Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Tainaron: Mail from Another City” as Want to Read:
Tainaron: Mail from Another City
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Tainaron: Mail from Another City

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  359 ratings  ·  44 reviews
TAINARON: Mail From Another City is the first American publication by the internationally acclaimed Finnish author, Leena Krohn. TAINARON consists of a series of letters sent beyond the sea from a city of insects. TAINARON is a book of changes. It speaks of metamorphoses that test all of nature from a flea to a star, from stone and grass to a human. The same irresistible f ...more
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published November 14th 2004 by Prime Books (first published 1985)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Tainaron, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Tainaron

Jagannath by Karin TidbeckIt Came from the North by Desirina BoskovichThe Third Bear by Jeff VanderMeerThe Kosher Guide to Imaginary Animals by Ann VanderMeerTainaron by Leena Krohn
StoryBundle: Weird Fiction Bundle
5th out of 8 books — 7 voters
Troll by Johanna SinisaloLautturi by Jenna KostetSudenmorsian by Aino KallasThe Rabbit Back Literature Society by Pasi Ilmari JääskeläinenAuringon ydin by Johanna Sinisalo
Finnish fantasy
9th out of 77 books — 16 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 790)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Alexander Popov
(Originally published on my blog:

What a marvelous book Lena Krohn’s tiny Tainaron is! I admit that I chose it for my train read precisely because of its size. It’s merely 130 pages long, many of them filled with illustrations and the blank spaces that follow the end of chapters, in this case letters. Tainaron consists of thirty letters sent by a woman to her unnamed once-lover, over the huge mass of Oceanus, from the eponymous insect-inhabited city where
A brilliant work of pure imagination. This is a brief novel composed of a series of letters written from a city populated by insects. Its writer and reader are never identified, nor is the exact nature of their relationship established other than they were close.

There's a gentle melancholy throughout the book that only hints at unrevealed emotions. Death, loneliness, longing, joy, wisdom, duty, love - all are presented by our narrator with no predetermined conclusions and with no crude metaphors
I picked up Tainaron as part of a "weird fiction" ebook sale, not having heard of it before. By Finnish author Leena Krohn, it is written as a series of letters from an unnamed person staying in the city of Tainaron. Tainaron is a city populated by insects, and it is implied that the writer is human. The letters are to a lover or friend back in the writer's home city, and a lot is left unexplained. It's a fascinating novel, and hard to understand exactly what is going on, as a lot of things are ...more
Tyrannosaurus regina
I am completely fascinated by this book. It's about a human living on a city populated by insects, but as much as the city is a vivid character in the book it's not about the city but about the narrator, about the ways in which they engage with this world and the relationships they form and the relationship to the one they left back home, to whom they write these thirty letters and never receive a reply. Some of the letters seem to exist almost as pure, complex metaphor, and some—most, really—sh ...more
The book consists of vignettists in the form of letters from a woman living in a land of insects to her companion back home. The writing is bountiful and beautiful, and it is quite easy to see the author is a poet.

I can not bring myself to call this work a novel. it is akin to going to the movies and watching the previews for an extended period of time. Although the themes and concepts are brilliant and well written we are just given a taste and peek at what exists in this strange and bizarre an
Edward Rathke
My second Krohn novel, and I feel almost exactly the same as I do about Datura, which I read last week.

Interesting world, interesting ideas, solid prose, a very pleasant read, but just not really my kind of thing.

I'd recommend it but only give yourself maybe ten pages. If you don't like it by then, you likely never will.

So it's not that I dislike it, just that it's not my thing. It's pretty solid, in its way.
Ана Хелс
Ако си търсите странен роман, съчетаващ подчертано фантастични нишки с философски такива, написан от автор, различен като нужди и светоусещане от обичайните хамерикански граждани, които обичат да ни поучават в книжна форма, и то във форма и стил подчертано алтернативни, но не и нечетимо оригинални – вашият нов любимец е Тенарон на Лена Крун. За тази малка скромна книжка се изписа много на най-различни места, и възторгът от различното е споделен.

Креативно, интимно, започващо отникъде, отвеждащо д
This short novel is presented as 30 letters home to an unnamed lover that does not respond from the narrator, a tourist visiting the city of Tainaron. Tainaron is a very unusual city, being populated by somewhat anthropomorphised insects. It is unclear whether the insects are human-sized, or whether the narrator has somehow been shrunk to insect size.

