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The Man Who Died

Published Date: 25th April 2017

Available in

$0

EBook
9781910633854
£5.99
10 October 2017
Paperback
9781910633847
£8.99
10 October 2017

Description

A successful entrepreneur in the mushroom industry, Jaakko Kaunismaa is a man in his prime. At just 37 years of age, he is shocked when his doctor tells him that he’s dying. What is more, the cause is discovered to be prolonged exposure to toxins; in other words, someone has slowly but surely been poisoning him. Determined to find out who wants him dead, Jaakko embarks on a suspenseful rollercoaster journey full of unusual characters, bizarre situations and unexpected twists.

With a nod to Fargo and the best elements of the Scandinavian noir tradition, The Man Who Died is a page-turning thriller brimming with the blackest comedy surrounding life and death, and love and betrayal, markinng a stunning new departure for the King of Helsinki Noir.

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‘I was glued to this book. It made me laugh and grimace at times, and also made me sad. It’s very different from anything else I’ve read in a while, with some brilliant twists that I really didn’t see coming at all. The writing is stunning with vivid and intense descriptions of people and places – I could visualise it all so clearly. I learnt a lot about growing mushrooms too! Definitely a book for those who like something deliciously dark and delightfully different.’ Off the Shelf Books

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‘Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. I enjoyed every single sentence’ Thomas Enger

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‘Dark and thrilling, funny and intelligent, this Fargo-like novel contains lethal doses of humour … and mushrooms’ Sofi Oksanen, author of Purge

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‘Coen Brothers, watch out. The best read of the summer … by far’ Eva Dolan

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‘Told with a wit honed by the Arctic winter and a story that lures you in with the perfume of the Finnish forests, this is Wes Anderson meets the Coen Brothers in rural Finland … a book I will never forget’ Matt Wesolowski

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‘An original and darkly funny thriller with a Coen brothersesque feel & tremendous style’ Eva Dolan

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‘Better yet, I have written a book that should make you laugh more than once. It’s called The Man Who Died.’ Antti takes part in a Q & A with The Times Crime Club

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‘The deadpan icy sensibility of Nordic noir is combined here with warm-blooded, often surreal, humour. Like the death cap mushroom, Tuomainen’s dark story manages to be as delicious as it is Toxic.’ The Man Who Died is recommended in The Sunday Express S Magazine

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‘Finnish author Antti Tuomainen’s latest novel The Man Who Died sees him take a darker, more comic turn. He talks to Tom Tivnan about translations, a crazy French guy and why he isn’t really the ‘king of Helskinki noir’’ Antti is interviewed in The Bookseller

Author

Finnish Antti Tuomainen (b. 1971) was an award-winning copywriter when he made his literary debut in 2007 as a suspense author. The critically acclaimed My Brother’s Keeper was published two years later. In 2011 Tuomainen’s third novel, The Healer, was awarded the Clue Award for ‘Best Finnish Crime Novel of 2011’ and was shortlisted for the Glass Key Award. The Finnish press labelled The Healer – the story of a writer desperately searching for his missing wife in a post-apocalyptic Helsinki – ‘unputdownable’. Two years later in 2013 they crowned Tuomainen ‘The King of Helsinki Noir’ when Dark as My Heart was published. With a piercing and evocative style, Tuomainen is one of the first to challenge the Scandinavian crime genre formula.

Translator

David Hackston is a British translator of Finnish and Swedish literature and drama. He graduated from University College London in 1999 with a degree in Scandinavian Studies and now lives in Helsinki where he works as a freelance translator.

Notable publications include The Dedalus Book of Finnish Fantasy, Maria Peura’s coming-of-age novel At the Edge of Light, Johanna Sinisalo’s eco-thriller Birdbrain and two crime novels by Matti Joensuu. David is currently working on a translation of Riku Korhonen’s latest novelSleep Close. His drama translations include three plays by Heini Junkkaala, most recently Play it, Billy! (2012) about the life and times of jazz pianist Billy Tipton. David is also a regular contributor to Books from Finland. In 2007 he was awarded the Finnish State Prize for Translation.

David is also a professional countertenor and is currently studying early music and performance practice at Helsinki Metropolia University. He is a founding member of the English Vocal Consort of Helsinki.

