Aven t laughed out loud over a book so much for years Hey I even laughed in the Boston subway like some kind of weird public transport cackler But I didn t care Kids fight in the woods with B B guns try to start rock bands to impress girls experiment with sex and alcohol get p the teacher s nose visit scary old healers watch the grownups pass out at huge drinkups and dream of fast cars In the very end
"Things Turn Out Uite Differently "turn out ite differently that s really familiar too Most of the themes
are hardly niue to the area but it s Niemi s genius thathardly niue to the area but it s Niemi s genius that makes you feel it exotic and familiar at the same time It s contemporary writing at its best and I think all readers in English owe a vote of thanks to the translator tooYou ve got to have a strong stomach for a couple sections say for example if large piles of dead mice are not your forte If you have ever seen Kaurismaki films like Leningrad Cowboys Go America or The Man without a Past you will recognize the same deadpan Finnish humor in Niemi s novel whose characters are mainly from the Finnish minority in Sweden s rural north I could recount a scene or two for the surfing reader try to deconstruct whatever go literary if I could but your best bet would be to read the book You will not regret it 25I started this novel because it was recommended on a Russian book podcast that I really enjoy promising a funny coming of age story set in the middle of nowhere in Sweden tr I distinctly remember starting a funny coming of age story set in the middle of nowhere in Sweden tr I distinctly remember starting book I was on a plane home from Japan finally from our sudden month in the UK They had just turned the lights out after meals and drinks so that people could sleep It was about 12am at night Japanese time so 1am Aussie time I was already feeling self conscious as my light was on but Lexx and my brother were on either side of me Lexx had taken a sleeping tablet and my brother still hadn t got the hang of sleeping on planes And I was desperately trying not to piss myself laughing at this bookThis book isn t really a book of short stories but it kind of is It s probably better described as a collection of vignettes of the author s childhood How many of them are true God knows He probably doesn t know entirely himself This is what is the most gripping part of this book It tells stories of his childhood growing p on the far northern border of Sweden and Finland above the Arctic Circle where they speak their own language which isn t iet Swedish but not ite Finnish and considered a bastard kind of area by both Finland and Sweden With all this in the background he tells you these stories as absolute truths that just sort of get carried away on a child s imagination Ethics Playbook until they are fantastical in nature and far too big to be true But you can imagine little Mikael swearing black and blue that s exactly what happenedThis element diminishes slightly as he gets older and the fantastic almost magical realism of the book settles back into a measured reality But was it is replaced by is a humour and a heartbreaking assessment of the reality of the town that only teenagers can really giveThat s the thing that sucks you in really It s the brutal honesty of this book Whether it s him telling you a story at 5 or 15 or 25 You believe his complete sincerity In a world thatndervalues honestly so much this is a very rare giftFor reviews visit Popular Music from Vittula is an ingenious blend of memoir folklore magical realism and talented story telling Who knew growing How to become a Kingdom Millionaire up in the Arctic Circle would be so enchanting I thought it would be too frigid to do anything but shiver But Niemi forms a beautiful landscape where men half a step away from Vikings raise kids who listen to The Beatles The modern ageite literally steam rolls into an edge of the world village where citizens are treading the waters between the religions and myths of their ancestors and the consumerism of the modern age Modern marvels meets old world is not however what makes this book so captivating Instead it s the subtleties of being young that Niemi portrays so perfectly The nuances of grade school hierarchies the machismo of the adolescent male the intricate blends of fantasy and reality that compound to make the world that all little kids live in Niemi calls them The Duchess of Vidal up perfectly without an air of adult pandering He doesn t look back and think we were so silly then if anything he pays homage to the often vicious forces at work in the world of children and how tricky it is to move from the stage of innocence into the thrilling taboo busting realm of adolescence Matti is a regular teen in 60s Pajalap in the extreme. Matti's adolescence is no exception Wrap p warm and join the community of Pajala in a tal. Just pure