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301 pages

Saviour Surunen

Vapahtaja Surunen

A rowdy tale about a human rights activist gone rogue that’s full of irony.

The highly distinguished Professor Surunen, who is an honourable member of Amnesty International, is tired of signing petitions. He decides, for once and for all, that it’s time to take matters into his own hands.

Surunen sets off to personally liberate the political prisoners that he has sponsored in Kalmania, a small Central American country, which is ruled by a blood-thirsty fascist dictator. When he succeeds, and after he gets a feel for how the local prisons like to torture their inmates, Surunen heads to Kytislavia, a communist paradise in eastern Europe. It’s in Kytislavia that Surunen learns of the imprisoned dissidents who are living in a mental asylum. There’s only one thing for it: he starts working on their release!

In Saviour Surunen, Paasilinna confronts all manner of dictatorships head on. It’s a story filled with laughter, irony and… burlesque?

Arto Paasilinna (1942-2018) is the most renowned contemporary Finnish author, having published 35 novels and countless other works during his lifetime. In Finland, he has been one of the most popular authors since the 1970s. His most famous books include The Year of the Hare, The Howling Miller, A Charming Mass Suicide and The Forest of Hanged Foxes. Many of Paasilinna’s books have been turned into feature films and plays and adapted to comic books. His books have sold over 8 million copies worldwide, with publishers in several countries buying out more than 15 titles each. Paasilinna’s works have been translated into over 40 languages.


Finnish PDF
French translation

Rights sold

French (Denoël)
German (Lübbe)
Italian (Iperborea)
Serbian (Prešernova družba)*
Slovenian (Mladinska)*
*rights reverted


“… ‘le plus fou des écrivains finlandais’, Arto Paasilinna, a encore frappé. Avec le délirant Moi ,Surunen, libérateur des peuples opprimés, il dézingue toutes les dictatures.” Serge Bressan, Le Quotidien

“D’accident de corbillard en incendie de combles, Paasilinna mène la danse avec un plaisir manifeste et un art consommé de l’absurde.” Michel Genson, Le Républicain Lorrain

Ce Lapon farceur ne cesse de s’amuser des travers du genre humain. Un petit traité d’amour tout en humour. À moins que ce ne soit l’inverse.” Christine Sallès, Psychologies

Un conte philosophique cynique et pince-sans-rire, aussi libre que drôle.” Florence Noiville, Le Monde

Moraliste grinçant, Paasilinna aime bien croquer les travers de notre monde. Ici, ce sont les pères-la-morale et les mères-la-pudeur.” Jean-Claude Perrier, Livres Hebdo

“Un cru réjouissant où l’on retrouve Arto Paasilinna à se tordre dans une version plus iconoclaste que jamais.” Jeanne de Menibus, Elle