of substance :) I don't sometimes :)


  1. We all need some mindless reading sometimes. That's why I read young adult novels. Just to give myself a break.

    1. Young adult is also great for this purpose, but sometimes the abundance of teenage angst puts me off... Chick-lit has the advantage of not having it :)


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