They Know Not What They Do (Tammi, September 2014), Jussi Valtonen’s sharp, frightening and deeply human examination of a society dominated by technology and commodity, has become Finland’s most talked-about novel since winning the Finlandia Prize, the country’s highest-profile literary honour, in November. Since its publication in fall 2014 the book has impressively sold nearly 100,000 copies!
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“They Know Not What They Do is a mind-blowing work. It illuminates modern life with a rare sense of perception, without pointing fingers or moralizing…the book opens new doors into Finnish literature, both in terms of content and in terms of style.”
– Professor Anne Brunila in the Finlandia Prize announcement
“Contemporary literature simply doesn’t get better than this. A stunning work.”
– Jukka Petäjä, Helsingin Sanomat newspaper, “Critics’ Favourites 2014″
”The book is downright frightening in the way in which it narrates the development of modern world – both the current one and the one still to come – with extreme perception.”
– Talouselämä magazine, Finland
”The fact that Valtonen paints such a large story is wonderful. The book doesn’t just examine a relationship, offer one American researcher’s analysis of the Finnish scientific world (in one word: horrific) or even justify animal activism. It tells a story of science and knowledge, of the way in which we allow corporations deeper and deeper into our lives, and of how difficult it is for people to understand one another.”
– Kodin Kuvalehti magazine, Finland
“Valtonen engages in a necessary conversation about a world in which even authenticity is made into a commodity….the book believes in the idea that a human is, underneath all of his or her roles, a vulnerable creature with needs – that a person’s hope is in another human and not in a machine.”
– Savon Sanomat newspaper, Finland
“A comprehensive picture of our time and a diagnosis of what is ailing this brave new world.”
– Helsingin Sanomat newspaper, Finland
About the author:
Jussi Valtonen (b. 1974) is an author and psychologist from Helsinki. He has studied neuropsychology in the United States and screenwriting in the UK. His previous works include two novels and a short story collection. His novel, Carried by Wings (Siipien kantamat, Tammi 2007) was given second place in Bonnier’s novel competition, and received a warm reception from both critics and bloggers.
Original publisher: FINLAND, Tammi