Paper walls - JALs third book

For discussion of John Ajvide Lindqvist's short story collection Pappersväggar
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StefL
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Paper walls - JALs third book

Post by StefL » Tue May 18, 2010 2:46 pm

OK, as I nagged Wolfchild into creating this section of the forum I'd better make sure it has some content as well. Paper walls (Pappersväggar) is JALs third book, published after Låt Den Rätte Komma In and Hanteringen av Odöda. It is a collection of short stories, out of which some readers of this forum have probably heard about the last one - Sluthanteringen (The Final Handling) which is a 97 page epilogue/sequel to Hanteringen av Odöda.

In all there are nine or ten stories in Paper Walls, between 5 and 97 pages long - The Final Handling being the longest with 97 pages, second longest is Gräns (Border), the first story in the book, at about 75 pages. The stories in the book deal with different aspects of both supernatural things and aspects of human nature and our imagination.

Gräns (Border) is about a female customs officer who is extremely good at identifying those people who are hiding something as they pass the border (smugglers normally). One day however she encounters a man who is definitely hiding something - but she cannot find out what...

By på höjden (Vertical village) is about a man living in a high flatblock which is accidently in Blackeberg. One day he notices that the building has suddenly started to lean somewhat to the side... This story contains a reference to LDRKI where the main character passes by the pool house "which had been closed for over ten years after some terrible things had happened there"

Majken (has actually been filmed!) is about a group of old ladies who extort revenge for their bad pensions by organised shoplifting on a large scale. Incidentally, the main character of this story also lives in Blackeberg :mrgreen:

Pappersväggar (Paper Walls), ie the title story, is about a boy who gets a large cardboard box from his father's job and what happens when he starts playing in it.

Most of this text I alread wrote in a thread in the section for Handling the Undead, but I put it here as well to set it in its proper place. I'll try and add a bit more info about the book later.

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drakkar
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Re: Paper walls - JALs third book

Post by drakkar » Tue May 18, 2010 4:44 pm

Int
StefL wrote:Gräns (Border) is about a female customs officer who is extremely good at identifying those people who are hiding something as they pass the border (smugglers normally). One day however she encounters a man who is definitely hiding something - but she cannot find out what...
About Gräns: In a review of Lilla Stjärna I posted earlier today in the media section, JAL states that it was with "Gräns" he really noticed he could write:
De första böckerna är bra historier men det finns bitar som inte är särskilt bra stilistiskt. Det var först med novellen ”Gräns” som jag märkte att jag kunde skriva, säger han.
The first books have good stories, but they have stylistically less good sections. It was with the short story "Gräns" I noticed that I really could write, he says.
Also I was astonished by Gräns. Having already read LdRKI and HtU, I noticed right away that Gräns was in another league, at least stylistically. LdRKI is difficult to compare to the rest of his work because the film. It also has an outstanding autobiograpichal story and the strongest main characters I've ever encountered, but stylistically it's a bit jerky. Handling the Undead I regard as is his weakest work (and even JAL knows this if he read my commenting post about it in one of the threads he has participated in).
For the heart life is simple. It beats as long as it can.
- Karl Ove Knausgård

kaye
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Re: Paper walls - JALs third book

Post by kaye » Thu Oct 14, 2010 5:40 am

I havent heard that book yet but its quiet interesting. Thanks for sharing :)

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StefL
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Re: Paper walls - JALs third book

Post by StefL » Sun Oct 17, 2010 7:57 pm

kaye wrote:I havent heard that book yet but its quiet interesting. Thanks for sharing :)
If you're not Swedish or Norwegian there's a natural explanation to that since it hasn't been published in any other language as far as I know. However, from what I understand (and from what JAL himself wrote on the forum a while back) it is due to be published in English "in a near future". And then it will apparently also contain the epilogue to LTROI which is due to be included in his next book in Swedish which will also be a short story collection.

DMt.

Re: Paper walls - JALs third book

Post by DMt. » Tue Oct 19, 2010 12:51 pm

What...?

Or do I mean 'A propos of what?'...

[later:] Ah, good, the spam has been zapped.
But now it looks like I was sniping at StefL's post, which was not the case.
Honest!

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TΛPETRVE
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Re: Paper walls - JALs third book

Post by TΛPETRVE » Thu Nov 04, 2010 7:21 pm

Just bought it, now reading. I'm excited.
Att fly är livet, att dröja döden.

Do not ask why; ask why not.

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StefL
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Re: Paper walls - JALs third book

Post by StefL » Fri Nov 05, 2010 7:53 am

TAPETRVE wrote:Just bought it, now reading. I'm excited.
What's the German title - is it Papier Wände or something entirely different as it was with LDRKI which became So Finster Die Nacht?

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TΛPETRVE
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Re: Paper walls - JALs third book

Post by TΛPETRVE » Fri Nov 05, 2010 10:39 am

The German title is - as atrocious as it gets - Im Verborgenen, which translates to "In Hiding". The proper title would be, as you almost correctly pointed out, "Pappwände".

Me likey that stuff so far, even 'though the quality between stories seems a bit wobbly at times. Gräns, for example, is absolutely terrific in its entirety (connecting the myth of changelings to transborder child trafficking is nothing short of an utter stroke of genious). By på höjden, on the other hand starts off great with its Lovecraftian allusions (rats in the walls), but the last steps to the final resultion feels a bit rushed and Stephen King-like sensational, even though the resolution itself is, again, a Lovecraftian one.
Att fly är livet, att dröja döden.

Do not ask why; ask why not.

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