Author(s): Mikael NiemiDownload
Popular Music from Vittula tells the fantastical story of a young boy’s unordinary existence, peopled by a visiting African priest, a witch in the heart of the forest, cousins from Missouri, an old Nazi, a beautiful girl with a black Volvo, silent men and tough women, a champion-bicyclist music teacher with a thumb in the middle of his hand—and, not least, on a shiny vinyl disk, the Beatles. The story unfolds in sweltering wood saunas, amidst chain thrashings and gang warfare, learning to play the guitar in the garage, over a traditional wedding meal, on the way to China, during drinking competitions, while learning secret languages, playing ice hockey surrounded by snow drifts, outsmarting mice, discovering girls, staging a first rock concert, peeing in the snow, skiing under a sparkling midnight sky. In the manner of David Mitchell’s Black Swan Green, Mikael Niemi tells a story of a rural Sweden at once foreign and familiar, as a magical childhood slowly fades with the seasons into adult reality.
Some Reviews: 355 in Goodreads.com
An absolute delight.
Even though it is set in the most northern part of Sweden, with their own culture, it still made me reminisce my youth further south more than a decade later. It was still enshrouded with the same magic Niemi paints.
I love it when books not only entertain (I laughed so hard at times), but also manages to connect to my own life. I sometimes didn’t just laugh because it was fun, but also because of recognition of “this is how it was back then”. I don’t know if life was better, but it certainly was easier and perhaps more mystical.