Online Reviews

‘It is at times slapstick, but original and I could visualize everything as I was reading, unfortunately it could be a while before I eat mushroom soup again. It will probably be a long time before I read a novel as funny as this.’ Steph’s Book Blog

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‘One of my favourite authors is Tom Robbins. The Man Who Died has a very similar feeling to some of Robbins work. He embraces the slightly bizarre, allows the reader to feel empathy towards characters which other writers may present in a different way. I felt Antti also did that in The Man Who DiedThe man Who Died is a departure from Antti’s previous dark, dystopian books. I loved it.’ Nordic Noir

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The Man Who Died is a fantastic, unique thriller which is gripping start to end with a protagonist that you will be rooting for from the very start. Highly recommended – I thoroughly enjoyed this book from start to end, and was sad when the book was finished.’ Have Books Will Read

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The Man Who Died is unique, engrossing and joyously funny. This is a story that draws you in with fingers that tickle the funny bone and carefully, exquisitely crafts an unforgettable book …I loved the premise of The Man Who Died as soon as I read the blurb! The idea of a man investigating his own murder is just a wonderful. Refreshing too! Looking forward to more from this brilliant author!’ Ronnie Turner

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‘Absorbing, delightfully witty and with just the right balance of mystery and suspense. And mushrooms. Gotta love the fungi. Always good. One of my favourite books this year for sure. I’ve even made the ultimate sacrifice and treated myself to some chocolate mushrooms (non-poisonous) in honour of this fabulous book.’ Jen Med’s Book Reviews

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‘The plotting is meticulous, the humour is subtle and yet at the same time sharp, and the main character is quite simply sublime as the victim to be. Tuomainen is definitely an author I will be returning to. Kudos to the author for creating the kind of read you recommend to others, and the excellent translation by David Hackston.’ Cheryll MM Book Blog

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‘All books have to end, even narratives as good as this, but it’s so well-crafted that the dénouement fully satisfies, as well as provokes thought. This remarkable novel is truly extraordinary, a gem of a thriller, beguilingly and well written, lively and thoughtful. I don’t read Finnish, but this translation reads so well I forgot it was one. May the king of Finnish noir live forever!’ Shots Mag

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‘Despite Jaakko knowing he was going to die, there was still a lot of inward thinking and reflection of his life. The book is full of humour too and it’s a brilliantly effective way of getting some very tough issues discussed and thought about. The story has pace, panache and it stands out for sure in a sea of crime novels.’ The Book Trail

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The Man Who Died is one of those books that you emerge from with a small, satisfied sigh, and a smile on your face. I do love Antti Tuomainen’s books (and splendid taste in shirts), and this book, whilst a departure from his usual Helsinki Noir, is a delight … The humour in The Man Who Died is layered and oh so very dark and exactly the way I like it. Highly highly recommended.’

Espresso Coco

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‘“The Man Who Died” is different from any other book I have read, it is a crime thriller but very much with an underlying hint of black comedy with the exploration of murder, betrayal and lust being treated in a satirical manner which makes it all the more disturbing to read.’ Chapter in my Life

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‘The translation to English by David Hackston has been done so incredibly well, none of Tuomainen’s subtleties have been lost and this reads very comfortably as if it had originally been written in English. An excellent thriller which will have readers gripped, it is a book that stands out as being brilliantly different from the norm and is a fantastic example of why Tuomainen is the King of Helsinki Noir!’ The Quiet Knitter

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‘There are twists and turns throughout the story and each one kept me hooked as I just needed to know who had been poisoning Jaakko and why. I ended up devouring The Man Who Died in one sitting as I didn’t want to surface until I knew what had happened. As always with crime novels, I don’t like to go into the plot too much as I would hate to ever spoil something for someone wanting to read it themselves. Overall an excellent book and one which I will recommend with gousto.’

Life of a Nerdish Mum

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‘Ooh, this is a different offering from Antti Tuomainen, and I absolutely loved it! Short it may be, but boy does this novel pack a belter of a punch, and the blows just keep on being delivered … Tuomainen has hit just the right notes, and I can picture Jaakko and the other characters lighting up the big screen. Devilishly dark humour abounds in ‘The Man Who Died’ paired with an absolutely cracking storyline, earning a tremendous thumbs up from me.’ Liz Robinson, Love Reading

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The Man Who Died is a much deeper novel than it first appears to be.
Through the use of a first person narrative, Tuomainen allows the reader to gain insight into Jaakko’s thoughts and feelings about the things that are happening to him. As a result, I found that I was able to invest in the character and care about the outcome of his investigation into who poisoned him.’ Portable Magic

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‘This book is certainly one of the most unique that I have read. Needless to say, I sat down to read this one and was not able to put it down.  Without saying much to spoil the plot, I must say, a particular moment at the end, during a speech was one of my favourite parts of the text. Just brilliant!’ Clues and Reviews

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‘Antti has a beautiful way of writing characters that get the reader invested from page one … Written perfectly, the plot comes to a head and we get ‘the final showdown’ as such with some of our central characters. It is one of those scenes that will stay with you forever! I’m sure I’m not the only one who would love to see THE MAN WHO DIED turned into a feature length film.’

