Survival Game

Original title: Selviytymispeli

Published: 2014

Publisher: Tammi

Class/genre: Young Adults

Pages: 265

John Green meets Lord of the Flies in the Nordic wilderness: a gritty and realistic survival story about the healing power of friendship.

Suffering from life-threatening burns at the Korpisalo hospital, Ozzy can’t hear, see or smell anything; he knows only that his mother, little sister and father are all gone. Ozzy’s father, the HR director of a local paper machine manufacturer, suffered a breakdown during a brutal round of layoffs and burned his house down, killing himself, Ozzy’s mother and his little sister. During brief moments of clarity Ozzy tries to turn his thoughts to his former boy scout troop on their annual winter hike – a trek that turns into a dangerous game of survival in freezing temperatures.

The town’s widespread economic hardships have created a new pecking order at the local high school. Tensions come to a head when ninth graders Jont, Snipe, Rambo, Little Joe, Telly and Ferrari leave for a survival hike in the freezing woods. Hunger and cold add to the stress – and above everything hovers a worry over Ozzy’s fate.

“The jokey, teasing dialogue is well-written and sharp, and brings forth the sense of humor and strong bond that exists within this group – in spite of the fact that on occasion these guys are pulling in different directions. Everyone is in the same boat, regardless of individual backgrounds.”
– Turun sanomat newspaper, Finland

“Both sensitively and powerfully, the book tells the story of boys growing up in a small, Finnish town hit with economic troubles and an unthinkable family tragedy. An invisible rubber band seems to connect these characters. Karpio’s stellar storytelling adds drama and tension to the story. I devoured Survival Game with bated breath, and after finishing it I had tears in my eyes, from both sadness and joy.”
– Saara Tiuraniemi, publisher, Tammi

“This book is, simply put, true, and captures our current time in a merciless and startling way.”
– Sanna Uimonen, editor, Tammi

Markku Karpio

Markku Karpio worked as a kindergarten teacher for 12 years before becoming a full-time writer in 1996, one year after the publication of his debut novel Headlamp (Otsalamppu, Otava 1995). Karpio has authored both YA and adult novels and numerous short stories, columns and articles, as well as a four-part television series. His novel Storm Warning (Myrskyvaroitus, Otava 2008) was nominated for the Topelius Prize, an award that recognizes the year’s best Finnish book for children and young people.

Karpio has also been nominated twice for the Kirjava Kettu (“Colourful Fox”) prize, in 2009 (for Storm Warning) and 2014 (for My Father is an Astronaut), and twice for the LukuVarkaus Prize. In 2005 he was given the Pertsa and Kilu prize for his impressive contribution to Finnish youth literature. He lives in Utö, a small island in the Baltic Sea.


Related news