Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Christmas Oratorio” as Want to Read:
The Christmas Oratorio
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Christmas Oratorio

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  243 ratings  ·  17 reviews
The Christmas Oratorio begins in the 1930s, when Solveig Nordensson (wife of Aron and mother of Sidner) is accidentally killed. The grieving family abandons its home and moves to another town, hoping to start afresh, but finds that its emotional burdens have emigrated with it. Aron, bereft by the loss of his wife, starts "seeing" her in capricious hallucinations, and tragi ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published May 3rd 1995 by David R. Godine Publisher (first published 1983)
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 The Christmas Oratorio, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Christmas Oratorio

I Curse the River of Time by Per PettersonThe Blue Fox by SjónPuhdistus by Sofi OksanenThe Half Brother by Lars Saabye ChristensenThe Ice Palace by Tarjei Vesaas
Winners of the Nordic Council Literature Prize
6th out of 54 books — 15 voters
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg LarssonThe Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg LarssonThe Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg LarssonPippi Longstocking by Astrid LindgrenDoctor Glas by Hjalmar Söderberg
Swedish authors
28th out of 252 books — 56 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 659)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
Rating: baaarely 3* of five

Well, the Nordic reputation for gloom and depression and sadness and cheerlessness is safe again, thank goodness. I thought a book with Christmas in the title, especially a piece of Christmas music that's renowned for being, if not jolly, then upbeat could make the reader smile! No, no, not part of the character of Tunstrom's novel, no smiling, no no, none of that!

Death. Lots of that, and only some of it physical. The psychic deaths of everyone in this book take place
rating 2.5
I didn't enjoy this book at all. Rather grim and bleak and filled with lots of death, mental illness and strange relationships (e.g., bizarre relationships between a teenager and older women). The book follows the story of three generations of a Swedish family. It starts with the rather horrible accidental death of the mother of the family. The book focuses on psychological and emotional impact her death has on various family members as they cope with their grief. Although there are so
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This is such a mixed bag. I remember reading this at the same time as Kerstin Ekman Blackwater where I had tha same frustrated feeling of the books consisting of separate disjoint pieces.

The book starts with a humorus description of life in a rural town in the county of Värmland. People have works like being a human cannonballs, or digging graves, someone believes that he is a lamp. Overall they are quite exccentric and the work definitely builds upon the lively Värmland folk tales. There is ev
I bought this book when I was a teenager, and have been planning to read it ever since. I've always put it off because I thought it was a very "difficult" book, that would need to be read at a special moment. And I can say now, I'm glad I didn't read it as a teenager, since I probably wouldn't have understood it fully. There's a complexity of the story and the characters that I believe difficult to appreciate at a younger age. That obviously applies to me and not necessarily to anyyone else.
ok start, men så mistede jeg helt interessen. mange banale billeder som fx: længere mellem dem end mellem Sverige og New Zealand. fordoblinger af historien uden at nogle af ledene er vedkomne. svensk forsøg på magisk realisme
la bellezza sfolgorante di questo libro sta negli intrecci che si svelano pian piano, nelle pagine che raccontano l'anima dei personaggi - di solveig e aron, di sidner, di fanny e selma lagerlof, di tessa e suo fratello robert. nei luoghi rarefatti eppure reali: la svezia, l'america e la nuova zelanda, in un tempo che pare remoto e allo stesso tempo attuale. nelle pennellate con cui si catturano i sorrisi, gli odori, le visioni fugaci di un sorriso, di un pensiero, di un sentimento disperato. ne ...more
Jonas Plantin
Still one of the great reads of my life (in Swedish, don't know how the translation works). The story and the language work together to create magic...
I had been planning to read this one for ages. Finally got the time to do it.
I was pleasantly surprised. Great language and great story. Full of weird and wonderful characters and incidents, and a mixture of strange humour and sadness. Loved it!
Jeg har skullet lese denne boken i mange år, og når jeg endelig gjorde det nå ble jeg skuffet. To stjerner er for godt språk, og enkelte gode personskildringer. Men ellers ble dette traurige greier, dessverre.

This book is incredible and amazing! I'll have to come back and write a more detailed review when I have time.

Meanwhile - recommendation to everybody everywhere: Read it!
Second disappointing book in a week! - I hope this isn't the start of anoother mega slump, like I had earlier this year.
vārdu gleznas un gleznas ar vārdiem. vairāku paaudžu savstarpējās piederības sāga.
beautiful unknown book !
stört bra.
Hans Ollaiver
Orange. Pocket.
Daniel Stephens
Daniel Stephens marked it as to-read
May 25, 2015
Sylvain marked it as to-read
May 14, 2015
Nathan marked it as to-read
May 07, 2015
Imenka marked it as to-read
May 04, 2015
Josefin marked it as to-read
May 03, 2015
Shanna marked it as to-read
Apr 22, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 21 22 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Simon and the Oaks
  • The House with the Blind Glass Windows
  • The Book About Blanche and Marie
  • Leaden Wings
  • The Commandant
  • The Young Man
  • Memories of Rain
  • I en förvandlad stad (Stadsserien, #4)
  • Nässlorna blomma
  • Pavel's Letters
  • The Deadbeats
  • Professor Martens' Departure
  • Margot en de engelen
  • Ancestral Voices
  • The Triple Mirror of the Self
  • Complete Poems
  • Röda rummet
  • Blaming
Göran Tunström was a Swedish novelist best known for Juloratoriet (The Christmas Oratorio).
More about Göran Tunström...
Tjuven Berömda män som varit i Sunne Prästungen Maskrosbollen Le Buveur de lune

Share This Book

“Om jag finge dö vid ett öppet fönster en dag som den här. Fåglar i trädgården, porlande vatten och nån att lita på bredvid mig... Fåglarna och det andra kan man väl få... men vem skulle jag... ät lite tårta nu.” 1 likes
More quotes…