Norwegian by Night by Derek.B.Miller

“Me I am going to Sweden with my son. You,” he says “and you and you are going to stand your ground and make sure that happens.”

Sheldon Horozwitz, an 82 year old ex-marine, who moved to Oslo Norway at the request of his granddaughter Rhea. However when he witnesses a law-breaking offence, he finds himself rescuing a young boy; at that moment Sheldon makes a split second decision and vows to protect him, ensuring that he does not fall into the arms of his dangerous father. But in a strange country and with his age, how will Sheldon survive against a gang of young men?

The Hero

The book is centred around a grumpy 82-year-old ex-marine called Sheldon. He is originally from New York, but he has come over to Norway to live with his granddaughter Rhea and her new husband Laars. With no living relatives and friends nearby and the fact that Sheldon and his late wife brought Rhea up, she insisted that he came to live with them. Although Sheldon is a grumpy old man, it is impossible not to like him. He is very witty and says what he thinks.

  “Do you know why dogs are called hot dogs?” Sheldon says aloud from this commanding position. If he had a cane he would wave it, but he walks without one. Lars looks up in attention. Rhea, however, silently sighs “World War 1. We were angry at the German, so we punished them by renaming their food. Better with the war on terror,” he continued.

The storyline is different from your average book, particularly when your hero is 82 years old! It makes a stimulating change for once.

Throughout the book we discover a lot about Sheldon past; for example his life as a sniper or a file clerk as he had told his wife, what he has been through and how far he would go to shield the boy. He couldn’t protect his son but this time around he has a second chance with the boy and there was no way he was going to muck it up.

Derek Miller has written this novel beautifully. I like the flashbacks as we slip in between realities; for example past and present. We can clearly see that Sheldon has regrets, guilt, has the onset of dementia and has never got over the death of his son Saul.

However, I did struggle when I got to the middle, as it began to drag. I could not understand where Sheldon was taking Paul and what he hoped to achieve. I also thought that the middle was way too long. Also, I am unsure as to why Serbians and Kosovo’s are in Norway. As I persevered (and I am pleased to say I’m glad I did) Miller managed to build up to a tense and dramatic climax. I found the fast-paced ending a joy to read and it kept me engaged. (and out of trouble) Although I did feel like the ending was slightly rushed and more could have been said; perhaps Derek Miller planning a sequel?

Therefore it is Sheldon who makes the story and brings it to life. Despite the middle being a bit slow engaging, this is a very good read of an old man last chance to put his demons to rest.

Today I would like to talk to you about my latest read. Without giving too much away, it is the book that inspired a blockbuster trilogy and took the world by storm with use of the latest CGI and animatronics since Jaws in 19

The book that I am talking about is Jurassic Park of course, which was published in 1991. When Stephen Spielberg heard that Michael Crichton was writing a book about recreating dinosaurs, he knew it was going to be a hit and he wanted to be a part of it, however, many others did too.

Michael Crichton did not want a bidding war but decided to give the rights to the film to the person who thought that they would get the film made and out to the public and that person, of course, was Stephen Spielberg.

Plot

Strange things were happening on a remote island off Costa Rica, a doctor had been instructed to assist at a ‘construction accident’ and a ‘lizard’ had attacked a little girl; but before Dr Grant and Dr Sattler could examine it, John Hammond makes them an offer they cannot refuse.

On arrival, Dr Grant, Dr Sattler and Dr Malcom are overwhelmed as it seems they are out of a job, as John Hammond has gone where no scientist has ever been and recreated Dinosaurs.

Recent investors have been a  little bit scared and they are needing reassurance. There is so much that can go wrong as no one knows truly how the dinosaurs will react. John thought that anyone who was going to appreciate his work would be palaeontologists.

The book then follows the storyline as we know it – just with a few differences, for example, Dr Grant was older, and Dr Sattler was younger. During the film we see a small selection of dinosaur but in the book, there are hundreds with the velociraptor’s running free.

Despite objections from Dr Malcolm, Dr Sattler and Dr Grant, Hammond is very optimistic about his park and plans to open as originally planned. Although he did not see Denis Nedry’s espionage coming.

Biosyn was jealous of Ingen’s recreation of Dinosaurs that were extinct over 65 million years ago. Nedry felt he was underpaid for what he did, after all, he was in-charge of all the computer systems. Cleverly he made himself a trap door, so no one would be able to suspect him of spying, and so when Lewis Dodgson offered him a large amount of money for frozen embryos he could not refuse.

Giving himself 18 minutes to get the frozen embryos to the dock and back, Denis ‘debugs’ the computer systems which took the some of the systems offline as he needed to go through undetected.

Everything was going to plan but there was one thing Denis Nedry could not count on    and that was the storm.

Sadly for Denis Karma got the better of him, as on his way to the East dock he lost his bearings and got eaten by a Dilphosaurus.

Wu, Hammond, Muldoon and Arnold were desperately trying to get the systems back online but with no success, whilst Dr Grant and Hammonds grandchildren were out trying to get to the control room.

It was a long way and since the systems were down, no-one could get in contact with them.

Do they get back safely? Does Karma get Hammond too?

 

Characters

This book made a very interesting read. I was intrigued as to whether what parts were kept in and what parts were taken out and if the book was just as good as the film and it is.

Jurassic Park, the novel is divided into seven interactions with a maths quote at the bottom from Dr Ian Malcolm.

Michael Crichton does tend to waffle on about chaos theory, maths and the science of engineering. I get the feeling he is passionate about it as the details are amazing.

As you can imagine there were a few differences but not enough to worry about. For example, there is an incident where a little girl is attacked by Compy in Costa Rica, this part was actually saved for the beginning of the second film Jurassic Park 2 but a British family discovered an Island which was actually site  B.

Jurassic Park, the novel is like the film – a Classic, one that I would recommend you add to your reading list

 

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