OFF RRP $29.99 $25.25
OFF RRP $29.99 $25.25
- Contemporary fiction
- Publication Date:
- Scribe Publications
- Country of origin:
- Dimensions (mm):
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A Fairy Tale by Jonas T. Bengtsson is a novel about madness, relationships, loneliness, self-expression and self-discovery.
All done with a very subtle writing touch, which left me thinking about the characters long after I had finished the book.
A coming-of-age story like no other
Told in two parts from an unnamed boy's perspective, A Fairy Tale commences when the boy is six, and Swedish Prime Minister Olaf Palme has just been assassinated. We are taken into his insular world where his father and he live on the outskirts of society. Theirs is an itinerant existence, with his eccentric father taking on any odd job he can find. His father is his anchor, protector, and only certainty, and the memories he has he has of his mother are vague. At night his father spins him a fairy tale about a king and a prince, who while looking for the White Queen so as to destroy her must remain aware of the danger posed by the White Men, who hide in plain sight and who are out to get them. The tale would appear to be a way of teaching the boy the dangers of the world from the viewpoint of his father.
As the boy grows older, he (and we reading it) becomes aware of the oddity of some of his father's actions. The boy starts to crave a more normal life, with friends, and school, and for a time it looks as though this may come to pass, until an unpredictable event changes everything.
The second part stars some years after the first, with the boy now a teenager on the brink of adulthood. He is struggling to come to terms with his life as it has unfolded and to make sense of his father's past. It is up to the reader to piece the puzzle together as to what the reality is. One thing the reader would never doubt is the love that the father has for the boy.
This is a beautiful novel about the bond between a father and son, with short chapters and an engaging mystery that pull you in, almost addictively, and that many should enjoy. While this is Jonas T. Bengtsson's third book, it is the first that has been translated into English. I really hope more are to come.