What Finland read in April…

18 May 2012 | In the news

…was Tuomas Kyrö mostly, it seems: at the top of the April list of best-selling fiction titles in Finland, compiled by the Finnish Booksellers’ Association, was his novel  Mielensäpahoittaja ja ruskeakastike (‘Taking offense: the brown sauce’, WSOY).

In March, Kyrö (born 1974) already featured twice on the list: his first novel about a 80-something man, Mielensäpahoittaja (‘Taking offense’,  WSOY, 2010) was number two, and the newly-published sequel, Mielensäpahoittaja ja ruskeakastike had shot up to sixth place. In April they changed places  – with the audio book version of the brown sauce book at number five.

This mielensäpahoittaja, ‘he who takes offence’, lives in the countryside and opposes most of what a contemporary lifestyle has to offer. Finns are evidently highly amused by the opinions of this obstinate, grumpy old man. But the popularity of Kyrö’s literary creation may also be boosted by the fact that he currently takes part in a television talk show every week, entertaining the audience and his fellow guests with his often acerbic remarks.

A crime novel by Seppo Jokinen, Hervantalainen (‘The person from Hervanta’, Crime Time), occupied third place, Tarhapäivä (‘Kindergarten day’, Otava) by Eve Hietamies fourth.

On the non-fiction list Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago, republished by Silberfeldt in April, was already in third place; we published a news piece about it  on 25 April.

The non-fiction list was topped by a new, controversial book by banker – and one of the richest men in Finland – Björn Wahlroos, Markkinat ja demokratia. Loppu enemmistön tyrannialle (‘Market and democracy. The end of the tyranny of the majority’, Otava). He favours the methods of Margaret Thatcher’s economic policy and opposes social benefits for the poor; according to him, the market economy is superior to democracy any time.