Illustrator(s)
Publication date
April 2019
Publisher
WSOY
Format info
280 pages

The Master of Silence

Hiljaisuuden mestari

“There is no direct communication. There is always a filter in between. In this instance, it’s you.”

The Finlandia- and Runeberg Prize-nominated author of O returns with a dazzling, genre-defying novel that captures the zeitgeist of our time.

Following his meteoric magnum opus, O, Finland’s rockstar literary savant is back with comparable brevity, with an astonishing new work about people, the difficulties in communication, and the interest in things, outside of their ontological being. In the author’s own words, it is ‘like a detective novel in a coma’ – denoting the intrigue but absence of movement or procedure.

At midday, a twenty-something man is found dead in his office chair. Meanwhile, Herman Leorne is interviewing people for his Youtube channel, discussing the interestingness of things. Elsewhere, a mother with an eating disorder considers ending her life with an overdose of Botox. But how does all this tie-in to the significance of Sinatra’s My Way in karaoke history, stringent Subway™ staff training days, and iced coffee?

In its titular homage to Rimbaud’s reference to death, Liukkonen proves himself to be a seer of the big questions of the era, with influences of Foster Wallace and Mishima in evidence in this brilliant, new novel.

Reading material

English sample translation 59 pp.
Synopsis
Author – Editor Q&A video (in English)
Reviews

Reviews

“A Rabelaisian Danse Macabre. […] an incredibly fascinating, neurotic, and unique novel.” – Helsingin Sanomat

“Enjoyable in the round.” – Etelä Suomen Sanomat

“Liukkonen is Finland’s David Foster Wallace — The Master of Silence akin to a deliciously-filled baguette. […] No one in Finland writes like Liukkonen…this is the most interesting, astounding, and intelligent novel of the spring.” – Aamulehti

“Liukkonen’s work captures the essence of our time, the weight of which many experience yet rarely understand.” – Keskisuomalainen

“Liukkonen is an unrivalled linguistic virtuoso who writes effortlessly flowing text full of fresh tropes – from where, who knows.” – Kaleva

“I read in admiration of Liukkonen’s giftedness.” Tuija Takala

“At the beginning of Miki Liukkonen’s third novel, the anonymous protagonist compares words to a weak rope bridge that people cross to reach one another, a gaping ravine beneath them. The Master of Silence is mostly made up of conversations people have with themselves and each other. Intense eruptions of speech are only seemingly arbitrary; the sentences are clear, and thoughts brim with energy. One of the book’s themes is bulimia, which comes across in its structure: the characters are greedy in their thoughts and ideas, which they purge in the form of words. Thomas Pynchon and David Foster Wallace are recognisably Liukkonen’s literary role models.” – Suomen Kuvalehti