DOCTOR GLAS by Hjalmar Soderberg


Email this review


The private journal of Dr. Glas is as strange, scandalous and surprising as the untoward turns of his thoughts. It is the wife of the personally despicable Reverend Gregorious who causes the professional shift from hypocritical ethical adherence to a case of rationalized ethical murder. Murder, it seems, is the only way to prevent the Reverend's legalized lechery for a young wife in love with another man. Unloved, unable to love, the good Doctor helps Mrs. Gregorious out of her difficulty, while he entertains a secret devotion for her along with the intent to kill. The journal shows his emotion, then cloaks it quickly in practiced detachment and strength of will. The deed is quietly accomplished, but Dr. Glas -- and the reader -- knows the untempered solace of his loneliness and the recognition that life has passed and gone on without him. The psychological quirks and disarming honesty overcome the style of a turn-of-the-century period piece. Just as one comes to know the Doctor's Stockholm, one also manages, with alarming alacrity, to sympathize with his unusual motives and reactions. A fine glimpse of the twilight zone.

Pub Date: April 15th, 1964
ISBN: 0385722672
Publisher: Little, Brown