As might be expected in a novel about insects, the central theme of the letters is metamorphosis. How much can an individual change and still remai
David Macpherson
I don't think I was a good enough, or close enough reader to catch everything this book was doing. It was beautiful, and frustrating, because it was working with metaphor so well. It is 30 letters written from a person living in the distant city of Tainaron, which is made up of insects. The narrator discovers odd and familiar parts of a city of insects. It is about death, and change and a lot of things about life. Its kind of amazing.
Kauniisti kirjoitettu! Mielikuvitusta kutkuttavia tuokiokuvia paikasta nimeltä Tainaron. Paikasta, joka itsessään muuttuu ja jonka asukkaat muuttuvat koko ajan. Kirjoja, joista voi varmasti löytää jokaisella lukukerralla jotain uutta. Toisin sanoen: toivottavasti tulee luettua joskus uudestaankin.
Wonderful atmosphere! A bit surrealist, a bit mystical.. Not necessarily a book for those who need to understand the world they are reading about, but this is one of those few precious books where you get a sense of space around you when you read it. That is always a magnificent experience. In fact, I've always thought that Leena Krohn is at her best when she doesn't try to be too philosophical with her fiction (she is not really able to compete with the best writers in that category), but rathe ...more
Kae Cheatham
[Borrowed from my PL]

A connected series of letters written by a woman who has moved to a city of insects. Odd concept. Beautiful language as the essence of change is described in many forms.

I liked it, but I'm not sure why.
Radi Radev
За първи път в живота си чета сборник с финландски фантастични разкази. "Тенарон" от Лена Крун ми напомни на Алиса в страната на чудесата на Луис Карол (Чарлз Латуидж Доджсън).
Книгата е изпъстрена с чудни алегории, а авторката пише по прекрасен поетичен начин:

"Нощ е, и ден, а аз виждам и царството на мъртвите, и небето, от един и същ прозорец."

Тенарон е град-събитие и град-същество. Никой не иска да му направи карта, защото Тенарон постоянно се променя. Жителите му са насекоми и писателката жив
Не мога да напиша нещо много вдъхновяващо за тази колекция от кратки разкази. Основно защото „Тенарон“ е творба за по-чувствителни натури от моята. Същността ѝ е крехка и трябва да бъде изследвана търпеливо и със съсредоточено внимание – все умения, които, дори да съм притежавала, са умрели още в първата година, откакто заживях в София. За да оцелееш в някои градове се налага да си изградиш здрава черупка и да вървиш в рогата напред. Непреклонно, и по възможност учтиво, да отстояваш себе си.

В др
Lyhyt ja varsin nopeasti luettava teos, jossa Tainaronista lähetettyjen kirjeiden kautta käsitellään monenlaisia asioita aina olemassaolosta kuolemaan. Kirjeiden kirjoittajasta ei oikeastaan anneta muita tietoja, kuin hänen kirjeissään esiintyvät ajatukset ja mielipiteet, joiden pohjalta muodostuu jonkinlainen hahmo. Kokonaisuutena kiinnostava teos, johon oli tosin hieman vaikea päästä sisälle ensimmäisten kirjeiden aikana, jolloin Tainaron ja sen elämä alkoivat hahmottumaan enemmän. Annan tälle ...more
Cecil Wilde
More like 3.5 stars.

The good: Tainaron and its inhabitants are described vividly and with great interest, which I enjoyed. The worldbuilding is delightful. While the prose does descend into the realm of purple from time to time, it is mostly nicely balanced and quite poetic.

The neutral: I expected 'a series of letters' to mean that this story could be reasonably described as epistolary (which is a particular weakness of mine). It really isn't, though, other than in the most technical of senses.
Aluksi oli hieman vaikeaa päästä kirjan maailmaan sisään, sillä maailma oli vieras ja kertojakin siinä ulkopuolinen. Ulkopuolisuus toimii kuitenkin teoksessa teemana ja jossain puolen välin paikkeilla aloin todella pitää tästä kirjasta ja sen sisältämien kirjeiden pienistä sattumuksisa. Myös kertojan persoona alkoi vasta vähitellen muodostua, hänestä ei kerrota suoraan juuri mitään, vaan hänen hahmonsa on muodostettava kirjeistä välittyvän ajatusmaailman ja toiminnan perusteella. Kirjan loppupuo ...more
James Walz
The never-named narrator enters an elusive world of human beings who have the physical traits of insects and unsettling, secretive ways that seem normal to the other inhabitants. The novel is a series of vignettes, each one dealing with an encounter she has while finding her way about the city of Tainaron, a constantly changing, unmappable metropolis that metamorphoses before one's eyes. Undertones of Kafka percolate through the descriptions; the sense of an alien, uncaring world and the naive s ...more

"Тенарон" е чаровно малко книжле от финландската писателка Лена Крун, написано през 1985 г. Творбата се счита като решаваща за бъдещото й плодотворно творчество, включващо близо 30 заглавия. Ето и официалната анотация:

