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Seven Brothers Paperback – Oct 1991

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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Aspasia Books (Oct. 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 188047400X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1880474006
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 15.9 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 754,959 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Monty Milne on 10 Jan. 2013
Format: Hardcover
This is a novel about seven brothers living in rural Finland in the mid nineteenth century. It is quite unlike any other book I have ever read.

There is an earthy, bawdy humour to some of the brothers' behaviour but they can also be violent and difficult. Sometimes the writing is comic, sometimes it is Homeric and feels almost mythic in scope, such as an account of a battle with forty bulls. You get the sense of all kind of deep things going on here - I often found mysefl thinking of the Kalevala (the great Finnish epic which inspired the music of Sibelius), and I enjoyed the deep sense of the beauty, mystery and strangeness of the Finnish landscape - and the Finns.

This is a rich and multi layered novel which reveals different things at subsequent re-readings. I like this kind of thing; others don't. I'm also fascinated by the other-ness of Finland and the self sufficiency of its people. There isn't much of a plot - not a tight linear one, anyway. If you like a more "straightforward" story, and if you haven't much interest in Finland, you may not care for it much. I wouldn't say it is a "difficult" novel - no more so than most novels over a century old. There are some archaisms, and some historical references which may be obscure to many. But if you are alive to the richly textured nuance and the landscape, the myths, and the history, then you will find much here to enjoy - as I did.

It's also one of the most widely read books in Finland, so if you know any Finns, or have an interest in going there, you will want to read this book to get some insights into the people, the land and the history.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. Sturgess on 21 Aug. 2007
Format: Paperback
Again, another unknown masterpiece. The best novel in Finnish literature and in the top 100 of all time. Needless to say, completely ignored by so-called experts and critics of literature. Reasonably easy to find.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A Fine Translation 23 July 2006
By Michael Smith - Published on
Format: Paperback
This rollicking translation of Kivi's "Seven Brothers" by Richard Impola finally makes this masterpiece of Finnish literature accessible to English readers. Impola manages to capture both the epic grandeur and humor of the Finnish text, and faithfully preserves the character of each vignette or escapade in which the brothers find themselves. This reviewer feels that Impola does a better job than the previous translator, Alex Mason, whose stilted prose is something of a barrier to the modern reader.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
This is the Aspasia Book's blurb on Seven Brothers... 6 Aug. 2008
By Kiwi - Published on
Format: Paperback
Along with The Kalevala, Aleksis Kivi's Seven Brothers is Finland's most celebrated literary treasure. The crowning accomplishment of Finland's first literary genius, Seven Brothers remains "the greatest Finnish novel of all time", the classic among the classics in Finnish literature.

Published in 1870, in the author's 36th year and two years before his untimely death, Seven Brothers laid the foundation for what Kai Laitinen later called "The Great Tradition in Finnish Prose". This tradition is characterized by realism, humor, respect for the common people, and depiction of nature as both friend and foe.

Received at the time of publication by uncomprehending arbiters of literary taste, who still delighted in romantic approaches to literature, Seven Brothers fared poorly in early reviews. Posterity, however, has resurrected the reputation of Aleksis Kivi, and critics, scholars, and readers at large continue to praise the virtues of this trail-blazing, exceedingly rich novel.

Richard Impola's superb English translation captures the brothers' rustic milieu and the exceptional dynamics of Kivi's creative style and artistic conception.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
This book defines Finnish character 29 Jan. 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
I read this classic in the original Finnish. I love the stories told by Aapo. Kivi uses great description throughout the novel to help the reader feel as if he is there.
Five Stars 18 Feb. 2015
By LC - Published on
Verified Purchase
Great product-great packaging, fast fast service.
Quaint reading. Enjoyable.
4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A book about finnish men 25 Mar. 2000
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book is totally fantastic! And that's all I can say ! Read the rest, you-ll see what I mean !
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