Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Stages by Thom Satterlee

In The Stages, Daniel is an American translator living in Copenhagen and is known as one of the best translators of Danish philosopher, Søren Kierkegaard. When his ex-girlfriend dies and a invaluable manuscript goes missing, Daniel, who has Asperger's syndrome, must break out of his comfort zone to search for the truth.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The blurb at the back of the book mentions that it's reminiscent of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime. While I enjoyed that book, I think enjoyed this one more.

The Cast of Characters provided at the beginning of the book lists the characters as well as how to properly pronounce the names. Because of this, I learned a lot about Danish name pronunciations. For example, Søren Kierkegaard is SIR-in KEER-ka-gore. Apparently, the Danes use lots of silent letters and pronounce some letters differently than the English do. As I was reading, I really tried to use the given pronunciations, even though it slowed down my reading.

Two aspects of the book were particularly interesting to me. First, I'd heard of Kierkegaard, but didn't know anything about him. Since it's one of his manuscripts that is missing, the author included a little information about him and his life. Intriguing stuff. Even though this book is a work of fiction, I assume that the information given is factual. Second, Daniel's Asperger's Syndrome, which is on the autism spectrum, is fascinating. I especially loved learning about how he dealt with his job and his personal life.

I think this is the first book I've read in Copenhagen. I don't know anything about the city or the Danes themselves. The details in the book about Danish life were all pretty interesting.

Highly recommended. I'd definitely love to read another book by this author.

For more information about this book, please visit the Crooked Lane Books website.

For more information about the author, please visit Thom Satterlee's website.

Thanks to Sarah from Kaye Publicity for this review copy.

The Stages by Thom Satterlee, Crooked Lane Books (The Quick Brown Fox & Company LLC), ©2013. ISBN 9781629534190(Advance Uncorrected Proofs), 209p.

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