Fredrik Sjöberg's Swedish bestseller about summer, islands and finding happiness in the little things.
Every summer there are a number of nights, not many, but a number, when everything is perfect. The light, the warmth, the smells, the mist, the birdsong - the moths. Who can sleep? Who wants to? Most people do, it seems. As for me, I'm on the verge of tears from happiness, and I wander around on the island till dawn and dream and think that summer nights are our most underutilized natural resource.
A mesmerizing web of associations, The Fly Trap begins with Fredrik Sjöberg's own experiences collecting hoverflies on a remote island in Sweden. His curiosity about the inventor of his fly trap leads him to rediscover the extraordinary life of a near-forgotten Naturalist, René Malaise. The tale that Sjöberg unravels - of heroic expeditions to Burma and the wilderness of Kamchatka, of lost loves and unexpected treasures - leads him to reflect on life itself, on the natural world and how we learn to interpret it, on slowness, freedom and the bliss of limitation.
'Charming, witty and original . . . a sly challenge to virtually every contemporary orthodoxy' Guardian
'Delightful, at once informative and often humorously digressive . . . a humane man of wide-ranging curiosity, Sjöberg writes with infectious passion' Independent
'Its joy lies in Sjöberg's loose-limbed prose . . . at once whimsical and yet laden with erudition and a deep feeling for the natural world and our place in it' Financial Times
'I often return to The Fly Trap, it remains close to my heart. The minute observations from nature that reveal sudden insights into one's life. Sometimes I almost think that he wrote it for me' Tomas Tranströmer, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature
'Subtle, convincing . . . Sjöberg thrives in the indistinct boundary between science and literature' New Scientist
'A quirky tapestry . . . an enjoyable if wayward tale' Ecologist
Fredrik Sjöberg collects hoverflies on the island Runmarö, in the archipelago east of Stockholm. He is also a literary critic, translator, cultural columnist and the author of several books including The Art of Flight and The Raisin King, which form a trilogy with The Fly Trap.