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The Man Who Died

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  1,445 ratings  ·  237 reviews
‘Tuomainen probes the chilliest depths of noir comedy as he explores the question of what to do when loved ones suddenly become the enemy’ Publishers Weekly

‘Tuomainen is the funniest writer in Europe’ Marcel Berlins, The Times

A dark, page-turning thriller, brimming with black comedy, from the King of Helsinki Noir

A successful entrepreneur in the mushroom industry,
Paperback, 245 pages
Published October 10th 2017 by Orenda Books (first published September 2016)
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Jack M Ok I've read the book so I'll answer my own question. This book is a lot funnier than A Man Called Ove.

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Average rating 3.80  · 
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 ·  1,445 ratings  ·  237 reviews

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Miriam Smith
Dec 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: orenda
Warning: "The Man Who Died" is a highly addictive and exceedingly hard to put down thriller!
Who'd have thought that a story involving a Finnish mushroom industry could be so entertaining? I was instantly hooked and just knew this was going to be highly enjoyable and would be read from cover to cover virtually in one sitting.
We learn straight away that thirty seven year old mushroom entrepreneur Jaakko Kaunismaa is hit with an emotional steam roller only to be hit with a further one in the next
Oct 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime-thrillers
The Man Who Died – A Thriller full of Black Humour

When you see on the blurb that this is the literary version of Fargo, you just smile and think not possible. Well Antti Tuomainen has successfully turned The Man Who Died into the Finnish version of Fargo. Mixed with the best of Scandinavian Noir and some very dark humour this thriller will make you laugh and cry in equal measure.

Jaakko Kaunismaa is a successful mushroom entrepreneur, who is able to export his product to Japan where the mushrooms
May 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5, rounded up

Well, this is definitely a first - I read this not for the author, nor for the story ... but because I was so enamored by the translator's work on the two novels of Pajtim Statovci, that I wanted to see if the gorgeous prose from those stemmed from the original author - or were the work of his talented translator. The answer is ... kind of BOTH! Tuomainen's style is very, very different from that of Statovci, but Hackston renders it in equally fluid and exciting prose.

As to the
Joanna Park
When reading a book about a man who is dying from poisoning, the last thing you expect is for the story to be funny. However that is the thing that stood out the most in this book. The story is laced with dark humor the whole way through and had me laughing out loud at numerous occasions. The main Character’s actions, thoughts and observations are so bizarre, over the top and astute that it’s hard not to find them hilarious. This helps lighten some otherwise intense situations throughout the ...more
Jun 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
"I am alive. Everybody should die at least once, if only to see how beautiful the morning can be."

We all think about our inevitable demise, yet the majority of us will never know how that will come to pass. Jaakko, the main character, finds out that he is dying and through reflection and a chance encounter he figures out how and why (he thinks). Throughout the book, Jaakko is not focused on the fragility of his existence and impending death: He loses things, yet finds them elsewhere and that
“Because yesterday was the day I died. Because yesterday I finally came to life.”

Who’d have thought the world of mushrooms could be so complicated? Poison, adultery, murder, betrayal! “The Man Who Died” is set around a dried mushroom outfit which is unusual to say the least!

I really felt for our main character, from the start we know he’s dying and from that point onwards his life is turned upside down both by his nearest and dearest and those further afield.

I don’t know if it’s me, but I’ve
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime, scandinavian, audio
If they are giving out an award for the most unexpected crime fiction novel, then THE MAN WHO DIED would have to be an odds on favourite.

Narrated by Jaakko Kaunismaa, this is the story of a Finnish mushroom entrepreneur, based in a small town, building a successful business after being made redundant in his last career. He has a beautiful home, a thriving business, faithful employees, a loving wife who cooks elaborate meals for him, and a perfect life.

Until he finds they have mysterious
Laura Rash
Oct 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the most unique books I’ve ever read! This had me constantly trying to figure out the whodunnit and rolling on the couch chuckling at the same time. This is one of those books you’re sad to see end bc you’ll never get to discover it for the first time again. Fabulous and entertaining read.