brilliance On the link of literature to madness Excerpt from a lecture delivered in the sauna by Dad he explicates the facts lecture delivered in the sauna by Dad he explicates the facts life for 14 year old Mattie so his son will know how to be a manThen Dad started going through a list of all the family idiots I d already met some of them one was in the psychiatric hospital in Gallivare and another in Pitea In medical jargon it was called schizophrenia and it seemed to run in the family It would appear when you reached the age of eighteen or so and was due to certain causes Frustrated love was one and Dad begged me to be very wary of getting involved with complicated women who were scared of sex Dad rged me never to be too persistent with the fair sex if they declined to open their legs but rather to follow his own example and find myself an Du fährst zu oft nach Heidelberg und andere Erzählungen unabashed peasant girl with a big assThe other cause of lunacy was brooding Dad strongly advised me never to start thinking too much but to do as little as possible of it since thinking was a menace that only got worse the of it you did He could recommend hard manual labor as an antidote shoveling snow chopping firewood skiing cross country and that kind of thing because thinkingsually affected people when they were lolling about on the sofa or sitting back to rest in some other way Getting The Winning of Andromache up early was also recommended especially on weekends and when you had a hangover because all kinds of nasty thought could worm their way into your mind thenIt was particularly important not to brood about religion God and death and the meaning of life were all extremely dangerous topics for a young and vulnerable mind a dense forest in which you could easily get lost and endp with acute attacks of madness You could confidently leave that kind of stuff ntil your old age because by then you would be hardened and tougher and wouldn t have much else to do Confirmation classes should be regarded as a purely theoretical exercise a few texts and rituals to memorize but certainly not anything to start worrying aboutThe most dangerous thing of all and something he wanted to warn me about above all else the one thing that had consigned whole regiments of nfortunate young people to the twilight world of insanity was reading books This objectionable practice had increased among the younger generation and Dad was pleased than he could say to note that I had not yet displayed any such tendencies Lunatic asylums were overflowing with folk who d been reading too much Once Male Medusa, Caught in Coils (Otherkind Kink: Male Medusa, upon a time they d been just like you and me physically strong straightforward cheerful and well balanced Then they d started reading Most often by chance A bout of flu perhaps with a few days in bed An attractive book cover that had aroused some curiosity And suddenly the bad habit had taken hold The first book had led to another Then another and another all links in a chain that led straight down into the eternal night of mental illness It was impossible to stop It was worse than drugsIt might just be possible if you were very careful to look at the occasional book that could teach you something such as encyclopedias or repair manuals The most dangerous kind of book was fiction that s where all the brooding was sparked and encouraged Damnit all Addictive and risky products like that should only be available in state regulated monopoly stores rationed and sold only to those with a license and mature in ageKindle location 2712 2741In the oral tradition of hyperbolic tall tales Chapter 10 tells the most frightening ghost story of all timeChapter 12 tells the darkest most evil story of all timeChapter 13 tells the funniest mentor story of all timeEach chapter is the self contained narrative of an event during the journey from innocence to experience growingp as a huckleberry FinnGrowing p anyplace isn t smooth it isn t describable exactly If you search your memories later trying to ask why you did something you can t for the life of
you remember why You just did it Things happened You tried to get to China You mimicked theremember why You just did it Things happened You tried to get to China You mimicked the stars when you thought you were alone You might even have licked cold locks if you grew p in northern climes and got your tongue stuck You were never the hero of your own legend Well folks this novel captures that confusion perfectly I ve never set foot in Sweden let alone in its far north by the Finnish border where all the growing The Man They Wanted Me to Be up takes place But now I feel I know what it was like Niemi s description magical realism and all gives you such joy such interest that I assure you you will read POPULAR MUSIC IN VITTULA asickly as you can I Growing p in a small town in the northernmost corner of Sweden can be hard for a boy and. ,
