Consolation is an angry, sensitive and beautiful novel of the power of word and of image, long-distance love and reinvented friendship.
The novel starts off with the death of Johan Rautio, one of the best film directors in Europe. His childhood friend, marketing semiotics researcher Elis Mäki begins investigating their email correspondence from over the years. Apart from conveying Rautio’s personal fears and hopes the messages also portray the contemporary European reality where valuable cultural traditions coexist with the fast pulse of media publicity fuelling political populism.
Despite from being a rough and bitter story, Consolation conveys a comforting world vision. Consolation and comfort arise from love and friendship that the film director experienced in his own life through his art.
The novel also portrays European cultural heritage as consolation-bringing, particularly French 19th Century literature. Without European cultural heritage and particularly literature modern people would alienate from one another and from themselves.
The tradition of social awareness in European literature can also be found in Melender’s Consolation. The novel strives at political openness. It fights closed, self-sufficient systems and defends free flow of thoughts and dialogue.
The collage-like structure of Consolation can also be seen as fighting against closed systems. The structure of Consolation is particularly interesting, it combines a variety of different narrative strategies, voices and textual registers.
”It is easy to find kinship between Tommi Melender’s work and French literature: for example with Albert Camus, or, with his contemporaries, e.g. Michel Houellebecq.” – Vantaan Lauri
”Consolation features dazzling dialogue and captivating twists, and is at the same time wise and challenging – a rewarding read.” – Keskipohjanmaa