The story of three days spent trying to catch a fish while fooled and foiled by an assortment of primeval nature beings.
Author: Juhani Karila
Finnish original: Pienen hauen pyydystys
Publisher: Siltala Publishing, 2019
Genre: literary fiction
Number of pages: c. 250 pp.
Reading material: Finnish original, English sample, English synopsis
Rights sold: World French, La Peuplade
Elina Ylijaako has returned to her home village in Eastern Lapland, as she does every year. She has three days to catch a pike. When a water sprite emerges from the pond and other ancient creatures soon join the game, Elina’s fishing trip turns into a life-or death adventure.
Meanwhile a police sergeant named Janatuinen is searching for Elina on suspicion of murder. But first the sergeant has to survive a fishing trip of her own with a local forest imp and make it through throng night – a carnival of the dead that even the most hard-blooded witch in the village knows to avoid.
Mysterious creatures wander the tundra bogs like machines set in motion long ago that nobody knows how to turn off. An ancient demon finds a new home in the mayor. A farm hand who refuses to die starts sprouting branches and oozing menace. And in a little pond in the middle of the swamp lives the fish that everything depends on.
Fishing for the Little Pike is a linguistically virtuosic novel, at once love story and mythical fantasy, that will make you choke with laughter one minute and turn deadly serious the next.
“Karila’s collection The Death of the Apple Crocodile has the same boisterous spirit as his first book, Gorilla (2013) […] The twists of Karila logic are a far cry from th mainstream of Finnish contemporary fiction, which gravitates to realistic settings and often to documented history, where events are believable and true. It’s important that our prose also have the kinds of voices that could say anything at any moment.”
–Helsingin Sanomat newspaper on The Death of the Apple Crocodile
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