Original title: Musta satu
Author: Aki Ollikainen
Genre: Literary Fiction
Finnish PDF, English sample
In his second novel, Aki Ollikainen takes his readers to Tattarisuo, which has a dark and special reputation in Finnish criminal history. The narrator’s family has fallen apart, and his wife and son have left him. Reality has become unhinged, and the unresolved tragedies inherited from prior generations have started to overwhelm his thoughts. Many paths seem to lead him to Tattarisuo, a place where a man known as Witch-Kallio used to perform mystic practices.
On a second temporal level, the reader follows Heino, a bootlegger in 1930s Helsinki. Heino has a family, a wife and a son, and his life in order, but an all-too-human greed takes hold both in love and money, and Heino’s selfishness and carelessness bring about a chain reaction of events stretching across generations, with the nocturnal Tattarisuo as its starting or ending point.
A TALE OF DARKNESS is a somber, beautiful novel about dissolution on the levels of the individual, family, chain of generations and society as well. The past molds us in one way or another. Inside each and every one of us is a Tattarisuo, a dismal place to drown, but whence a trove of unfathomable riches might one day arise.
[‘A Tale of Darkness’] is a considerably more complex and daring undertaking than its predecessor, but equally subtle in its expressiveness - beautiful, moving and creepy.
Antti Majander, Helsingin Sanomat
FINLAND: Siltala (orig.)
NETHERLANDS: Ambo Anthos