Tag Archives: We the Drowned

Top 5 reads of 2012

So I haven’t quite finished catching up with the last of my 2012 books that need reviewing, but since none of them are going to make an appearance on either my 5 Best or 5 Worst lists this year I thought I’d just plow on and get these up.

2012 was a pretty good year for books for me, I managed to fit more books in than I have for a very long time, and I enjoyed almost all  of them – which is always good! That should probably make any ‘top 5’ of 2012 a quite difficult task, but when I actually got down to looking over the books I’d read this year the standouts were obvious. These were the books that I really loved, not just enjoyed, but ones that found a special place in my heart and that I will happily try to force on any and all acquaintances. So, in no particular order: Continue reading


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We, The Drowned, Carsten Jensen

We, The Drowned by Carsten Jensen

Publisher: Vintage  (Random House)
Translators (From Danish):
Charlotte Barslund and Emma Ryder
690 (Paperback)
Form: Novel
Series: Standalone


In 1848 a motley crew of Danish sailors sets sail from the small town of Marstal to fight the Germans. Not all of them return – and those who do will never be the same again. Among them is daredevil Laurids Madsen, who promptly escapes to the anonymity of the high seas. Spanning four generations, two world wars and a hundred years, We, The Drowned is an epic tale of adventure, ruthlessness and passion.

So, after starting this book over a month ago, and having to put it down twice for weeks at a time to get on with work, I’m finally done. And fuck me, if I don’t completely love it. Favourite book of 2012 by a huge margin. I can’t remember what made me pick this book up in the shop – probably the gorgeous cover and the fact the pages are edged in the same blue as the cover design (I’m a sucker for a pretty book) – but I am really glad I did. This is the reason I persist on ‘wasting my money’ impulse buying interesting looking books that I’ve never even heard of before; you might pick up a few duds but occasionally you stumble across something glorious that you’d never have been led to otherwise.

And now I’m left in the awkward position of trying to write a review for a book I totally adored. I’ve heard other people saying reviewing books you loved is harder than books you hated and I never really believed them – but it is. Whilst I loved this book it probably isn’t for everybody – in fact I’m sure it isn’t. And I know from experience that the quickest way you can get someone to dislike a book and notice its flaws  is to build up their expectations by raving about it before they’ve read it… Oh welll…here goes… Continue reading

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