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Tales from the Loop

4.47  ·  Rating details ·  1,392 ratings  ·  219 reviews
In 1954, the Swedish government ordered the construction of the world’s largest particle accelerator. The facility was complete in 1969, located deep below the pastoral countryside of Mälaröarna. The local population called this marvel of technology The Loop. These are its strange tales.

Simon Stålenhag’s paintings of Swedish 1980s suburbia, populated by fantastic machines
...more
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published 2015 by Free League Publishing (first published September 25th 2014)
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Average rating 4.47  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,392 ratings  ·  219 reviews


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Maggie Stiefvater
Dec 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: recommended, adult
I'd like to think this book LOOKS like my novels FEEL.



What do I mean by that? I'm not precisely sure. TALES FROM THE LOOP is an art book, a handsome matte collection of a dreamy alternate 80s. There's a bit of text, but the text is mostly besides the point. Really, TALES FROM THE LOOP is about the images: hyper-realistic paintings of Swedish life with decaying robots, inquisitive dinosaurs, rundown hovercraft, and well-worn androids. It feels like our world, but just a little strange. Sometimes
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Dennis
Another fine work by this Swedish artist and author. What is it with me and the Swedes? Or are they just generally brilliant? Will have to keep an eye on that.

This time the story is actually set in Sweden. Where, in an alternate timeline, the government has built the world’s largest particle accelerator, which is located somewhere underground in Munsö, formerly a small island west of Stockholm. The locals simply call the facility The Loop. And the people working there are conducting some mysteri
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Fiona
We walked in long lines through winter nights, and you could see little points of light go on and off in the darkness - cigarettes smoked by teenagers who had gathered around their wrecked memories, like a requiem.

We made our nights our days, squinted at the horizon, and sighed. Way over there, the morning dawned.


Tales from the Loop is absolutely extraordinary - the art is gorgeous, the writing is sparse but used to great effect, and the world Simon Stålenhag has built is inventive and sparks th
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Claudia
The reason I started this book is that I heard great praise on the TV series, and I was curious what is based upon. And if it has one great asset, that is the atmosphere: alien, strange and eerie.

The book consists in a series of childhood memories, all of them revolving around the strange buildings, robots and different other equipments which were part of the Loop, the world's largest particle accelerator. There are a lot of drawings supporting the narrative, and these are great indeed. It will
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Andrew
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Okay I will admit there was a small part of me that bought this book just to annoy my brother. Petty I know but anyone who has an older brother or sister will agree with there are times it just has to be done.

You see he has been raving about the art of Simon Stalenhag for years now - sending me screen shots and hyperlinks going on about his unique vision and style. However his printed work is rather limited and when you do find it, its rather expensive.

So yes I found a copy of this book and I
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Gregory Bolkenstijn
Feb 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Simon Stålenhag never grew up. He kept his imagination and creativity from his childhood and created these beautiful and mysterious paintings about retro-futuristic Swedish landscapes. How about that for a niche? His paintings are collected in this book and have a short narrative which explains just as much as it fills you with new mystery. The book really takes you into Simon’s fantasy world and leaves you wishing you never grew up as well. This book is well worth the price and deserves a nice ...more
lily
Jul 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
**4.5**

i think there is no need for me to talk you through just how amazing stålenhag's artwork is - it speaks for itself. the atmosphere created in this novel through the use of art and story is so rich and imaginative, especially through the nostalgic lens of childhood memories entwined with fears about growing up. you can definitely see why they made a TTRPG based upon this book; this is such a unique world to explore childhood within.

the only reason it's not 5-stars (though it could be based
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Derek
Jan 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Stålenhag provides an entire backstory and science to explain the juxtaposition of bucolic fields and familiar 1980's staples--car models, architecture--with the cryptic, chunky industrial technology. It is all a worms-eye view of this alternate Simon growing up around the Loop industry, with child adventures and emotions and tall tales shared from friends and associates. Not all is trustworthy but was still dutifully and gorgeously illustrated. These accompanying anecdotes shift the imagery fro ...more
Eldan Goldenberg
Dec 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I got this on the strength of Stålenhag's paintings, which I'd seen online and made up a completely different backstory for (standard dystopian scifi). What he actually does is much more interesting: it's very much a young boy's fantasy but told well enough to be an engaging read as an adult. And of course the paintings are gorgeous: a very familiar 80s European suburbia made strange and unsettling.
Alex Harris-MacDuff
Mar 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
Would give this a thousand stars if I could. Breathtaking. This is one the books that you can easily read in one sitting. There is not story as such, it is a series of paintings with explanatory notes about the author's childhood in Sweden around The Loop, with all of the bizarre sci-of machinery and peculiar dimensional disturbances associated with it. However, I fully expect to revisit this book countless times to pore over the images again and again. The depth and realism of such an alternati ...more
Lisa
Apr 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one was difficult to rate.
As the name suggests, we learn about the loop in various little tales. I am not sure if I fully understand what the loop actually is or what it entails (nevermind, I seem to have accidentally skipped a page without noticing, I kinda get it now) but the tales were interesting and some a lot darker than expected.
Since I haven't watched the amazon prime series, I guess I wished to have read more detailed stories because I really like the idea behind this world and th
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Bridgette
Jul 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels, adult
The artwork was phenomenal, the story intriguing, and I'm super excited for the next ones.
Chris Greensmith
Jul 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
"We walked in long lines through winter nights, and you could see little points of light go on and off in the darkness - cigarettes smoked by teenagers who had gathered around their wrecked memories, like a requiem."
I want more, these books always leave me wanting more, the world is so rich and the paintings are where I want to be, its so bitter sweet. I have watched 1 episode of the series and I hope the series fleshes out the story. This left me wanting more so bad...
Mitchell
Very weird vaguely fantastical art with snippets of story. So believable that I found myself looking up words and phrases which of course always referred back to the artist. Completely cool, but not really something I'd want up on my walls. Disturbing.
Will
Mar 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simon Stalenhåg is an artist whose work occasionally surfaces around the internet, often bereft of its creator’s name or any context. As is typical of his work, the tableau is unassuming, suburban, retro, and yet his scenes are adorned with monolithic alien architectures that could only be born of the question many a tired teacher told us not to ask back in grade school: “What if….?”