North of Sweden where they think of themselves as Finns and speak Finnish by preference These are guys who know how to hold their liuor laugh at temperatures that go down to forty below zero handle a gun an axe or a snowmobile build a house butcher a reindeer and treat women the way they really want to be treated Though it s true Matti has also discovered rock n roll Maybe that makes him knapsu gay but he doesn t care A real Finn can take care of himself if anyone s dumb enough to call him knapsuHe also turns out to be a natural writer his voice is sort of like Huck Finn crossed with a Viking saga Out of consideration to the guys further south he s been kind enough to write his book in Swedish which at least is a half respectable language I nderstand that there s an English translation too though I m not sure I can recommend it Here s what Matti thinks of English Engelska detta spr k med alldeles f r svagt tuggmotst nd f r h rda finska k ftar s sladdrigt att bara flickor kunde f femmor i det denna snigelaktiga rotv lska dallrande och fuktig نامه های عین القضات همدانی / جلد اول uppfunnen av gyttjetrampande kustl nningar som aldrig beh vt k mpa som aldrig svultit eller frusit ett spr k f r l ttingar gr s tare soffpruttare s helttan sp nst att tungan sladdrade som en avskuren f rhud i munnenEnglish a language which doesn t offer enough resistance to hard Finnish jaws so slippery that only girls can get As in it this damp wobbly snail like gobbledegook invented by muddy southerners who ve never needed to fight never been frozen or hungry a language for lazy vegetarians who fart on their sofas so completely lacking in texture that you feel your tongue sliding around in your mouth like a cut off foreskinUnfortunately we can t all be Finns Girls the ickest way to Pajala is fly to Kiruna via Stockholm then take the bus north But don t get your Hopes UpConsulting The Swedish Wikipedia Page About This Book I upConsulting the Swedish wikipedia page about this book I pleased to see that it s been translated into both the dialect of Finnish spoken here and standard Finnish together with some other languages It also correctly describes the book as a skr na roughly bragging or lying as an art form masuerading as an autobiography I m afraid to say that some other reviewers have called it magical realist They are so knapsu that they probably enjoy the taste of wine This one has it all Humanity humour p the wazoo insight high emotional stakes great The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl use of language it must be amazing in the Swedish but oh wellmagic and morals Anyone who grewp in an isolated place will relate to this Spoiler alert if you already know you re going to read this book stop nowseriously why ruin itok here goesthe scene where Niila s abusive father gets his
"Ass Kicked Then While Convalescing "kicked then while convalescing heaven while walking the landscape in the cracks of the ceiling was one of the mostbelievable portrayals of a religious experience that I have read in a long time Ever So beautiful And the rest of the chapter is amazing as well It s almost biblical in it s archetypal weight To me this chapter is the beating heart of the book Not funny like the rest but the lynchpin the keystone of a magnificent humble novel Best Finnish book everWell OK I haven t read any othersBut this is what I imagine my childhood may have been like if my father had never left FinlandSome of the most endearing scenes and stories I have ever read Too god damned cute to put down Nothing life changing in here but it shouldn t be missed The narrator in this self deprecating Swedish coming of age story does a great job at capturing a child s view of things Author Mikael Niemi keeps the reader guessing at time as to the reliability of the narrator as he winds his way through the story of the friendship of two boys their families and eventually their band The story reminded me of A Christmas Story with its wry depiction of working class families in a snowy climate The chapter in which two families engage in a drinking contest followed by a sauna contest is one of the all time great depictions of stubbornness and stoicism The story bogged down for me when the boys reach puberty Call me a stereotypical female but there are only so many times I can maintain an interest in reading about boys discovering their sexuality In fact I think one reading of John Updike twenty years ago had me pretty much set for life in this regard The average teenager s sexual thoughts and actions to say nothing of those belonging to the adult male really just aren t that interesting Even so Niemi ends the book with a final sentence of such beauty that it perfectly caps the Killing the Truth uneven preceding chapters. E of weddings sauna contests the thrill of a first kiss and of finally hearing the Beatles.