 The P Turners Book Blog

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‘Every word in this book is vital and well placed, it takes real skill to get the pacing just right – especially when told first-person … It cracks along at a sizzling pace and it’s hard to believe that so much takes place in such a short space of time. A really gifted writer at work here. The Man Who Died is easily one of my favourite reads of the year. A real treat and one can only hope Antti Tuomainen feels the need to laugh in his writing again.’ Mumbling About

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Antti writes a guest post on where he gets his ideas from and the anatomy of The Man Who Died as part of the blog tour.

Anne Bony Book Reviews

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‘It’s a noir story, a dark comedy and a love story. It’s a book that marks a great change in direction for me.’ Antti answers questions about The Man Who Died as part of the blog tour. Always Trust in Books

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‘This is a compelling mystery with some genuinely tense moments … I loved Antti Tuomainen’s writing style in his previous book, The Mine and this again is a beautifully written book, with vivid and atmospheric descriptions bringing both people and surroundings to glorious life … I really loved this captivating book, I’m smiling again just thinking of it now. An unforgettable and life affirming book about death, I highly recommend it!’ Hair Past a Freckle

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‘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 … You know that there are those paragraphs in some books that you have to read a couple of times to grasp, well in this book I had to re-read out of pure enjoyment as some bits were just so funny and second time round were just as brilliant!’ Books From Dusk Till Dawn

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The Man Who Died is an excellent example of tongue in cheek writing. You cannot really believe the story (and I’m sure Antti doesn’t intend us to…), but he carries off its telling with panache. The thriller side works well alongside the dark comedy – even if the reader sometimes doesn’t know whether to be truly shocked at what is happening – or to burst out laughing… It challenges and jangles the emotions.’ Trip Fiction

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‘The book really did grip me and kept me wanting to read all the time.  Even when I had finished it I kept thinking about it and the conclusion brought everything together perfectly. The story is very moving as you find out all about Jakko’s past and  all the choices he made to get him to where he is today.  As the list of suspects began to grow I felt a bit sad for Jakko and the way his life turned out.’ Black Books Blog

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‘With twists and turns a plenty Antti Tuomainen has penned a cracking noir novel.  This isn’t the first book by this author I have read, so I had high hopes, but I have to say it is my favourite.  In this book he has found a unique balance for the reader in taking very dark matter and lightening it up without taking away the intrigue or integrity. I could not recommend this book highly enough.’ The Very Pink Notebook

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‘Tuomainen’s writing is effortless, and translator David Hackston does a superb job bringing the subtleties of Tuomainen’s storytelling through to English-speaking readers. THE MAN WHO DIED is charming in its absurdities and poignant in its honesty about one man’s emotions and realizations at the end of his life … this book makes for a wholly original and memorable reading experience. Heartbreaking, darkly funny, and wholly engaging, THE MAN WHO DIED will be a welcome and unique addition to any crime fiction reader’s collection.’ Crime By The Book

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‘Tuomainen manages to keep the tension going throughout yet weaves in black humour and over the top characters … Love and betrayal are important themes running through the story. Some of the scenes are visually strong and stay in your mind after the story has finished … This is a book which has it all- joy and sadness, loyalty and betrayal, wit and slapstick, life and death – just like life itself. In short: superb, superb, superb.’ Books Life and Everything

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‘More than just a whodunit, but a gripping tale of self-loathing, investigation and desperate floundering as Jaakko struggles to control what is left of his life and roars down the road in search of the truth like an elephant through an allotment. Both a thriller and a dark laugh a minute journey that will keep you haning on to the end. The story of a man investigating his own death has been done before but not with such gusto.’ The Man Who Died is recommended in Crime Time

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‘The story is laced with dark humor the whole way through and had me laughing out loud at numerous occasions … There are a lot of twists and turn that keep the reader guessing and wanting to keep reading to find out what is happening. This isn’t Antti tuomainen’s first book but it is the first one I’ve read, though it definitely won’t be my last.  If you like unusual thrillers with some dark humor you will enjoy this book.’ Over The Rainbow Book Blog

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Antti writes a guest post about ‘The Balsam Lake Writers’ Retreat’ as part of the blog tour. My Reading Corner

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‘Dark humour really helps to set this story apart from other thrillers, Antti Tuomainen has created a very engaging lead character in Jaakko. He has a certain matter of fact way of going about his daily life that just kept me turning the pages. There are possible suspects everywhere and I have to admit to suspecting everyone … I was treated to plenty of drama and laughs along the way. With plenty of intriguing twists and turns I highly recommend picking up a copy of The Man Who Died. Five stars from me!’

