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3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  162 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
Shakespearelaisiin mittoihin nouseva petoksen ja koston näytelmä. Isossa talossa alkaa kyteä, kun esikoispoika palaa Pietarista Suomen sodan jälkeen.
Hardcover, 120 pages
Published 2010 by WSOY
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Mar 06, 2012 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Translated from the Finnish by Emily Jeremiah and Fleur Jeremiah

"I sensed that motherhood was terrible, perhaps sweet at times, but above all terrible. Not because one human child would be more horrendous than another, nor is it so that offspring cannot bring joy when little and be useful when grown up, but because motherhood makes it possible for future generations to be rocked by dark tragedies."

The Old Mistress in this snowy and tense Finnish tale reflects on her early impressions of motherho
Sep 21, 2016 Kirsty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Brothers is an early Peirene publication, and one I had not been able to find a copy of. It really took my fancy, particularly since I will happily read anything set within the bounds of Scandinavia. This particular novella takes the Finland of 1809 as its setting, and has been translated from its original Finnish by Emily and Fleur Jeremiah. The blurb hails it ‘a Shakespearean drama from icy Finland’, and it has been written by an author who is quite the celebrity in his native land.

The bro
Daniel Stephens
I bought this book when it was one of Amazon's daily Kindle deals last year. The blurb seemed interesting, and at 99p, I figured I couldn't go wrong.

And so it sat, unread and unremembered on my Kindle for months, languishing in my ever expanding "To Read" collection. It would probably be there still, if I hadn't been for the rapidly approaching new year. I wanted a short book to get through before the years end and, at 120 pages, "The Brothers" fit the bill.

As it turned out, though it was promot
Feb 26, 2017 StaringGirl marked it as must_have_it  ·  review of another edition
A little costume drama. Less worthy or experimental than the other Peirene books I've read, instead simply quality entertainment. A plot twist that makes me laugh is definitely entertainment...
Blurbs and quotes on the jacket make allusions to 'Shakespearean drama' (yes, the intense human interactions and family politics), William Faulkner (yes, rural, gothic, brooding), and 'a good soap opera' (yes it deals in tropes, but uses them satisfyingly).

It effortlessly provides its own background to th
Aug 12, 2012 Louise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a bit of a surprise to me, not sure what I expected, but usually multi narrative and I dont get on, as I seem to forget who is saying what... however this one, was great.
Each of the narrators seemed to have the same unemotional tone, but it worked well.
what was I thought a story about two brothers turned into a story about the whole family, and its dynamics, and secrets.
highly recomend.
Kathleen Jones
Nov 03, 2012 Kathleen Jones rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’ve been a convert to Peirene Press’s editions of contemporary European fiction since I read The Murder of Halland by Danish author Pia Juul, and the short stories of Austrian Alois Hotschnig (Maybe This Time). The Brothers comes from Finland and is by Asko Sahlberg, one of the country’s best poets and prose writers, but very little known in England. The book blurb was terse and very brief, but when I read it, I knew I wanted to read the book:

‘Finland, 1809. Henrik and Erik are brothers who fo
Parrish Lantern
The Brothers by Asko Sahlberg is set at the end of The Finnish War, fought between Sweden and the Russian Empire (Feb’ 1808 – Sept’ 1809) the result of this war was that the eastern third of Sweden was established as the autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland within the Russian Empire. The book starts with the brothers, who have fought on opposing sides, returning to their family farmhouse. With their return old scars resurface, old conflicts born out of past tragedies. The elder brother, Henrik, is ...more
Dec 20, 2013 Jane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Like a neat, impressionistic Chekhov story or an arty French film – in which single sounds and close-ups of movements are potent with meaning - 'The Brothers' gives an episodic insight into a brief but significant span of time in enclosed world.

This is 19th-century Finland, a beautiful, melancholy snow- and alcohol-filled setting, but the intense love-loathing rivalry between brothers Henrik and Erik, universally readily identifiable, could be transferred
Apr 03, 2012 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Brothers, by Finnish writer Asko Sahlberg, is the first in Peirene Press’s series of the “Small Epic”. The publisher also draws comparisons with Shakespeare and William Faulkner. No pressure, then.

Surprisingly the book did not disappoint. It’s only 122 pages but does pack in a lot of story, including among other things warring brothers, family betrayal, sexual tension, death, illness, gambling debts, bankruptcy, attempted fratricide, blackmail, prostitution and the 1809 war between Sweden an
May 24, 2014 Malcolm rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set in the aftermath of Russian-Swedish War of 1809, The Brothers is a tale of intrigue, lust, greed, envy, scandal and the shenanigans of life in a farming family in a small Finnish community finding its feet under the new Russian rule (although that is contextual, rather than a force of the narrative). There is enough here for an epic novel, although Sahlberg is parsimonious in his use of words as the story unfolds from various character’s perspectives.

The brothers of the title, Erik and Henr
Asko Sahlberg (1964-) is one of Finland's most famous living authors. He published his first novel in 2000 and has received numerous awards. He currently lives in Sweden.

