I purchased this book on a whim, since I had grown up reading the author's children's stories, and I wasn't sure what to expect. This translation of the book captures the author's distinctive, charming style which immerses the reader in the wild, dark, and harsh landscapes of Sweden and the lives of its inhabitants. Having said that, Mr. Berling seems to be a one of the least likeable eponymous characters I've yet encountered. He's definitely interesting and well-developed, but I found it very hard to empathize with him when things did not go as planned for him; at times he just seemed so thoughtlessly evil and self-absorbed that I wanted him to come to a miserable end. However, the female characters in the novel definitely made up for Gosta's shortcomings and this book appears to have a definite feminist overtone. There are numerous powerful and yet long-suffering female characters that seem to provide support as well as restraint for the inconstant, bellicose, and often quite simply foolish male figures. It is an entertaining but thought-provoking tale that examines all aspects of human character, from the base to the noble, a story of love, betrayal, and redemption.