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(Susso #1)

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  1,993 ratings  ·  294 reviews
Lapin taikaa tihkuva jännitystarina Norrlannin erämailta

Pohjois-Ruotsissa Sarekin korpimaassa eräs luontokuvaaja ottaa 70-luvun lopulla valokuvan juoksevasta karhusta, jonka selässä istuu jokin karvainen, ihmisenkaltainen olento. Hän väittää ottaneensa kuvan peikosta.

Seuraavana vuonna pohjoisruotsalaiselta kesämökiltä katoaa mystisesti poikalapsi, eikä häntä löydetä koskaa
Hardcover, 722 pages
Published June 2013 by Like (first published 2012)
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Average rating 3.43  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,993 ratings  ·  294 reviews

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Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
Stallo is a large human-like creature in the Sami folklore and since the book is about giants that kidnap children is the title quite logical. I listen to this book while working and since it's 600 page long was the book around 25 hours long to listen to. However, by accelerating the speed to max did I manage to finish it a bit faster. And, I had a pretty good reason to wanting to speed up the story. I have never before had the speed to max before, but it was the only way for me to finish the bo ...more
Tanja Berg
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
A 'haunting supernatural thriller' translated from Swedish, Stallo traces the connections between two events: the disappearance of a boy from a woodland cabin in 1978, and the possible sighting of a troll in a small town, 25 years later. The latter is investigated by Susso, the creator of a website dedicated to supposedly mythical beings: her father, a wildlife photographer, once took a picture of a strange creature which has entered family lore and sparked her obsession. With her mother Gudrun ...more
Jack Tripper
There's a great, haunting 300-page story buried somewhere within--unfortunately there's another 300 pages of padding to wade through. I have nothing against epic-length works if the story demands it, and I love descriptive writing, but Spjut gets a bit excessive here, describing every mundane detail of the characters' lives, as well as every object within their general vicinity, and it breaks up the flow and the tension far too often to keep me totally captivated and engaged.

But hidden within t
Maja Kvendseth
Feb 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read the Norwegian translation of this but could still "taste" the Swedish turns of the language (beautiful). "Stallo" is a Sami term for unnatural creatures and it fits very well with what this book is about. It's part crime story, part thriller, part socio-realism, and part supernatural horror. I can only describe the writing style as characteristically Scandinavian and a very interesting blend between the everyday, straightforward, and the poetic.

The plot ties nicely together but also leave
This is a very unusual book, which in the end didn't really work for me, but I don't regret reading it. I enjoyed the reduced language and the writing is very Swedish (don't know how to explain that if I you don't know Sweden or the language), and I learned about Sami folklore. The first part of this book is "dark fantasy horror" and then it mostly becomes... crime... very slow crime. A thriller without the thrill. The strange thing is that it seems like the atmosphere was intentional. Everythin ...more
Jul 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Weirdly wonderful...

In 1978, a small boy and his mother are staying in a holiday cabin in the forests near Falun, in Sweden. All seems well until the mother accidentally kills a bat that was flying around her. She throws it into the undergrowth, but the next day, when she goes to the fridge, there is the dead bat lying crumpled on a shelf. Now some of the forest animals begin to behave strangely, sitting motionless staring at the house. The mother tells the boy to stay in but he wants to see the
May 27, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Finally finished! I loved the opening of this, and throughout there we moments of this is good but it felt overly long and I must admit I got bored. There wasn't enough action or horror, there is a scene which isn't pleasant reading (but I won't say which, so as not to spoil it). It wasn't bad enough for me to stop reading but I felt it needed to be shorter.

To add to the above.....

This is one of those novels which starts strongly but burns itself out and just doesn't deliver. It flickers into li
Jun 21, 2015 rated it liked it
Well-developed plot around Staalos! Interesting book, Swedish noir filled with fantasy.
Andrew Kelly
Aug 28, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Touted as a horror book, it disappoints. The pace of the story builds nicely and is structured around a road trip and a search for answers. I enjoyed the way the author creates the atmosphere of a Swedish winter, the people functional and somewhat stoic. The hype on the cover peaked my interest, but the story, sadly, failed to deliver the drama, horror and pace I was hoping for. Just gets an "Ok" from me.
Kathy Cunningham
Apr 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review is of the English translation of STALLO, called SHAPESHIFTERS:

Stefan Spjut’s SHAPESHIFTERS is a creepy, atmospheric horror novel about Nordic mythological creatures in modern-day Sweden. In 1978, a little boy is carried off from a campground by something gigantic, but no one will believe his mother’s story. Twenty-five years later, another child goes missing, and the only lead is a photograph taken by troll-hunter Susso Myren. The photo shows what appears to be a gnome-like creature,
Oct 17, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
After having read an excellent book about trolls just before Stallo, I was hoping for the same kind of excitement. Especially since it was a really long book. I mean, no one writes hundreds and hundreds of pages of nonsense, right? Yeah OK, they do, but I hoped it wouldn't be the case here. I was part right and part wrong.