Rae Reads

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The Man Who Died is rollicking entertainment, but it is more than that. In Kaunismaa, Antti Tuomainen creates a character whose charisma peeps over his middle-age paunch, and in the story he tells, we experience laughter hiding behind sadness, and uncertainty crouching alongside a beaming smile. All human life is here. Until it isn’t.’ Café Thinking

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‘This book has been an amazing read, with dark humour, a murder and some very interesting twists, a must read. When I started reading this book I didn’t expect to be so fascinated by it, the irony of the situation, the ambiguity of the characters and the mushroom business make this book really original, funny and one of the best reads of this year.’ Varietats

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‘Yes, this is a Scandi Noir but not as dark as others that I have read lately. We have the ability to laugh (obviously!) and the humour is akin to the Coen Brothers, in my opinion. The antics are rather drôle which is something that really draws me in. Given that I am a massive fan of the Coen Brothers there was no doubt that this was going to tickle my funny bone … The beautiful thing about The Man Who Died is the visualisation that takes place while reading, thanks to Tuomainen’s writing style. Who needs the movie when all the story is unfolding in your mind?!’ Rambling Lisa’s Book Reviews

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‘The novel is full of amazing characters, quirky individuals who each play a part in this very different thriller … You are never going to be bored by this cast of unusual characters. As for those traditional elements you enjoy so much, all the twists and turns propel the story forward at a thrilling speed. You are sat on the edge of your seat, book in hand, turning pages over without pause, needing to know who is responsible for all that befalls Jaakko. While at its core the novel retains a darkness that envelops you the reader in it’s chilling embrace. You may find yourself laughing at some of the events, but the comedy is dark and shows human relationships at their worst … It’s stunning and will stay with me for a long time. I will be very surprised if this book does not feature in my top reads of 2017.’ Books Are My Cwtches

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The Man Who Died is filled with some fabulous characters, it’s suspenseful, thrilling and with the dark humour added, it’s just an absolute cracker of a read.  Tuomainen has produced a story that’s really hard to put down and one I really didn’t want to end … The Man Who Died is an exciting rollercoaster of a story that I will be highly recommending.’ It’s All About the Books

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‘‘The Man Who Died’ is a witty, thrilling, intense, and highly addictive read which left me feeling extremely excited about whatever the author may bring out next. I absolutely loved this book. It made me laugh, it kept me guessing and not only that, it kept me on the edge of my seat in anticipation – waiting for the next highly suspenseful event to take place. A brand new author for me and a brand new style of book, but I can honestly say that Antti Tuomainen now has a fan for life in TWG. Remarkable.’ The Writing Garnet

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‘I would never have guessed that this is a translated work of fiction. It has been translated wonderfully – it’s effortless to read, with so many nuances and subtleties included, which I always think is the sign of a good translation. If you’re looking for a crime novel that stands out, doesn’t take itself too seriously whilst making you question the meaning of life then I highly recommend The Man Who Died. ‘ Harry’s Book Club

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‘Darkly comic, The Man Who Died is a cracking one sitting read that will have you falling over yourself to decide what emotion you want to feel next … ‘ Life of Crime

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‘Full of the darkest, wonderful humour and a gripping plot Tuomainen’s The Man Who Diedis a fantastic read and I can’t recommend it highly enough. Tuomainen’s abilty to pull off this departure from his usual writing and to pull it off with such skill is a testament to his talent as writer.’ Bloomin Brilliant Books

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‘With Antti Tuomainen giving the reader to false moments along the way he really is such a great writer, he gives the reader so much. This may be a little different from some of the other Scandi Noir out there but Tuomainen has delivered a real masterpiece of writing. Not a book to let pass you by. I must congratulate David Hackston for his excellent work in translating The Man Who Died. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED’ The Last Word Book Review

Reviews