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Not Before Sundown
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Not Before Sundown

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  3,248 Ratings  ·  355 Reviews
Johanna Sinisalo's SF and fantasy stories have won a number of awards. Published in 2000, her first novel. Not Before Sundown, was considered Finland's best novel that year and won the prestigious Finlandia Award. Mikhael, a young, gay photographer finds in the courtyard of his high-rise apartment a small. man-like creature. It's a troll--a beast from Scandinavian legend, ...more
Paperback, 236 pages
Published 2003 by Peter Owen Publishers (first published 2000)
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David Katzman
Sep 22, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
karen
Nov 28, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this book is both cute and creepy; and can be read in about three hours. what could be better?? it stays on table!!
Efka
Jan 26, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, romanai, romance
Khem.. Nežinau, ką autorė rūkė, kad parašė tokią nesamonę, bet jai derėtų liautis. Nuobodi, kvaila ir visai bevertė knyga. Padori pradžia, bet toliau išsivysto į šizofrenišką absurdą. Nerekomenduoju niekam.
Alissa
Jul 01, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-ebooks
I was very taken with the idea of a fantasy book written by a Finnish author and steeped into Nordic folklore. This story is different from my usual reads (epic/low fantasy) and the worldbuilding is particular, consisting in several explanations, poems or details about trolls and other topics related to the story or the characters reactions to the events, all looking like book extracts. As a literary device to provide background and to further blend the elements of the novel, alongside my intere ...more
Trin
Jun 04, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Finnish book, which is not something I ordinarily get to say. This novel was flawed, but overall I really loved it. It takes place in an alternate universe where trolls were discovered to be a real, living species in the early part of the 20th century. Mikael, a photographer, finds a troll cub who’s somehow stumbled into the city, and takes him in. Their relationship is…not something I can easily describe, but it’s more than a little disturbing, oddly alluring, and completely captivating. The ...more
DMS
Sep 07, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
I have so many thoughts to capture in a review of this book. So many ways to try to justify not giving it that 4th star, or possibly talk myself into upping the rating to be 4 stars.

But I'm also feeling very FUCK YOU GOODREADS at the moment and not inclined to generate content. Especially for a book that I purchased through FUCK YOU AMAZON.

I'll leave eloquence to those of you who can actually write.
Kelley Ross
Let me just preface this by saying that this is one of the best novels I've ever read. Prepare for some gushing. I also want to note that I'm an American reader, so a little bit of my fondness might stem from the novelty of being able to read an award-winning Finnish novel that was so wonderfully translated. For me, the book gave the same slightly-distanced feel that foreign movies have, and I love that. This is partially because America really lacks the quantity (and quality) of folklore that i ...more
Sarah Anne
I enjoyed the twist on the end in this and unfortunately this made me feel better about this book overall. But the more I think about it, the more I remember my apathy through most of the book. It's an odd book...

Actually, here's a question for my international friends. I can't figure out if this is a regional or translation issue. When you're a kid and you get in a fight with a sibling do you say "You began it!" or "You started it!"?

... and I couldn't help but wonder about why Angel was so incr
...more
Mary Robinette Kowal
Sep 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This is one of those books that is hard to describe and oh-so-worthwhile. It's a contemporary urban fantasy and trolls are real creatures. They are considered animals, and Angel, the main character, finds an abandoned baby troll in the alley. This is presented as like finding a wildcat cub. Adopt at own risk.

Then he spends the rest of the book researching how to take care of it. So it's sort of like reading a short story with a whole bunch of reference documents tucked between scenes, but that c
...more
_inbetween_
For once, a synopsis, because I had never seen one (that actually said what Troll was about/happened in it): "Angel" (Mikael, gay photographer) takes in an abandonned Troll-puppy, which is described like a cat (believe me, I know, down to the litter), though Sinisalo lists good (fake) snippets how it is a recently discovered species of ape-cat (cp. the Okapi). Sinisalo uses real sources as well, most notably Pelli + Illusia (Angel with his head of blond curls so much like Illusia (a fairy) even ...more
Ryandake
Oct 31, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
oh now here's a lovely one.

i was hooked by the first paragraph--a description of a young man flirting with another, wanting to hold hands and being subtly rejected. perfectly described--not overblown or sentimental, but with feeling. perfect.

and the rest of the story is like that, too. how a man falls for a troll. his efforts to care for the young, unwell troll. how his world begins to spin around the animal, and how it changes his life.

the ending is pitch-perfect too--tragic but inevitable, and
...more
Ancestral Gael
Why did I read it? It came up a few times on recommended lists and a book which featured a troll by a Finnish writer seemed like an interesting read, even when the synopsis hinted at sexual themes.

