Hurmaava Joukkoitsemurha

“People may think of Swiss citizens as somehow simple representatives of Alpine nations, but, whatever one’s opinion on this topic is, they are experts on potatoes.” Arto Paasilinna (my translation)

After posting my impressions of two novels by Arto Paasilinna, I got a recommendation from Sophie to read Hurmaava Joukkoitsemurha (translated by Petits Suicides entre Amis in French and not translated by A Pleasant/Charming Collective/Mass Suicide in English). I have finished it during my trip to Scotland and definitely enjoyed it!

“Portuguese stems from low latin, Sami from the bellow of reindeer.” Arto Paasilinna (my translation)

The basic setting is in a sense the very same as other successful Paasilinna’s novels, namely a collection of caricatural characters involved in unlikely humorous situations. But it is highly funny and very efficient nonetheless. This is certainly the most picaresque of Paasilinna’s novels, in that an initiating trip supposedly towards death is the topic of the novel, with new meetings in new locations at each chapter and improbable reappearance of former characters here and there. The group of suicidal Finns travels through Europe in a hilarious bus ride, meeting locals and leaving memorable impressions! The book is full of ludicrous and caricatural statements as the ones above about foreign nationals (incl. German hooligans and French perverts!), as well as about the causes for suicide in the Finn society. The epilogue is not the best part of the book in that it has too much of an “all ends well” spirit, but I definitely recommend Hurmaava Joukkoitsemurha (to those who can find a translation in their own language).

rto Paasilinna (my translation)

One Response to “Hurmaava Joukkoitsemurha”

  1. […] in the fog wrongly thinking I was still moving,one broken snowboard and dozens of falls, an entire Pasaalina and a few pages of Banks, great packed snow and equally great powdery snow, lots of laughs and […]

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