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Thread poster: Clare Barnes

Clare Barnes  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:52
Swedish to English
+ ...
Apr 8, 2005

This is a book review, published in The Guardian (UK). Not only is it a wonderful book, but the reviewer gives the translator the credit he deserves:

Popular Music, by Mikael Niemi, translated by Laurie Thompson (Harper Perennial, £7.99)

Niemi's coming-of-age story in remote northern Sweden is a pure, exhilarating delight, not least in its blend of surreal whimsy couched in gruff understatement. Take the praise eventually meted out to Matti and friends, founders of the first rock'n'roll band in their neck of the Arctic: "You weren't too bad, really." To reach this apogee they must first snip the tails of hordes of decaying mice and have their virginity plucked by Red Youth harpies. The residents of Matti's native Pajala are a people of potato noses, red-cabbage ears and turnip-heads, who believe electricity and welfare to be the preserve of the unmanly. A description of the English crooned in the band's cover versions ("A language for idlers, grass-eaters, couch potatoes, so lacking in resilience that their tongues slop around their mouths like sliced-off foreskins") is a reminder that Laurie Thompson's translation makes this a double feat of brilliance.

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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:52
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
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The movie is also excellent Apr 9, 2005

I first read the novel, in Finnish, and was skeptic about the possibility, that the movie version would be anything than a disappointment. But I was wrong. I don't know of any other novel that has been turned into a movie as fortunately as this one. The director is Reza Bagher.
The scene where the boys hear the first time "Rock'n Roll Music" is perhaps one of the most hilarious moments ever in any movie so far.

[Edited at 2005-04-09 01:47]

[Edited at 2005-04-09 09:51]

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