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The True Deceiver Paperback – 1 Oct 2009
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I loved this book. It's cool in both senses of the word, understated yet exciting. When I finished it I read it all over again. The characters still haunt me. (Ruth Rendell)
The True Deceiver glitters with the kind of sharpness that might just cut you... It is one of Jansson's most deceptively quiet, most astonishing compositions. (Ali Smith)
Tove Jansson was a genius (Philip Pulman)
The True Deceiver is a quiet masterpiece...the novel is haunting, complex and mysterious (The Age, Melbourne 2010-01-23)
Following the success of The Summer Book, A Winter Book, and Fair Play, Sort of Books introduces Tove Jansson's haunting novel of suspense - published for the first time in English, in a brilliant new translation from Thomas Teal.See all Product description
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It is a beautifully crafted study of human character, with a tinge of menace lurking in the background, and I thoroughly recommend it.
The events of this novel are not earth-shaking, but one becomes embroiled in the negotiations between brother and sister and selected members of the tiny community, as Katri struggles to fulfil her dream. The writing is brilliantly stark and cool (in both senses of the word) as relationships are forged and broken apart in this beautifully crafted and compulsively readable novel.
Anna, the older woman, lives alone and has had a cossetted upbringing: she is a successful writer of childrens' books, while Katri, the younger character worries for her sibling Mats. Mats is not overbright but has a talent, as a boat designer.
Katri ruthlessly controls her own life, her dog (with no name), and is unashamedly forthright to those with whom she comes in contact. Katri's inveigling herself into Anna's life and home, and their personal conflict is brilliantly played out, through Jansson's narrative, (at no time verbose). It is the reader who decides who the 'true deceiver' is, and how the women move on after the last page.