What's it about? Mikael is returning from a gay club one evening and intercepts a gang intent on beating a cornered animal. Upon seeing the victim, it becomes clear to Mikael it is a young troll and, intoxicated by liquor and the beauty of the troll itself, he takes it home with him. Mikael attempts to
...more
Merciful
Oct 15, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book had been mentioned by someone whose own writing I like quite a lot. It was a selection included in a creative writing course that he was teaching. In fairness, I never heard him say if he liked it or not, but wow - what a relentless bombardment of puerile drivel! I liked the troll, what little of him I got to see. Hated every other character in the (first half of)(far as I could get)the book. This is one of those books that I would like to physically throw just as far away from me as I ...more
Jason Bradley
This was a great story. I would have liked for more things to be made clear in the story instead of being danced around. and ack! the ending! Don't do that to me!
Lammoth
Aug 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Всяка страна си има свое лице в литературата, което вероятно отговаря на географски, политически и исторически характеристики. Финландия стои някъде там в единия ъгъл на Европа, с нейния суров климат, прекрасна природа и народ, който хем е на скандинавския полуостров, хем граничи с Русия, част от Европа е, но винаги се стреми към строга индивидуалност.

Ако се върнем към литературата, независимо дали ще посегнете към добре познатите приказни истории на Туве Янсон, или към романите на класика Арто
...more
Sean
Jun 18, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those with a strong taste for the homoerotic.
Johanna Sinisalo is apparently well-known in Finland. It's too bad the only pieces of hers that we have in English are this book and a short story in the Dedalus Book of Finnish Fantasy (which I have yet to read). But if Troll is representative of her writing, I have high, high hopes for more of her work.

Troll plays with several kinds of eroticism and desire as we see the central story unfold: Angel, a gay photographer, rescues a young, injured troll from a band of teenage tormenters and takes i
...more
Becca Silvers
I didn't hate the book but I did hate a lot about it. I dislike in general when books are written from many different points of view, and this one seemed particularly hard to follow because of it. Characters are referred to by several different names so I cant even keep track of whose point of view it was in relation to what they've been a part of in the past.

Plus I got a sick feeling that the only reason the author made the main character, Angel, gay, was to make the leap to bestiality/pedophi
...more
Phyllis
Jan 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a unique and original book about a young troll who was being tormented by a group of teens. Angel, a photographer finds him and rescues him. But the troll is a wild animal. I'm not sure if it's a myth, legend, dark adult fairy tale or fable. The setting is in Finland which is part of the reason I chose it. Johanna Sinisalo is a very talented author. This is one of those books that will stay with me for a long time. 4.5 stars
Amy
Sep 16, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Couldn't even finish it. Disturbing, not in the way the author intends. I'm uncomfortable with the underlying subtext of the book with the "child" like troll and its caretaker "parent" and where the author takes that relationship.
Maggie K
Really a 3.5, a quite interesting take on trollss, originating in Finnish myth.

A young photographer finds a baby troll dying by the garbage dumpster, and decides to take it in.....

but trolls have legends all their own, and none of them are about domestication.....
Demi
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Plot: Climate change is pushing trolls, once the stuff of folk tales, into urban Finland. A photographer finds a baby troll being abused by youths, takes it home and falls in love with it... Ensue drama.

The blurring between human and non-human is spooky and I’m not actually wholly sure trolls are fictional anymore 😂 Sinisalo raises really interesting questions of climate induced migration and what it means to be a citizen of the world; we’re experiencing the sixth great extinction now, what rig
...more
FicusFan
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Voldemort
3.5

I've always asked myself; why do I end up reading weird books? Followed usually by another question; why do I end up liking weird books? And there's always that other question; Is something wrong with me?
Sadly I can't answer them. Yet.
If I could summarize the book it would be easy simple words.
Gay guy falls in love with troll. Murder. Blood. Gore. Ejaculation. Gay guy and troll run away. End.
Meaningless shit unless you're Freud. The author must have had some incredible major balls (metaphor
...more
Res
The one where trolls are discovered in 1907 to be real animals, and in the present day, photographer Mikael takes in an injured troll cub.