Tales from the Loop is Stalenhåg’s first collection of work, set in an alternate history that diverges from our ow
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Roland Jakobsson
The images in this book is nothing short of amazing. As a child of the 80s in Sweden I was completely spellbound with so many of the little details in this book. The images are breathtaking, accompanied by small texts and stories about growing up and the wonders and magic of childhood. Huge nostalgia trip for me, even though it takes place in an alternate reality it still evokes so much nostalgia for me.
Dávid Novotný
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is about feelings and nostalgia, shards of stories add to stirring art. You need read between the lines and fill in missing pieces and your own conclusions, and suddenly you are back in childhood when old wrecks and ruins could be long lost worlds or anything... If you like sci-fi and you are willing to just gaze and let your fantasy burst, you won't be disappointed.
Matthew Hunter
Simon Stålenhag has my full attention. His book Tales from the Loop looks at the experiences of people, especially kids, living above a huge particle accelerator in 1980s Sweden. I love how Stålenhag never gives readers a glimpse of what's going on in the actual particle accelerator, or of the research being done by the employees down below. You'll just be reading along and BOOM! -- dinosaurs show up in the landscape. It's awesome!

As with Stålenhag's The Electric State, the hyper-realistic artwo
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Vinayak Hegde
Living in a government-sponsored science experiment/energy-producing facility, these memories never existed but are made up. The result is an eerie world of the 1960/70s (similar to the Netflix series DARK). Things that cannot be explained easily keep happening in their neighborhood. Your mind fills in the gap creating this otherworldly experience.

I love how the author has created this world augmented with beautiful photo-realistic pictures. in this world, time travel, recreated dinosaurs, and w
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Joe
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"Tales from the Loop" is utterly fascinating. It's mostly a picture book of an alternate history where a particle accelerator in Sweden called "The Loop" unlocks futuristic technologies that seem impossible. The book and artwork have a very Stranger Things feel because it's set in the 80's and deals with the fantastic. This is an amazing read! The story sort of sneaks up on you but then hits like a ton of bricks.
Tony McMillen
Apr 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
I loved both books in this series. I read them out of order but I don't necessarily think that affects the experience. Both books tell great stories about growing up and the mysteries inherent in that but book 2 (Things From the Flood) I found to hit me harder. Both emotionally and visually. But I'd recommend both books wholeheartedly.
Tom Malinowski
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction, art
In an alternate world, a huge particle accelerator has been created called the Loop. The author weaves in a crafty narrative along with compelling, out of this world artwork to tell a tale of weird technology and how the citizens interact with it. Huge ships running on magnetic waves, discarded robots, and even a dinosaur or too. Absolutely phenomenal!
Jason
Jun 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I love how Stålenhag creates these worlds that are so foreign and familiar, nostalgic and horrifying, beautiful and horrific. He beautifully illustrates the fear and pride that the Cold War inspired, and the war’s slow, uneventful death.
Erik
Jul 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Outstanding alternate timeline/history/fantasy/science fiction. I love its weirdness and the sense of melancholy mixed with nostalgia with which it fills my soul.
Kim Savage
Aug 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Sci-fi suburbia in Sweden. Exquisite paintings and human centered stories by the artist ‘from a childhood that never was and a future that could have been’. I’m just a sucker for art books. Especially if they have a story to go with them.
Kirsten
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Stalenhag pairs eerie paintings with recollections of an alternate Sweden where the remains of science fiction industry jut from fields, robots and dinosaurs wander, and kids go home to play Sega. The combination evokes a strange feeling of nostalgia and displacement.
Susan
Apr 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I purchased this book to have good copies of Stålenhag's fascinating paintings and drawings. The chapters are really just sketches of stories for the most part, a few paragraphs or a few pages. But you can see in them how the gorgeous, haunting TV series was lifted up and spun into gold luminescence from these sturdy bones. Tales from the Loop by Simon Stålenhag ...more
beentsy
Aug 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Amazingly creative and at times downright creepy. Loved it.
Mark Seemann
Nov 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: art
A collection of beautiful digital paintings of rural Sweden in the eighties, crossed with science fiction buildings, robots, vehicles, and the occasional dinosaur. A past that never was.

The paintings themselves are stunning, and evoke a peculiar feeling of a nostalgia and awe.

Some of the paintings are accompanied with short text vignettes. When I first heard of that concept, I was a bit apprehensive, as I was worried that the text would remove the mystic feeling of the pictures. Fortunately, the
...more
Malcolm Schmitz
Jun 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sff
This makes me feel nostalgic for a childhood I never had- but at the same time it's the childhood all of us had, in a way.
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Konstnären och författaren Simon Stålenhag är mest känd för sina digitala målningar som ofta visar vardagliga scener med fantastiska inslag. Efter sitt genombrott 2013 har Stålenhag publicerat två böcker om ett alternativt 1980- och 90-tal på Mälaröarna utanför Stockholm. Ur varselklotet (2014) och Flodskörden (2016) har hyllats både i Sverige och utomlands. Den ansedda tidningen The Guardian kora ...more

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