Published in 2010, He (The Brothers, translated by mother-daughter team Emily and Fleur Jeremiah) is Sahlberg's ninth work. Henrik and Erik are two brothers born to an old family of Finnish landowners. While Erik stayed behind, the restless and ambitious Henrik fled to the glittering cities of Russia to be seduced by the wealth
The year is 1809. The setting: a small farm in the Finnish countryside, not far from the western town of Vaasa. The war between Sweden and Russia has just ended; the latter now owns this territory.

The younger son Erik runs the farm, helped by his wife Anna and his elderly mother. He fought in the war, on the losing side. His elder brother Henrik fought for the victorious Russians. A tortured nomadic soul all his life, Henrik has just come back home...

This is the setup of Asko Sahlberg's except
Aug 18, 2012 David rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
It may seem mean to award only two stars to this one, but I rate books here according to the impact they have on me personally, rather than by some kind of objective measure of literary merit. In any case, Good Reads suggest that two stars means "it was ok", which sounds an apt description for my impressions of this novel.

Peirene Press have produced a beautiful paperback book, unfortunately the contents left me as cold as the northern latitude in which it is set. Peirene specialise in bringing c
Oct 02, 2015 Noora rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finnish, 2015
The Brothers is one of the lesser-known Finnish titles translated into English. It is published by the lovely Peirene Press and translated by Emily & Fleur Jeremiah. The story, blurbed as "Shakespearean drama from icy Finland" is set in 1809, mere months after the end of Finnish War. This was the war that separated Finland from Sweden and transformed the country into a (partly) autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland. The novel begins when Henrik, the older brother, returns to his childhood home a ...more
David Hebblethwaite
Peirene Press’s theme for 2012 is ‘The Small Epic’ – ‘novella length stories of more than 35 chapters’ according to the publisher’s catalogue; but this book (Sahlberg’s ninth, translated from the Finnish by Emily Jeremiah and Fleur Jeremiah) also fits the bill as a grand-scale story set in a small space. That space is a Finnish farmhouse in 1809, inhabited by brothers Erik and Henrik; their mother; Erik’s wife, Anna; and the brothers’ cousin (who is treated little better than a servant), Mauri. ...more
Bee Halton
A dark book about a family drawn apart emotionally through personal tradegies. It is written in simple language and sentences but the author has an enormous talent of showing lost characters. Definitely worth reading.
Ein dunkles Buch ueber eine Familie, die durch persoenliche Tragoedien auseinandergerissen ist. Es ist in einfacher Sprache und Saetzen geschrieben aber der Autor hat ein grosses Talent verlorene Personen darzustellen. Dies is
Wilde Sky
Two Finnish brothers, who fought on opposite sides in the war between Sweden and Russia return to their family farm.

I found the multiple view point method story telling method distracted from the story and the writing the felt like a text book.
Antti Virolainen
Feb 09, 2012 Antti Virolainen rated it liked it
Yllättävän hieno pienoisromaani. Perhesuhteiden takaa paljastuu aina mätää ja kaunaa. Maaseudulla sodan ja perimysriitojen velloessa, ne saavat melkoiset mittasuhtyeet. Kirjan ratkaisu ei onneksi ole ilmeisin.
I guess I have just discovered the latest addition to my favorite authors. Judging by this one compact novel, Asko Sahlberg writes the sort of prose I absolutely love. Minimal but evocative, short but very informative.
Carol Hislop
Feb 08, 2014 Carol Hislop rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't decide between 3 and 4 stars. It's an interesting story which is well written but it was quite depressing. I did enjoy reading about a period in history I knew nothing about and I will look out for more of this author's books.
Jan 19, 2016 Boorrito rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, finland
Calling this Shakespearean implies this should have decent pacing, which it doesn't, and interesting dialogue, which it also doesn't have.

It does, however, have a character who gets horny from kneading bread because it reminds her of men's butts. So there's that.
Titus Hjelm
Grim as a Finnish novel should be--although somewhat disappointingly the ending is uncharacteristically semi-happy. Packs a lot into meager 100+ pages. Recommended, if not mind-blowing.
Iain Vickers
Slight. Wanted to find it profound; didn't.
Jul 31, 2012 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Part of a Scandinavian mini-wave in my reading. A fable-like story of hidden passions and the desire for revenge, set in early 19th-century Finland. Very good on horses.
Alun Williams
The dense writing made it a difficult read for me.
Lucy Mason
Barely a word out of place.
Tämä mies todella osaa kirjoittaa niin, että yhtään ylimääräistä sanaa tai lausetta ei lipsahda mukaan. Hiottua, hallittua, vaikuttavaa ja mikä tunnelma.
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Asko Sahlberg, born 1964, has acquired a fame in Finland that has yet to be replicated in the English speaking world. He published his first novel in 2000 and has written steadily since then, completing his ninth work, The Brothers, in 2010.
More about Asko Sahlberg...

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