Hello! Today I’m very pleased to welcome you to JuliaPalooza for my stop on the Blog Tour for Little Siberia by Antti Tuomainen (translated by David Hackston), which is available now from Orenda Books (links below).
About the book
A man with dark thoughts on his mind is racing along the remote snowy roads of Hurmevaara in Finland, when there is flash in the sky and something crashes into the car. That something turns out to be a highly valuable meteorite. With euro signs lighting up the eyes of the locals, the unexpected treasure is temporarily placed in a neighbourhood museum, under the watchful eye of a priest named Joel.
But Joel has a lot more on his mind than simply protecting the riches that have apparently rained down from heaven. His wife has just revealed that she is pregnant. Unfortunately, Joel has strong reason to think the baby isn’t his.
As Joel tries to fend off repeated and bungled attempts to steal the meteorite, he must also come to terms with his own situation, and discover who the father of the baby really is.
Transporting the reader to the culture, landscape and mores of northern Finland, Little Siberia is both a dark crime thriller and a hilarious, blacker-than-black comedy about faith and disbelief, love and death, and what to do when bolts from the blue – both literal and figurative – turn your life upside down.
Having thoroughly enjoyed Antti Tuomainen’s Palm Beach, Finland last year, I was delighted to be able to join this new blog tour as well.
Little Siberia is another demonstration of how skilled Tuomainen is at constructing spectacularly unique situations for his characters to navigate.
Joel is a sympathetic and fully-rounded protagonist who, due to a perfect storm of circumstances, has a very bad few days indeed. Many a hurdle and various temptations are thrown into his path as he tries to cope with some life-changing events.
The wider cast of characters largely appear to be untrustworthy and unsavoury in their own ways, and it is amusing to see the impact (pun intended!) of the arrival of the meteorite on the inhabitants of Hurmevaara.
The extreme weather is a huge part of this book and seems a clever reflection of Joel’s feelings: the treacherous paths, the biting cold, the creeping darkness, the oppressive snow. Hurmevaara itself is a bleak landscape with even bleaker, more desperate people fighting their own demons.
Little Siberia is, cleverly, both a riotous almost-heist tale and a thought-provoking journey with deep emotional power. That said, there are just enough moments of pure – albeit dark – comedy to lighten the mood.
This is another success from Antti Tuomainen and I look forward to his next novel.
A huge thank you to Orenda Books for my copy of Little Siberia and to Anne Cater for my spot on the blog tour.
About the author
Finnish Antti Tuomainen was an award-winning copywriter when he made his literary debut in 2007 as a suspense author. In 2011, Tuomainen’s third novel, The Healer, was awarded the Clue Award for ‘Best Finnish Crime Novel of 2011’ and was shortlisted for the Glass Key Award. Two years later, in 2013, the Finnish press crowned Tuomainen the ‘King of Helsinki Noir’ when Dark as My Heart was published. With a piercing and evocative style, Tuomainen was one of the first to challenge the Scandinavian crime genre formula, and his poignant, dark and hilarious The Man Who Died (2017) became an international bestseller, shortlisting for the Petrona and Last Laugh Awards. Palm Beach Finland (2018) was an immense success, with The Times calling Tuomainen ‘the funniest writer in Europe’.
About the Blog Tour
Please check out the rest of the fantastic bloggers on the tour for Little Siberia: