Kari Hotakainen: Story

What does a worthy life look like? What is a good life story?

Author: Kari Hotakainen
Finnish original: Tarina
Publisher: Siltala, 2020
Genre: literary fiction
Number of pages: 268 pp.
Reading material: Finnish original, English sample
, English synopsis
Rights sold: Bulgaria, ICU; Czech Republic, Dybbuk; Hungary, Polar; Italy, Iperborea; Latvia, Petergailis

This is the situation: the countryside has been turned into a Recreation Area, everyone lives in the City. Occupations and job descriptions have changed or disappeared altogether, no one can find their place, things have got out of control, the Decision Makers are in trouble.

As there is not enough housing for everyone, a brutal playoff begins. The best storytellers get apartments, while everyone else ends up in temporary accommodation built in the Barracks or the empty Shopping Malls.

Who can tell the most attractive story and make their lives seem interesting, who is exhausted by the impossible task? Will the President’s nerves snap, will Moomin-troll succeed in promoting a raccoon dog as a commercial product? Why has Rahikainen changed his name to Rahic, what is the ghost of a pig doing in a chandelier hanging from the ceiling of an old slaughterhouse, what is the ending of the love story of an elderly couple who like kissing?

Kari Hotakainen’s new novel describes what is happening in the world now – and what may happen there next. Story is outrageous, wildly funny and slyly moving. Hotakainen has never written like this before.

“Story hits like a sledgehammer, tickles like a tick in the trouser leg. It makes you angry, it makes you laugh, it makes you jot down a number of short quotations about youtubers, about the prophets of the sweat, body and food, about everything becoming a story, about those who lie a personality and life to themselves.”
– Apu magazine

“Kari Hotakainen’s Story is outrageously funny, but reading it you also feel angry and sad. Blaming the unemployed, the urban superficiality and the consultant twaddle – we are already living in this world.”
– Maaseudun tulevaisuus newspaper

“Kari Hotakainen’s Story is a plea for the people who are ‘only’ something – only nurses, masseurs, assistants, secreteries, bus drivers, cashiers, plumbers, carpenters and cleaning women (as listed in Story). If all these ‘only’ something people would suddenly disappear, the world would stop.”
– Annelin kirjoissa book blog

“Story” is humorous and in hits often the bull’s eye in its critique towards stories.”
– Helsingin Sanomat newspaper

Also available:
The Disciple (2022)
Lifeline (2015)
The Word of God (2011)
The Human Part (2009)
Trench Road (2002)

About the author:
Kari Hotakainen