Why is Scandinavia So Weird?

/ posted in: Reading

It isn’t personal, Scandinavia, but the books that I’ve read written by your authors tend to be weird.  Maybe those are the only ones other than crime novels that make it into translation.
The Rabbit Back Literature SocietyThe Rabbit Back Literature Society by Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen

“Only nine people have ever been chosen by renowned children’s author Laura White to join the Rabbit Back Literature Society, an elite group of writers in the small town of Rabbit Back. Now a tenth member has been selected: a young literature teacher named Ella.

Soon Ella discovers that the Society is not what it seems. What is its mysterious ritual known as “The Game”? What explains the strange disappearance that occurs at Laura White’s winter party? Why are the words inside books starting to rearrange themselves? Was there once another tenth member, before her? Slowly, as Ella explores the Society and its history, disturbing secrets that had been buried for years start to come to light. . . .”


The Girl Who Saved the King of SwedenThe Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden by Jonas Jonasson

Fact: In June 2007 the King and the Prime Minister of Sweden both went missing from a banquet at the castle.

Fact: South Africa developed six nuclear weapons in the 1980s and voluntarily dismantled them in 1994.

But what if they had actually made 7 bombs?

The Cast:

Nombeko – An unusually intelligent girl born in a Soweto slum during the height of apartheid. Manages to steal 19.6 million in diamonds and ends up locked up in a secure nuclear facility (but not because of the theft). Finally escapes but accidentally takes the seventh bomb with her.

Holger One – A Swedish man who was raised by his father to bring down the monarchy. Too bad he really isn’t smart enough to figure out how.

Holger Two – Holger One’s unexpected identical twin brother who was never registered at birth and officially does not exist. He’s smart enough to know that his father and brother are crazy.

Celestine – Holger One’s very angry girlfriend. She wants to fight the power but unfortunately the power keeps ignoring her.


The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and DisappearedThe 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

“After a long and eventful life, Allan Karlsson ends up in a nursing home, believing it to be his last stop. The only problem is that he’ s still in good health, and one day, he turns 100. A big celebration is in the works, but Allan really isn’t interested (and he’ d like a bit more control over his alcohol consumption). So he decides to escape. He climbs out the window in his slippers and embarks on a hilarious and entirely unexpected journey.”


The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the RulesThe Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules by Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg

“79-year-old Martha Anderson dreams of escaping her care home and robbing a bank. She has no intention of spending the rest of her days in an armchair and is determined to fund her way to a much more exciting life-style. Along with her four oldest friends – otherwise known as the League of Pensioners – Martha decides to rebel against all of the rules imposed upon them. Together, they cause an uproar with their antics: protesting against early bedtimes and plastic meals. As the elderly friends become more daring, their activities escalate and they come up with a cunning plan to break out of the care home and land themselves in a far more attractive Stockholm establishment. With the aid of their Zimmer frames, they resolve to stand up for old aged pensioners everywhere – Robin Hood style.”


Want to see for yourself?  Check out Finnish Weird to download two free short story collections by Finnish authors.