The book started slowly and confusingly. There were a few different storylines and point of views (fortunately only a few!) and at first it was difficult to keep track of them
Ken Fredette
Aug 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really like the story very much. It was done so that all the characters finally knew what they were faced with. The ending was anything but.
Wendy Wagner
Oct 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, dark-fantasy
A slow burner but a very engaging tale. The supernatural creatures in this book--the stallo--are utterly believable and more than a bit creepy.
Crymsyn Hart
May 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book was good. Different than what I thought it would be. I would pick up another book by this author. It kept me intrigued.
Lilly White
Oct 05, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
Didn't finish. Left off about halfway through.
It's hard to rate this book because I'm sure it's at least a solid 3-4 star in its original language. But the translation just made everything so DULL. I tried so hard to get through it anyway but I've been putting it off more and more as I think of having to go through the absolutely dull descriptive style. The translation makes the book sound like this:

"Susso went into a room with brown curtains and a rug that had a stain in the right hand corner.
Sep 29, 2020 marked it as did-not-finish
i quit around 300 pages because i wasnt enjoying any of it and there were too many reviews telling me not to waste my time on this book ha ha
Jack Shaw
Dec 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was really fun. I enjoyed the intertwining of folklore, action and suspense.
Dec 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book & think there will probably be a movie made of it one day. It is a very visual book, with huge towering forests with snow & ice & big craggy rocks that could be trolls lurking in shadow.
The story has a few layers that takes a couple of hundred pages to set up before the action really gets going. It is a thick book, around 600 pages & while that usually puts me off ( I have read far too many big thick books that go no-where & should only be used for door stops) the author used
May 21, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
My favorite genre for the last decade has been urban fantasy; shifters, vampires, demons, witches, the fae, etc, etc. And some of them involve what is considered more mythological creatures. But I’m embarrassed to say that I had to force myself to get 25% thru this book before giving up. I just can’t get into the story and find I could care less about the characters, who until this point at least, are incredibly stoic and don’t exhibit emotions. Is this a cultural thing or just the way this auth ...more
Oct 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating fantasy about trolls/shapeshifters living in the far north of Sweden. Somewhat ponderous, because of the desperate measures required of people protecting the shapeshifters, and also because of the excessive details that abound. (E.g. when Susso walks into a kitchen, we get a detailed description of a pot sitting on the windowsill without a plant in it; what for? Another e.g. there must be 50 or more instances about a character stuffing snus into his/her mouth.) Despite the long win ...more
Herdis Marie
English review followed by Norwegian review.

// English //

I agree with the other reviewers on here who say that this book was about 300 pages too long. The paperback version is 537 pages, and at 237, it might have been interesting.

So, quick recap: The intro takes place thirty years or so before the main story. A little kid on holiday with his mum suddenly goes missing under mysterious circumstances. Fast forward to 2004, and another kid is taken. We are introduced to Susso Myrén, a young woman wh
Leah Bayer
Once again I am sucked in by a creepy woods cover! For some reason (the cover, the friggin description) I expected horror from this. Spooky troll supernatural horror. And I think I'd be less annoyed if the first chapter wasn't an amazing, perfect, creepy, atmospheric horror scene in the woods. It was great. And then... the tone totally shifts, and it goes from horror to supernatural mystery/thriller. I mean, I'm fine with that, and I actually enjoyed the first half of this book. But it just has ...more
Lizzy Cartwright
Stallo is an electric thriller set in modern-day rural Sweden; think 'The Killing' meets 'Fortitude' with a troll or two hidden behind the odd cellar door. Strange and unexplained abductions draw the reader into an ancient Scandinavian world where folklore becomes reality in the darkest way possible. Filled with quiet murders and frantic car chases, this book also carefully considers - and perhaps most touchingly - what it means to be a family.

With one of the most terrifying opening chapters I'
Aug 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: supernatural
This book starts with the kidnapping of a small boy while out camping with his mother. Than the story shifts to a womans search for trolls, which may have been involved in the initial kidnapping that starts the book. Now we have a story of this other womans troll search and also a story of humans who are helping the trolls. The initial kidnapping comes back into the story about three quarters of the way through the book.

Now don't let all of that complication throw you. This book actually works p
Aug 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
All in all I enjoyed reading this book a lot. It wasn't perfect but I couldn't put it down. The way the imps(?) and stallos were depicted was just perfect for me. They were creepy but you couldn't tell if they were good or evil. Not too much was revealed about them at any point. Usually the magic disappears when you find out too much and apparently Spjut knows this.

The way the ending was handled stood out and I didn't quite understand the point of Gudrun's chapters. I have nothing against Gudru
Jul 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story begin with how a woman brings her young son to a small cabin in the deep woods for a summer vacation. With this opening chapter the author sets a brilliant, chilling and eerie mood, as the reader is infused with a sense of wild nature and mysticism. But then the writing takes on another tone entirely. What follows is a more plain detective story, told from two sides of the mystery. The reader rather soon learns what the story is really about. The author manages to keep things interesti ...more
The writing isn't bad, and the subject is quite interesting.... it just takes the author forever to get the protagonists to do anything. The book moves SO slow. There was literally 100 pages of setup before anything in the novel actually happened. And it isn't all about building atmosphere or mythos... I would have been fine if it had been... it is a lot of vague character details that play no impact on the larger story. Also, the tense switching between third-person with Susso and everyone else ...more
I finally finished this book. I’d love to say the book itself is not to blame, as my life has gotten (and hopefully will keep getting) in the way lately, but that’s not entirely true. Despite a very interesting world-within-our-world that hits surprisingly close to home and believable characters with either mysterious or credible motivations, it never really captured me. I intensely disliked the switch to first person for one of the characters and the story moved a bit too slow for my taste, but ...more
Oct 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best books I’ve read in quite sometime. A perfect mix of mystery , fantasy and folklore. The setting is evocative, you just want to curl up in a blanket with a hot beverage and stay safe from the things that lurk in the dark.
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