Thanks to Orenda for this copy in exchange for review:)
Crime by the Book
Nov 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Read my full review here:

Quirky, clever, darkly humorous crime fiction fun! This book is not as dark as the author’s previous book, but it’s not intended to be.
I enjoyed this quirky book full of dark humour. The narrator has just found out he is dying from a toxic mixture of natural products where the combined effect is to shut down his organs. Naturally he is shattered as he has a loving wife, a successful business and faithful employees. Then he realises his wife is having an affair, his business is under threat from competition and his employees are either having sex with his wife or planning to work for the opposition. Before he dies he is ...more
Susan Hampson
Oct 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: author-reads
This book was just pure reading pleasure from the topsy-turvy story line to the bizarre characters that I giggled about at the most inopportune moments. Jaakko had everything to live for before he went to the doctors. A beautiful wife, who was also his partner in their thriving mushroom business and a very comfortable life that would be the envy of many. When he left the doctors he began to realise just how much he had taken for granted, but wouldn’t everyone at just 37? Someone had murdered him ...more
Andy Weston
Nov 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Occasionally the premise of a book is so strong that it screams out to be read as soon as possible, and that premise is so strong that it shares the attention of the reader throughout. In the last couple of years I can think only of Mallock’s ‘A Cemetery Of Swallows’ (“I killed him because he killed me”) that manages this as well as Tuomianen’s book.

Finnish mushroom entrepreneur Jaakko narrates the story having just been told by his doctor that he has been systematically poisoned over the
Joseph - Relax And Read Reviews
I had never read a book written by a Finnish author, but seeing this unusual, intriguing cover (reminiscent of some medical book) and reading this book's title and blurb, I was immediately intrigued and decided to give it a go.

"How much time do I have?"

Visiting his doctor with what he thought a simple bout of the flu, successful mushroom entrepreneur Jaako Kaunismaa, is horrified to learn that his days are numbered. He's dying. The reason? He had unknowingly been administered poison over a
Nerdish Mum
Oct 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2017
I could not put this book down! Such a cleverly written book and a really interesting concept. Jaakko finds out that he is dying from a slow acting poison and so he decides to try and find out who is killing him. I like the idea of the victim solving their own murder. As Jaakko isn't in the detective business, he's a mushroom exporter, he has no idea how to go about figuring it out and this leads to all sorts of situations that he shouldn't have got himself into.

Jaakko is an interesting
Tracy Fenton
Apr 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If someone were to tell me that a book about a Finnish Mushroom entrepreneur would be one I would read and recommend on Compulsive Readers I might suggest they’ve been eating some Magic Mushrooms themselves! However, I did read it and I do recommend it.

It was highly recommended to me by Jen Lucas of Jen Med’s Book Reviews as one of her favourite books so I knew I would possibly enjoy it too. What I didn’t expect was to be drawn into the book quite so quickly and get immersed in the story line
Helena Halme
Mar 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this novel. It's advertised as Nordic Noir, but to me, this is more a story of a man's self-discovery in the style of Arto Paasilinna and The Year of the Hare. (If you haven't read this excellent book yet, I thoroughly recommend it).

The unlikely hero, Jaakko, knows he’s been poisoned and decides to find out who has done the deadly deed and why someone wishes to kill him. It's soon clear there is a list of suspects, on top of which is his wife and business partner, Taina.
Jackie Law
Dec 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“Death only comes round once in a lifetime”

The Man Who Died, by Antti Tuomainen (translated by David Hackston), is a thriller written with a wicked sense of humour. Set in Finland during a sultry summer, it opens with the protagonist, thirty-seven year old Jaakko Kaunismaa, being told by his doctor that he will die soon, possibly within the next few days. Jaakko has been slowly poisoned, irreparably damaging vital organs. This news comes as something of a shock as Jaakko believed he had flu and
Kelly Lacey
Oct 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was very lucky to hear Antti Tuomainen read and talk about The Man Who Died novel at the Edinburgh Book Festival earlier this year. When I was asked if I would like to be on the blog tour I jumped at the chance.

The Man Who Died was such a refreshing and unique read. I was hooked from start to finish. Jaako Kaunismaa is now on my top ten list of memorable characters. I don’t do spoilers so it’s difficult to talk about the plot. A modern day, ‘Who done it?’ with humorous plot twists in every
Rowena Hoseason
Oct 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
Despite its title, this is not a morbid novel by any means. Instead the author uses the device of impending demise as a cunning plot contrivance – so the murder victim can investigate his own homicide – and as a philosophical prompt to examine the nature of mortality itself. It's all done with intense delicacy, beautifully written.

