Publication date
Format info
240 pages

The Forest of Hanged Foxes

Hirtettyjen kettujen metsä

Dark, macabre humour from Arto Paasilinna, the Kurt Vonnegut of the North.

“Only wealthy people lived in the old, respectable stone houses in Stockholm’s Humlegaard; people like the Finn Oiva Juntunen. By profession, he was a crook.”

Three small-time crooks grow tired of living in poverty and decide to steal a pretty hefty amount of gold. Unfortunately things don’t quite go to plan and two of them end up getting caught.

But although they’re locked up in prison, the crooks remain unusually calm, comforted by the knowledge that their friend is keeping their gold safe and will share it with them upon their release.

The problem is that Oiva Juntunen fancies the gold for himself. He becomes more and more anxious as his friends’ release day approaches. Faced with the prospect of two tough guys coming to collect their due, Juntunen decides to make a run for it.

Filled with dark, macabre humour, Paasilinna combines an action-packed narrative with strong characters and humorous, yet deep, philosophical musings seamlessly in The Forest of Hanged Foxes.

The Forest of Hanged Foxes was adapted for TV film in Finland in 1986 (dir. Jouko Suikkari) and adapted to a graphic novel in French by Nicolas Dumontehuil (Futuropolis, 2016).

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

Rights sold

Catalan (Anagrama)*
Czech (print rights: Hejkal; audio rights: OneHotBook)
French (Denoël)*
Galician (Rinoceronte)
German (Lübbe)
Hungarian (Irók Alapitvanya)*
Italian (Iperborea)
Korean (SOL)*
Norwegian (Aschehoug)
Russian (Eksmo)
Slovenian (Mladinska Knjiga)*
Spanish (Anagrama)
Swedish (Brombergs)*
*rights reverted

Prizes and nominations

1995, Lecture Jeunesse Prize (France)


“The author concocts situational comedy highlighted by deadpan, sometimes black humor, the kind familiar in the American Middle West.” – The New York Times

“The reader can’t help but be carried away by this breath of fresh air, enjoying one of the funniest moments of this season’s literature.” Sílvia Pons, RDL, Spain

“His books are a real treat.” Víctor Claudín, Spain

“Adventure, humour, and an intriguing human fauna.” José Ma Latorre, Spain

“Paasilinna is very good at making characters and putting them in absurd situations that creates humor. We get to know many characters that are both funny and you care about in a weird way. His descriptions of the landscapes are beautiful… In one way you can describe it as a funny book filled with absurd situations and interesting characters, but if you take it to a deeper level this book is about people in difficult situations finding and freeing themselves.” – Bymarlida blog

“Teigneux et hilarant, absurde et féroce, mais toujours inexplicablement optimiste et bienveillant, « La forêt des renards pendus » réjouira à bon droit la lectrice ou le lecteur, et peut compter sans hésitation parmi les plus belles réussites – et les plus emblématiques productions – d’Arto Paasilinna.” Blog Charybde 27, France

“Un livre complètement foutraque à la manière du contemporain, Frédéric Pagès, et délicieusement iconoclaste et irrévérencieux.” Blog Les 8 plumes / L’Express, France

“Amoureux des personnages atypiques et hors normes, Arto Paasilinna nous entraîne à nouveau dans le grand Nord à la suite de marginaux aussi fous que cocasses à la (re)découverte de la nature et des sentiments. Il mène son intrigue tambour battant à l’image de ses traîneaux traversant les espaces blancs, guidés par des chiens sauvages : amour, aventure, humour et soif d’absolu sont alors de mise. Bibliomonde, France