Not a review this time (but there are more coming!) – I guess you could call this an update.
Guiltily between necessary Frankenstein readings – for my Literature lessons – I am reading The Rabbit Back Literature Society by (ready for it) Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen. All those umlauts will henceforth require me to refer to him as PJ.
PJ is a Finnish writer, “one of Finland’s best-kept secrets”, and is currently a professor of Literature and Language. Although fantastical books such as this do not usually grab my attention as much as those with a more realistic side to them, I really am enjoying this book!
Ella, the protagonist of this novel (who seems to be a female, fictional representation of PJ with the same job and a very personal feel to her characterisation…but maybe I’m not far enough into the book to be able to make that judgement) is a kind-hearted supply teacher who discovers a problem with a copy of Crime and Punishment – the plot is twisted, people die in ways they shouldn’t have and it’s all a bit too much. So, Ella goes to consult the staff at her place of refuge – Rabbit Back’s Library.
So as not to give too much away (not that I have much information myself as of yet) I will not describe any of the events which follow but, if you care to join me on this strangely enticing adventure, you can buy this book with the following link: http://pushkinpress.com/book/the-rabbit-back-literature-society/
Alternatively, as my Dad did in order to buy me this surprising little gift, you could probably pop down to your local Waterstone’s and get yourself a copy – the lady who highly recommended this book to my dad was infatuated with it, apparently, and I would also recommend this to anyone! It’s quite universal in the adult world of Literture…maybe for teens too? I was never a teen-lit sort of individual so I can’t really make a judgement call on that one I’m afraid. I think that, so long as you’re old enough to enjoy the sarcastic sense of humour, you are absolutely qualified to enjoy this book for the magnificently written piece this is. Although, just something to bear in mind, some of the translation (and I mean a minute amount here) can be slightly difficult to grasp if you are not accustomed to other languages and the difficulties translation can face. As I said, they’re only tiny. But, if you are not comfortable with the sometimes “blocky” nature of parts of this novel’s translation then you may feel put off at times.
Having said that, considering how fluidly most authors write, I always admire the art behind novel translation. And who knows? As I’m applying to do Scandinavian Studies and English Literature at Uni, one day I might experience the pleasure, and arduous task, of translating Scandinavian novels such as this one…
One can only hope.