Yet although the subject matter is deadly serious, this book is not. Author Antti Tuomainen also blends black humour by the bucketful into his musings on the morality
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I know, color me surprised as well! I had no idea I would enjoy this book as much as I did. It was dark and hilarious, and because I was listening to it, I didn’t have to struggle with pronouncing names. I don’t think I’m a fan of Nordic Noir, but I was a fan of this book. It’s plot was so intriguing I was invested in mushrooms. And I hate mushrooms. Definitely a great novel to listen to.
I’m not going to deny it. I am a very lucky book blogger. I work hard (or at the very least long hours) at my day job and this gives me the money to do some of the things I love which includes going to a certain number of book events. I was very (very) fortunate to be able to attend not one, but two Orenda Roadshow events earlier this year where I got to meet Antti Tuomainen, and hear him speak about and read from his previous book, The Mine. Now I loved that book and loved the way in which it ...more
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a great read! The author gave the MC a very distinctive voice and it was fun to be in his head and following him around in his search of the truth - who and why poisoned him.
Several unforeseen twists and turns increased the reading fun.

I will definitely read more by this author.
Rebecca If Only I Could Read Faster
I have to admit that I’m not sure why I wanted to read The Man Who Died. I mean firstly, my most hated food in the whole world are mushrooms. Yet here I was agreeing to read a book about a man who spends a lot of his time thinking about, talking about and eating mushrooms. What drew me to this book was that it is published by Orenda Books, a brilliant publisher with a real knack for finding great books, many of which are written by authors from countries such as Sweden, Iceland or, as in this ...more
Dec 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Next we go the quirky, dry-humoured latest offering from Finnish author, Antti Tuomainen in the shape of The Man Who Died, a marked diversion in style from the intensely emotive, and lyrically profound psychological novels that we normally associate him with. Other reviewers have drawn comparison with Fargo, but I was strongly propelled back in time to the devilish Tales of The Unexpected by Roald Dahl, coupled with the brilliantly black humour of one of my favourite books ever, ever, Beyond The ...more
Mar 20, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2018-reads
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Maura Heaphy Dutton
May 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ebooks-cloud
Very disappointing. This had the potential to be a very black farce, or a heartbreaking tragedy, and it is neither. The author doesn't seem to know how to get real emotion out of his premise: at the beginning of the novel, the narrator has just been told by his doctor that the vague, distressing symptoms he's been suffering for some weeks are the result of poisoning, and he has possibly only days to live. Tuomainen struggles with both the existential horror of his character's situation, and the ...more
Liz Mc2
Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
Maybe 2.5? This book didn’t live up to its dark comedy potential and it’s too slow and implausible to make a good thriller (the ending is especially weak). At the beginning of the book, Jaako finds out he is slowly dying of poisoning, his wife is having an affair, and a competitor is trying to move in on his mushroom business. He sets out to try to find who killed him. There are some funny/weird scenes but also a lot of not very interesting musing on mortality. I did not really care about the ...more
Ken Fredette
Mar 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
We begin in the Doctors office with Jaakko, the main character, giving the Doctor a urine sample. But Jaakko should die within days or weeks is the outcome of his being there. The story continues in finding who killed Jaakko while he is still alive. The story utilizes humor in finding the killer and not so funny humor. Jaakko is the luckiest man alive with all his outcomes. He is the majority stockholder of a mushroom company. His wife owns the minority stock. There's a new competitor in town. ...more
Apr 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Jaakko Kaunismaa is having the worst day of this life. At the beginning of The Man Who Died, by Antti Tuomainen and translated by David Hackston, Jaakko learns that he has been fatally poisoned and that his wife is cheating on him with the delivery boy of their mushroom company. He only has a few weeks to live, according to the doctor, in which to figure out who wants him dead...

Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley,
Jack M
Feb 19, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Another let down from Scandinavia. This one is a light read and I feel like I've binged watched on some Netflix over a weekend after finishing. It wouldn't have hurt to have included some scientific background about mushrooms and done something more to give an impression of Finnish culture.
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Antti Tuomainen is the award-winning author of eight novels: A Killer I Wish, My Brother’s Keeper, The Healer, Dark as My Heart, The Mine, The Man Who Died, Palm Beach Finland and his latest – Little Siberia. He has been called ‘The King of Helsinki Noir’ by the Finnish press and his writing has garnered attention worldwide.

In 2011 his third novel The Healer was awarded the Clue Award for Best
“There are moments when, in all its sheer wretchedness, the unfettered embarrassment of middle age can surpass even death.” 1 likes
“Perhaps this is one of the eternal laws of the universe: we never do anything right, and other people always know best about how we should do things, including dying.” 0 likes
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