QUICKSAND by Malin Persson Giolito

QUICKSAND

BUY NOW FROM
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Sharp social commentary through the tragic story of a young woman’s trial for mass murder.

Swedish novelist Giolito begins her English-language debut with a powerful view of a crime scene. To the narrator, 18-year-old Maja, her fellow classmates are still in the present tense, the horror not yet real. As she tells her tale we understand that she is at the center of a school shooting perpetrated by her boyfriend, Sebastian Fagerman, and the question is whether she is complicit. Both teenagers come from privileged backgrounds, she from a loving home she has no patience for, and he the son of "the richest man in Sweden," who verbally abuses him. Giolito keeps the narrative moving quickly, alternating between the present tense of Maja's jail cell and the courtroom and her memories of parties and travels with her jet-setting boyfriend, though as Maja says, “there are no chapters in this mess.” That mess takes in the uneasy place of race in modern-day Sweden and the voracious press that amplifies the details of everything in Maja’s young life. There is no suspense in the shooting of Amanda, Maja’s best friend, or of Sebastian. She did it and admits to it. The literary anticipation here is in the telling of the tale, the facts that turn the story to something else, and yes, the verdict. The rhythm, tone, and language are just right, due in great part to the fine translation by Willson-Broyles.

Giolito gives us the unsettling monologue of a teenage girl as she works her way through her role in murder. It is a splendid work of fiction.

Pub Date: March 7th, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-59051-857-1
Page count: 432pp
Publisher: Other Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2017




THE 9 MOST ADDICTIVE BOOKS OF 2017 (SO FAR) :

FictionTHE ARRANGEMENT by Sarah Dunn
by Sarah Dunn
FictionA PIECE OF THE WORLD by Christina Baker Kline
by Christina Baker Kline
FictionNORSE MYTHOLOGY by Neil Gaiman
by Neil Gaiman
NonfictionHOMO DEUS by Yuval Noah Harari
by Yuval Noah Harari

MORE BY RACHEL WILLSON-BROYLES

FictionTHE DYING GAME by Asa Avdic
by Asa Avdic
FictionEVERYTHING I DON'T REMEMBER by Jonas Hassen Khemiri
by Jonas Hassen Khemiri
FictionTHE GIRL WHO SAVED THE KING OF SWEDEN by Jonas Jonasson
by Jonas Jonasson

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

FictionSEE YOU TOMORROW by Tore Renberg
by Tore Renberg
FictionFIERCE KINGDOM by Gin Phillips
by Gin Phillips
FictionTHE DYING GAME by Asa Avdic
by Asa Avdic