Virpi HÃ¤meen-Anttila’s Suden Vuosi (literally the Year of the Wolf, but AFAIK it hasn’t been translated) was this summer’s first fictional book that I read; my wife accidently picked it up from the library and recommended it to me after reading it herself. And to my big surprise, it was a really good book! It’s probably been years since I read a Finnish fictional novel and this experience showed that I may have to read some more often.
The story is about a handful of persons in Helsinki, focusing on a student and a university teacher and the somewhat strange relationship that starts to develop between them. Beautifully written with a gripping (albeit potentially predictable) plot, it’s a really strong first book by the author. I especially enjoyed the little bit “artistic” style of writing – I can imagine this would be a nightmare to translate to some other language. A couple excerpts might help understand what I mean:
SitÃ¤kin autaallisempaa on lÃ¶ytÃ¤Ã¤ jostain pilkkahinnalla aarre. Silloin hÃ¤n seisoo kirja tiukasti hyppysissÃ¤, kÃ¤Ã¤ntelee sivuja hurmion vallassa, kaksikymppiÃ¤, ihme, saan tÃ¤mÃ¤n, joka on minulle ilo ja nautinto ja taivas, siksi ettÃ¤ se ei merkitse kenellekÃ¤Ã¤n muulle mitÃ¤Ã¤n.
He eivÃ¤t puhu mitÃ¤Ã¤n. Kaikki energia suuntautuu muualle, ja sitÃ¤ paitsi tilanteen vaatimat sanat ovat liian raskaita liikuteltaviksi.
Perfect summer reading, 4 out of 5.