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Popular Music from Vittula

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Popular Music from Vittula Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Matti and his quiet friend Niila grow up in Vittula, a little town with lots of children, in the far north of Sweden. This is the ’60s and ’70s, the dirt roads are finally being paved, the small farmsteads are being abandoned, and rock music enters the scene with a crash. Against a backdrop of an older generation suspicious of these modern things, Popular Music from Vittula is the fantastical story of a young boy’s unordinary existence, peopled by a visiting African priest, a witch in the heart of the forest, cousins from Missouri, an old Nazi, a beautiful girl with a black Volvo, silent men and tough women, a champion-bicyclist music teacher with a thumb in the middle of his hand—and, not least, on a shiny vinyl disk, the Beatles.

Miles away from urbane Stockholm or fashionable Malmö in the south, Vittula is almost another universe, surrounded by tundra and taiga, forest and potato field. Growing up amid cultural tensions between a traditional, deeply religious north and a more modernized south, our young hero and his friends discover their way in this ever-changing, never-changing land.

The story unfolds in sweltering wood saunas; amidst chain thrashings and gang warfare; in a Communist gathering hall; learning to play the guitar in the garage; over a traditional wedding meal; on the way to China; during drinking competitions; while learning secret languages; playing ice hockey surrounded by snow drifts; outsmarting mice; discovering girls; staging a first rock concert; peeing in the snow; and skiing under a sparkling midnight sky—in language that is sweet and humorous and lively and sad.

Mikael Niemi has published two collections of poetry—Näsblod under högmässan (Nosebleed During Morning Service, 1998) and Änglar med mausergevär (Angels with Mausers, 1989)—and a young adult novel, Kyrkdjävulen (The Church Devil, 1994). This is his first adult novel.

Laurie Thompson (Translator) has translated some fif-teen novels from the Swedish, including books by Stig Dagerman, Peter Pohl, and Kjell-Olof Bornemark. He lives in West Wales.

Synopsis:

In this brilliant first novel — the single bestselling book in Swedish history — rock & roll changes the life of a boy growing up on the tundra of northern Sweden.

Synopsis:

Popular Music from Vittula tells the fantastical story of a young boy's unordinary existence, peopled by a visiting African priest, a witch in the heart of the forest, cousins from Missouri, an old Nazi, a beautiful girl with a black Volvo, silent men and tough women, a champion-bicyclist music teacher with a thumb in the middle of his hand—and, not least, on a shiny vinyl disk, the Beatles.

The story unfolds in sweltering wood saunas, amidst chain thrashings and gang warfare, learning to play the guitar in the garage, over a traditional wedding meal, on the way to China, during drinking competitions, while learning secret languages, playing ice hockey surrounded by snow drifts, outsmarting mice, discovering girls, staging a first rock concert, peeing in the snow, skiing under a sparkling midnight sky. In the manner of David Mitchells Black Swan Green, Mikael Niemi tells a story of a rural Sweden at once foreign and familiar, as a magical childhood slowly fades with the seasons into adult reality.

Synopsis:

Niemi tells the fantastical story of a young boy's unordinary existence in a book peopled by a visiting African priest, a witch in the heart of the forest, cousins from Missouri, an old Nazi, a beautiful girl with a black Volvo, silent men and tough women, a champion-bicyclist music teacher with a thumb in the middle of his hand.

About the Author

Mikael Niemi was born in 1959 and grew up in Pajala in the northernmost part of Sweden. Among his published books are two collections of poetry and a young adult novel,. Laurie Thompson has translated some fifteen novels from the Swedish, including books by Stig Dagerman, Peter Pohl, and Kjell-Olof Bornemark. He was editor of Swedish Book Review from its launch in 1983 to 2002.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781583225233
Translator:
Thompson, Laurie
Publisher:
Seven Stories Press
Translator:
Thompson, Laurie
Author:
Niemi, Mikael
Author:
Thompson, Laurie
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Series Volume:
no. UT-02.05
Publication Date:
October 2003
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
8 x 5.5 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General

Popular Music from Vittula New Hardcover
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Product details 240 pages Seven Stories Press - English 9781583225233 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
In this brilliant first novel — the single bestselling book in Swedish history — rock & roll changes the life of a boy growing up on the tundra of northern Sweden.
"Synopsis" by , Popular Music from Vittula tells the fantastical story of a young boy's unordinary existence, peopled by a visiting African priest, a witch in the heart of the forest, cousins from Missouri, an old Nazi, a beautiful girl with a black Volvo, silent men and tough women, a champion-bicyclist music teacher with a thumb in the middle of his hand—and, not least, on a shiny vinyl disk, the Beatles.

The story unfolds in sweltering wood saunas, amidst chain thrashings and gang warfare, learning to play the guitar in the garage, over a traditional wedding meal, on the way to China, during drinking competitions, while learning secret languages, playing ice hockey surrounded by snow drifts, outsmarting mice, discovering girls, staging a first rock concert, peeing in the snow, skiing under a sparkling midnight sky. In the manner of David Mitchells Black Swan Green, Mikael Niemi tells a story of a rural Sweden at once foreign and familiar, as a magical childhood slowly fades with the seasons into adult reality.

"Synopsis" by , Niemi tells the fantastical story of a young boy's unordinary existence in a book peopled by a visiting African priest, a witch in the heart of the forest, cousins from Missouri, an old Nazi, a beautiful girl with a black Volvo, silent men and tough women, a champion-bicyclist music teacher with a thumb in the middle of his hand.
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