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The Christmas Oratorio

3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  379 Ratings  ·  19 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)
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Marco Tamborrino
"Tra tutte le voci che parlano dentro di me riconosco a volte la mia. Ma è ancora così debole ed estenuata e stanca di provare a farsi sentire nel baccano che fanno le altre."

"Per quel che mi riguarda volevo scrivere un libro sul dolore. Sulla sua forza capace di formare e deformare" (Göran Tunström, in un'intervista alla rivista letteraria svedese Ord och Bild, poco dopo la pubblicazione del romanzo).

Non mi viene in mente altra definizione se non quella dell'autore stesso. Questo è un libro s
Richard Derus
Nov 20, 2011 Richard Derus rated it liked it
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
May 12, 2013 Ffiamma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nordica
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
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Nov 07, 2012 Leajk rated it liked it
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
Julia Jarlbäck
Feb 08, 2016 Julia Jarlbäck rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ib
My previous experiences with this author caused an urge to not even start with this book. The author- a whimpy adult consulting with his childhood problems through all of his works. Some might view this as a beautiful process of a human growing through his art. I did not. Until now.

The annoying värmländska and English is mostly gone. The author has shown a higher state of being. Juloratoriet was pleasant to read it was polyphonic. The processing of sorrow is more durable as the very nature of re
Jan 16, 2013 Susanne rated it it was amazing
Shelves: swedish, must-read
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.
Aug 28, 2014 Jen rated it it was ok
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
Aug 21, 2014 Kåre rated it it was ok
Shelves: litteratur
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
Dec 24, 2012 Therése rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
Dec 17, 2012 Hege rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 15, 2016 Anton rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read this book for Swedish class. 'Twas meh.

PLOT: 1/5
STORY: 3/5

Overall score: 2/5
Sep 04, 2012 Robert rated it it was ok
Second disappointing book in a week! - I hope this isn't the start of anoother mega slump, like I had earlier this year.
Jonas Plantin
Dec 29, 2013 Jonas Plantin rated it it was amazing
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...
Jun 28, 2012 blushenka rated it it was amazing

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!
Lone Steensig
Lone Steensig rated it it was amazing
Dec 17, 2015
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Nov 18, 2009
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Batchiara rated it it was amazing
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Göran Tunström was a Swedish novelist best known for Juloratoriet (The Christmas Oratorio).
More about Göran Tunström...

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“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
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