A Baroque feast of a novel, artlessly and stubbornly brilliant.
Author: Mikko Rimminen
Finnish original: Pölkky
Publisher: Teos, 2007
Genre: literary fiction
Number of pages: c. 384 pp.
Reading material: Finnish original, English sample
A man steps off a train at the Helsinki Railway Station at night. This starts a tracking operation in which the narrator, reader and everyone else have to untangle what is happening in the mind and heart of the protagonist.
These are the known facts: it’s the beginning of winter, the taxi drive to the Kaisaniemi park won’t take long, and there’s a quest waiting in the park. Also, there’s a promise about a story and a possible reveal of the main character’s secrets—the narrator is consigned to these promises. And he does his utmost, because the often cowardly and evidently unlucky protagonist’s negligence forces the diligent narrator to focus his eyes elsewhere, not just in his own excellence.
The multifaceted turn of events should not be given away by any means, but let us mention the skating rink, questions about freezing it and an unfortunate, sudden eruption of a geological cataclysm in the middle of the rink. In addition, we meet with a group of people who, for a multitude of reasons, enjoy staying in the park. The most important of them is Anni, whose comeliness should be discernible to everyone.
With the help of the aforementioned elements, the story inescapably heads towards a breathtaking finale that is of course essential for any story.
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