I'm glad I read this -- it was certainly worth the couple of hours I devoted to it -- but it wasn't really excellent.

My chief problem was that all the voices in the first-person sections sounded the same. (This may be the fault of the translation.)

I felt affection for Ecke and a sort of vague pity for Palomita, and of course the troll himself is endlessly fas
...more
Ryn
Oct 08, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cyn
Jul 13, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had very mixed feelings about this book and actually would like to give it 3.5 stars but cannot quite justify giving it 4. I thought that the story itself was clever and I liked the interweaving of mythology and pseudo-scientific texts about but I get the feeling that perhaps the translation could have been better. There were a couple of times I read something and it fell flat but fell flat in a way that made me think something didn't come across the way it did in the native language printing ...more
Tytti
Apr 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who don't usually read speculative fiction
This song kept playing in my head while reading this novel. It's not surprising because the Finnish title and the names of the chapters were taken from it. I don't usually read speculative fiction, this was probably my first as an adult, but I might read some more after this, though it didn't make me a fan. (I don't read contemporary fiction that often, either.)

It was a weird little book, very Finnish because it relied so much on old Finnish folklore and classic novels. The author did use some u
...more
John
Nov 21, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure why, but I went into this one expecting a kind of twisted/playful dark comedy. That's not at all what this book is -- in fact there is pretty much no humor at all. In addition there were a number of other annoyances:

- the erratic and often pointless jumps in POV
- the fictional history/folklore, which started out interesting but eventually seemed like the author was just trying to pad the page count
- the seemingly blatant connections being made between homosexuality, bestiality, and
...more
Wealhtheow
Feb 07, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: queer-characters
Flat characters, nonsensical world building, and no plot. I don't know why a writer would center a book around a man discovering and falling in lust with a mythical creature, but not actually have any fantasy or wonder in the story at all. Plus, the characters and much of the writing felt mean spirited.
Христо Блажев
Трол: http://knigolandia.info/book-review/n...

Четейки задната корица, си мислех, че “Никога преди залез” е забавна, лека книга, нещо в духа на “Скелиг” на Дейвид Алмънд – модерна приказка с митологични елементи. Но Йохана Синисало е финландка, което вече трябва да ви говори, че тая история не ще да е лека. Още първите страници разкъсват клишето на янг адълт литературата и дори и на предната корица да е цитиран вездесъщият Геймън, това не е книга за тийнейджъри. Да, има тролче, то може да има мил
...more
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58013
ENG: Johanna Sinisalo was born in Sodankylä in 1958. In the period 1984-1997 she worked as a professional designer in advertising, after which she got started as a screenwriter and writer. As her hobbies Sinisalo mentions astronomy, gastronomy, hiking, literature and comics.

The author notes that her novels always feature a bit of the small everyday reality. However, overcoming the borders of reali
...more
More about Johanna Sinisalo...
“Like that breeder-woman sitting at the bar, who thinks it's a buzz to go into a gay joint and has no doubt heard somewhere that this is one. Her lurid get-up's a joke, ludicrous. She's the type who dons the camouflage-green combat trousers, wraps a bandanna around her head and paints herself with black lipstick, imagining all the lesbians in the joint'll have the hots for her. Not so much imagining as secretly hoping.

Naturally, no one goes and sits with her. She's been here before, and everyone gives the ice-cold shoulder, yet she still turns up again and again. Someone might argue we're zoo animals for her. But I've another theory. For her, we're noble savages, a kind of grey area outside the respectable, minutely organized community, an untamed wilderness it takes a lot of guts to step into. But if you do dare, there's a glorious smell of freedom floating around your trousers and giving the finger to society, making whoever an instant anarchist. Certainly, for her, coming here is like putting a washable tattoo on your shoulder : there's the thrill of deviance with none of the dull commitment - and she'll never have to wonder whether she's too weird to be seen out before dark.”
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“It is said, once a wise man from the far North told me; it is said that there are in certain parts of Scandinavia cities within cities like there are circles within circles; existent yet invisible. And those cities are inhabited by creatures more terrible than imagination can create : man-shaped but man-devouring, as black and as silent as the night they prowl in.” 1 likes
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