The AV Club and The Rabbit Back Literature Society

20mustreadbooks

Okay, this is a very nice surprise: my first novel (and my first translated work) The Rabbit Back Literature Society is among the 20 must-read books in 2015, according to The AV Club.

The Finnish version, Lumikko ja yhdeksän muuta, was published in 2006, so the book itself is kind of water under the bridge to me, but this U.S. version of it means a lot to me and it’s very heartwarming to see that this little quirky story of mine has been noticed abroad – and especially in USA.

So, thank you so much, dear AV Club and especially Caitlin PenzeyMoog!

Hopefully my later works will also be translated and published in USA, there are two other novels waiting so far, and I’m working my ass off with the fourth one.

These other novels are:

The Cinematic Life: a novel (2010).

Souls Walk in the Rain (2013).

about The Cinematic Life – a novel

Paul Auster meets David Lynch… … if you prefer quick descriptions…

Olli Suominen is a children’s book publisher, a member of the local church council, a husband and a father. In every way a respectable, honest and decent guy, a trusted member of society.

Behind this irreproachable facade, Olli is bored, moving through life in stupor day after day. His relationship with his wife, Aino, a school teacher, has faded to routine and his little son, Lauri, feels like a stranger to him.

The change comes when Olli contacts his long-lost childhood sweetheart, Kerttu, on Facebook. Kerttu has become a famous writer and her next book, The Magical City Guide, is due to be published by Olli’s publishing house.

Little by little Olli slips out of his numbing workaday life into a free fall. Dramatic, suppressed childhood memories resurface. Dreaming and wakefulness intermingle. A feeling of bleakness is replaced by powerful passions.

In The Cinematic Life – a novel Jääskeläinen has conjured up a magnetic, ambience-filled experience. The novel’s emotional range extends from melancholy to melodrama and horror; there is also a touch of a Famous Five feeling thrown in – however these Famous Five are not like the ones we’re used to know…

Jääskeläinen has a talent for knocking everyday life out of joint, elevating it to a magical yet credible level.

There is a catch at the end of the book. Two identical-looking versions of The Cinematic Life have been published, each with a different ending. So you can’t know beforehand which one you’re getting. After you’re done, you can read the alternate ending online.

Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen has described The Cinematic Life – a novel as a tribute to films that are larger than life.

Movie buffs will find frequent references to the world of cinema. A film adaptation of Jääskeläinens’s first novel The Rabbit Back Literature Society is in the works.”

Original Title | Harjukaupungin Salakäytävät

Publishing Year | 2010

Pages | 360

 

About Souls Walk in the Rain

 

And finally, for no reason, a picture of my cat:

kissatietää2

 

 

 

 

 

TIPS TO UNLOCK THE SECRETS OF THE RABBIT BACK LITERATURE SOCIETY

bformatcoverOk, I’m first to admit that The Rabbit Back Literature Society isn’t the easiest possible book to understand completely. That’s how I wanted it to be. Demanding. Same goes with our lives, and literature is supposed to reflect different aspects of life. There is no final truth about human life available, only great number of different theories, and in my opinion it is a good thing.

Some books can be read without paying them too much attention. Some can’t. I wrote TRBLS to be easy to read but at the same time it’s a literary riddle that can be (mostly) solved, but only if you read it carefully enough.

In case you read my novel and still don’t know what ever happened to Laura White or what’s the deal with Oskar, here are some tips for you:

About Laura White:

Read carefully pages 51 (the Creatureville passage), pages 70 – 71 (why is Laura White late?), pages 79 – 80 (what’s is the matter with Laura?), page 86 (white Renault in the woods), page 89 (words of the police spokesman), page 140 (what Mother Snow says about Dampish), page 151 (a biography of Laura White), pages 172 – 173 (Creatureville), page 186 (the bee), page 192 (Laura’s line), page 240 (Laura’s headache – and what causes it…),  page 276 (white Renault again – and how it ended up in woods), page 288 (the beginning of the unfinished novel), 292 (Aura’s insight), pages 300 – 303 (Aura spills), pages 312 – 314 (Doctor Jansson’s story), pages 323 – 324 (how Ella plans to write about Laura),  page 331 (the beginning of the unfinished novel as Laura’s confession – this really explains everything about Laura White, in one way or another.)

 

About Oskar’s notebook:

at first there are two alternative possibilities. Read pages 33 (about the nature of remembering) and 119 (the book plague). But finally there’s only one left – read page 247 (When we listened to him read them…) and page 343 (There is a funny anecdote…).

 

About Oskar:

read page 271 (…they’d lost their child…) and page 162 (about phantoms and guilt).

Harper’s Bazaar and Sam Baker’s Autumn reads

The Rabbit Back Literature Society found its way among the top five reads of Autumn by Sam Baker.

This is what she says about TRBLS:

The Rabbit Back Literature Society, Pasi Ilmari Jaaskelainen (Pushkin Press) – out now in paperback
Were you hooked on Twin Peaks? A secret fan of Northern Exposure? Obsessed with Fargo (the movie, not the TV series, naturally)? Then The Rabbit Back Literature Society has got your name written all over it. When Ella returns to her Finnish hometown of Rabbit Back to take a job as a literature teacher, she encounters an elite group called the Society. Then an author mysteriously disappears and the words in books start rearranging themselves. But why? The only way to find out is to try to join. I can’t even begin to try to describe this book. Nor could I begin to do justice to its eerie nuttiness. But if, like me, you’re still a little bit obsessed with who killed Laura Palmer, you’ll love it.

Buy The Rabbit Back Literature Society on amazon.co.uk

 

Waterstones Autumn Book Club – and some words of joy

Join our Autumn Book Club

Introducing our selection of the best books to chat about with your book clubs – or just devour on your own – this autumn.

Our twelve new Waterstones Book Club titles are sure to cheer you up as the nights set in.

As ever, each week we’ll be sharing extracts and articles from our Book Club authors about their work – so be sure to check back. For now, here’s why we love these books – and think you will too…

 

I must admit that I’m very happy about my first novel being chosen among these 12 books. If books could talk (do they?), they would say, ”C’mon, gimme a chance” – because most of the books never get one.  There are so many books published every day that only small part of them ever get the attention they deserve. Now my first novel really has got the chance. I’m so grateful and so is my book. The rest is up to itself. If it’s worth it, it’ll make it.

It took many years but now Pasi feels he has achieved a major milestone

It took many years but now Pasi feels he has achieved a major milestone: his funny little stories are read in the English-speaking world