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Not Before Sundown Paperback – 16 May 2003

4.3 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Paperback, 16 May 2003
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Product details

  • Paperback: 220 pages
  • Publisher: Peter Owen Ltd (16 May 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0720611717
  • ISBN-13: 978-0720611717
  • Product Dimensions: 21.2 x 13.8 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 588,128 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Chillingly seductive . . . I was awed by the beauty of the translation Independent on Sunday, Best Reads of 2003 --Independent on Sunday

A wily thriller-fantasy . . . each discovery sounds like the voice of a storyteller reminding us of how the gods play with our fates New York Times --New York Times

I really enjoyed Not Before Sundown . . . it s a sharp, resonant, prickly book that exists on the slipstream of SF, fantasy, horror and gay fiction Neil Gaiman --Neil Gaiman

From the Author

I wanted to write a book that would deal with themes bigger than life—the relationship between man and nature; the problems of different kinds of otherness; how our biological ancestry as hierarchical pack animals still affects us. But I also wanted it to work as a thrilling and emotionally charged story, something the reader could thoroughly enjoy.

Writing it, finally, was like a deep dive into dark unknown waters. Finishing it was like swimming up, breaking the surface, first breathing deeply and then noticing the way I could see that the world has, in a small but definite way, changed during the dive.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 5 Sept. 2003
Format: Paperback
If you've ever read a Finnish book about trolls, it was probably Tove Jansson's Moomintroll books. The troll in this particular book is a completely different character from the members of the Moomin family.
Reading this book was a strange pleasure, strongly evocative of Finnish nature and a particularly Finnish relationship to the natural world. Although the events of the book take place in a city, and many of them indoors, the presence of Pessi the troll, and the constant references to the wild forests outside remind us that even the most 'civilised' parts of human life are rooted in wild nature. And in Mikael's living room is a troll who he feeds sometimes with cat food, sometimes with rodents from the pet shop.... Trolls are related to cats (apparently!), so sometimes Pessi sits and sleeps; other times, he delights in the hunt, with messy (and lethal) consequences.
Particularly fun in this book is that each chapter has a heading which tells you who the narrator is --- and it's never Pessi. But interspersed with the narrative are extracts of texts about trolls. Are these texts 'real'? Some of the titles and authors are well known in Finland, which makes the part about the magical/troll world and the human world more believable.
This is a book that is easy and very enjoyable to read (despite some clumsy bits of translation now and again), but I have to admit that at the end I wasn't sure it was as 'deep' as the blurb on the back cover says; on the other hand, that was one thing that made me want to go back and read parts of it again.
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By M. Dowden HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 15 July 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Last year my local reading group read The Year of the Hare and this book was advertised on the back pages. At the time I thought that this would probably be quirky and something a little bit different. This book has already become a cult classic in its home country of Finland and has been enjoyed by many others throughout the world.

I should warn you that the print in this book is quite small and some may have trouble reading it, especially as it has fictional excerts from books and newspapers, which is even smaller still. If you are put off because it has gay characters in it then don't be, there is nothing really rude here. The story is a modern day fairy tale, where Mikael a.k.a. Angel finds a troll cub in the yard of his apartment block. Taking it indoors with him as it looks ill, Angel tries to find out all he can about how to look after this mythical beast. Told through different characters we come to find out more about Angel and his friends, including the poor Filipino mail order bride in the flat below his. Like Dracula, we don't actually get to hear Pessi's (the troll) point of view, which adds to the story the feeling of his isolation.

This is a satire in some ways on how we live and the problems that we face with encroachment of wild beasts in urban areas. For example I have never seen a fox in the countryside, but I am plagued with them in London. Taking in science with biology, evolution and enviromental issues, this also looks at anthropolgy, consumerism and the role that advertising plays, alienation and nature. Filled with humour, from slapstick to black comedy there is more than enough to keep the most jaded reader interested.
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By Benjamin TOP 500 REVIEWER on 20 Jan. 2011
Format: Paperback
This book was originally published under the title Troll:

Accepting the premise that trolls really do exist, although they are rarely sighted, and little is known for sure about them, Johanna Sinisalo has created a beautiful love story, as the title suggests. The story is set in Finland one winter through to the spring.

Mikael, a successful freelance photographer affectionately and descriptively known as Angel, for he is very handsome with his head of fair hair, rescues an abandoned and frightened young troll from the attack of a group of loutish drunken teenagers. With no other options, for as we all know an abandoned troll cannot be re-united with its parents; Angel takes the young troll home to care for it. He then embarks on a course of investigation and discovery as he secretly tries to raise the troll, which he names Pessi. At the same time Angel tries to juggle his relationships with his gay lovers: Dr Spiderman, a vet; Martes who is also his business partner and Ecke who absolutely adores the gorgeous Angel. While Dr Spiderman provides some advice, Angel's only other support comes from Palomita, the Filipino bride of the abusive brute who lives in the apartment below him.

The story is told progressively by the various participants, but predominately Angel, and the narration is regularly interspersed with facts, information, and myths and tales, poetry and literature about trolls, sourced from various publications and the internet.

It is truly a lovely story, the relationship that develops between Angel and Pessi is most heart warming as the young troll becomes submissive towards and fiercely and jealously protective of his newfound master.
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