Kari Hotakainen’s The Disciple, published on 24th August 2022, rose immediately to #2 on the Finnish bestseller list of August. Hotakainen has a long record of hitting the top ten with his novels, with the novel Story topping the list in 2020, and the biography The Unknown Kimi Räikkönen selling over 200,000 copies in Finland and over 100,000 abroad.
The Disciple is a ferocious novel about social exclusion, revenge, and the search for connection. It follows Maria who over the course of three days settles accounts in a fierce way that forces the reader to think about the meaning of life, the problems inherent in a middle-class lifestyle, and the part we play as individuals on the final precipice of an era.
“The rhetorical blades of Disciple strike with precision, and a dark, laconic humor sustains the work.”
– Helsingin Sanomat newspaper
“Hotakainen understands the most interesting thing about revenge is not the reason someone seeks it, its justification. What’s essential is that the revenge-seeker at least momentarily take control of the situation, act on her own terms. Communication is a major value in contemporary society, but those seeking vengeance have lost faith in its redemptive power. Disciple is a statement that has no interest in turning into a conversation – this is one of the remarkable things about it. Although the book is primarily constructed of Maria’s monologues, the text never feels heavy. The end is solid. This may be the best Hotakainen I’ve ever read, or at least the most pugnacious.”
– Suomen Kuvalehti magazine