Thursday, 8 July 2010
Seduced by a cover
Now, Arto is huge in his native Finland and just as big in France. It's been translated into loads of languages and far be it from me to disagree with that literary *ahem* paper - The Mail on Sunday - all unanimously decree that Arto is le dernier cri in Finnish wit.
Oh dear. I felt like Margo Leadbetter from The Good Life when she cries piteously for someone to explain a joke to her. She just doesn't get it. And nor do I.
Vatanen is a journalst who decides that he's had enough of city life and takes off in his car when he encounters a young hare that's injured on the road. He goes off in search of it and this turns into a road trip, complete with hare. He meets a lot of strange and, erm, wonderful people on the way. He ends up quitting his job, leaving his wife, giveing away his possessions and travelling Finland - taking in forest fires, priests, killer bears, war games and pagan sacrifices.
It has been described as a masterpeice of black humour, as sharp as the Arctic weather of Finland, and highly amusing.
Really? I mean, really?
OK, it's not sugary sweet (we're not talking Watership Down here) But all I can say is that foriegn humour perhaps doesn't travel. Us Brits are the master of black humour, sharp wit and the mighty understatement.
The best thing about this book is the cover, oh yes, and nothing nasty happen to the hare. At least we don't have a recipe for pie.
A keeper? Hmmmm... I don't know, but I but I do so love the cover. I longed to have a young hare snuggled into my jacket. I leave you with the last picture I took of Daphne guarding my slippers, with a book in the background. Now, that's a front cover.