Wednesday, January 9, 2013
The Howling Miller by Arto Paasilinna
£11.69 (special edition hardback)
Bought from Mr B's Emporium
I've heard only very good things about this book, and was not disappointed myself. As a friend from book club said on her blog site - for a bookshop to organise their own special edition print run it must be something special!
This is a wonderful story about a miller called Gunnar Huttunan who moves to a small village. At first the village are pleased to have a new miller in town and like what he's doing to rebuild the dilapidated old millhouse, but soon things turn sour when his eccentric ways (howling at night and imitating animal behaviour) set him at odds with the rest of the villagers, and piece by piece things get worse for our anti-hero.
It's tempting to tell you about what happens to him, but I will try to resist, and instead tell you that this is a story about friendship, love, acceptance and freedom. It's easy to identify with Gunnar, despite his eccentricities, and the descriptions of the escalating war between Gunnar and the villagers affects you more than you would expect.
The story was written in Finnish and translated to English via a French translation, so it's hard to say for certain what effect this has, however it reads very well, and you do get the impression that not a word is wasted. I heartily encourage you to give this one a chance.
At the time of publishing this I can't upload the picture of my cover... hopefully I can do this soon.