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About a Book


Let me interrupt this week of rainy vacation days and tell you about a book. What could be more appropriate?

There are few things in life I love more than a good story involving either the devil or hell. It started early. As a kid I used to love a story, a piece of folklore, about a priest who won over the devil in a poetry contest (we Icelanders really know how to outwit the devil apparently). Maybe it is partially because of this devilish scoundrel, this jester, that I love devil stories so much though there is another aspect to it - the one about hell being the worst thing people can conjure up. And the devil? - He is the ultimate bad-guy, at least according to a lot of people who trust faith to guide them through life.

The devil in HANNAH GREEN AND HER UNFEASIBLY MUNDANE EXISTENCE isn’t the dull, overtly serious devil type though. He is more like the scoundrel I used to read about as a kid and though Hannah's devil is a wonderfully interesting character he is far from being the most interesting character in the book.

In my world that’s hitting the literary jackpot.

It is a beautiful story. It’s warm, funny, sad, hopeful and intelligently told, and I could not for the life of me put the book down. This is a story you’re going to want to share with your kids, though I’d read it first for yourself because you’re not going to want to stop when they fall asleep. And maybe you don’t think this is a children’s story at all - it isn’t really - it’s one of those stories that defies any genre definitions. You may think you have it pegged out and then it pokes you in the ribs and runs the other way and this gleefulness is exactly what makes it so good. Though it's not just charmingly strange, but also a little serious, covering difficult topics of our everyday lives. On top of all it is full of Michael Marshall Smith’s unique life wisdoms that sometimes makes you stop and think of your own existence for a while, and sometimes makes you burst out laughing out loud. In fact during the time I read this book I was frequently asked by my family what on earth I was laughing at. I rarely laugh out loud while reading but this book touched my funny bone and quickly became one of my favourite books featuring the devil - ever.

I whole heartedly recommend this book - you’ll enjoy it whoever you are, even if you are one of those strange people who actually don't like devil stories.

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