"Сюжетът е предаден чрез трийсетте писма от жена, която пристига на бял кораб в Тенарон, причудлив град отвъд океана, в който остава завинаги. Необикновените си преживявания тя споделя с приятеля си, бръмбара Сечко, който я въвлича в сериозни
Jan 14, 2015 Auli rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: proosa
Upeimpia lukemiani pienoisromaaneja! Epistolaari oli keveä muoto mutta sai yllättävää painavuutta, kun vastaanottajan mykkyys laajeni eksistentiaalisiin mittasuhteisiin. Ylipäätään kuulumiset surrealistisesta ötökkäkaupungista olivat vain pintaa ja teos tuntui kasvavan tavattoman syväksi vanhenemisen, kuoleman ja uudelleensyntymisen tai elämän kiertukulun pohdinnaksi, jossa metaforat kerrostumistaan kerrostuivat. Nyt pitää lukea muuta Krohnia.
Haralambi Markov
I'm only giving four stars, because I lack some comprehension to fully understand and appreciate all the nuances in the book, but I honestly do recommend this as it is exquisitely weird and wonderfully written. The prose is sharp and the letters all raise a valid set of questions, which challenge our understanding of how we live life within the context of interacting with each other as a society.
A beautiful story about transformation in the form of unanswered letters. The narrator is a human visiting a city of insects. She observes their mysterious, frivolous, murderous and ingenious culture. She is sometimes surprised, sometimes disgusted, but always fascinated.

This book is right up there with "Invisible Cities" by Italo Calvino as a favorite, which is high praise indeed.
Daniel Stephens
This may be my new favourite novel. I'll need some time to take it in properly, and a few rereads to be sure, but it's definitely in my top three.
I'm going to try and keep this review spoiler free, as really everyone needs to read this book.
It's quite simply stunning. The writing (and quality of translation) is beautiful, the narrative is captivating. The way Krohn works the fantastical elements of the City in with the recollections of the narrators life before set up wonderful juxtapositions t
Bogi Takács
(Read on recommendation by Rose Lemberg.) A novella of many short chapters, ideally suited for pick-up-and-read. It might be a bit too overbearing to read at a single stretch. I loved the insect theme and the melancholy take on the ephemeral nature of the world.
This book is odd.

I don't mean it as a bad thing. I don't mean it as a good thing either.
I'm not really sure what I mean, to be honest.

It's well written, it gives you plenty to think about, but you can't help feeling it lacks a certain sense of purpose.
Reading a book which is actually different is refreshing though.
Mark Palermo
This is a curious little oddity, like ALICE IN WONDERLAND meets Kafka, but stranger than that implies, and uniquely perceptive about the undercurrents of human perception. It also features a woman who gave vaginal birth to a city.
Sarah Wilson
I struggled between 3 and 4 stars, because I feel like maybe I just don't get it. It was a very strange book, and maybe just to smart for me. Or maybe it's just bizarre.
Аделина 'Змей' Генова

Бихте си помислили, че Тенарон е място на видения в нечий сън и може би ще сте прави. Разказите трябва да се поемат или бавно, на глътки, преди лягане, или наведнъж, за да не спреш и да се замислиш за чудния им свят.

Това бяха добрите думи, които можех да кажа за „Тенарон“, но истината е, че разказите не ме доведоха до никъде, макар и крайната метаморфоза на героинята да беше приятен завършек. Сигурно книгата ще намери хората, които да се влюбят в нея и дори се сеща
William Breen
A beautifully written allegorical work. Will need to reread to figure out deeper layers of meaning.
This is a magical work of fiction that is in many ways prose. A quick & amazing read!!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 26 27 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • It Came from the North: An Anthology of Finnish Speculative Fiction
  • The Honey Month
  • Kuka murhasi rouva Skrofin?
  • Punainen erokirja
  • Elena
  • The Traitor
  • Myöhempien aikojen pyhiä
  • Enkelten verta
  • Sudenmorsian
  • Kätilö
  • The Kosher Guide to Imaginary Animals: The Evil Monkey Dialogues
  • Maa on syntinen laulu
  • Jagannath
  • The Third Bear
  • Punainen viiva
  • The Unknown Soldier
  • Nälkävuosi
  • Auringon asema
Hotel Sapiens ja muita irrationaalisia kertomuksia Datura Unelmakuolema Pereat mundus: romaani, eräänlainen Matemaattisia olioita tai jaettuja unia

Share This Book

“Then I know that in my dreams I can never capture the same sun-glow, and that the air that I breathe can never, there, flow as freshly in my cells, and I can never see so sharply or so far; and I believe once more that what is true can be seen by everyone, everyone.” 3 likes
More quotes…