2014 Fragile
 
orig. Särkyvää

Jari Järvelä’s novel, Fragile, is a story about middle-aged Teemu, a Finnish man who attempted to burn down his own house while his wife and children were asleep inside. The man, embittered by divorce, decides to shake the last bits of dust off his feet, jump behind the wheel of his old car and push down the accelerator pedal.

The destination is Pamplona in Spain. In his trunk, Teemu transports a cardboard box that contains his past life in its entirety. Teemu has decided to commit a suicide by the manliest way possible: by allowing his body to be impaled by bulls during a bull run in the narrow streets of Pamplona.

When he reaches Denmark, he picks up a hitchhiker called Agnes. Soon, the young woman and the stubborn middle-aged man develop a strong bond. Both of them are broken in their own way, but is even a friendship enough to save the man from the wildly roaring bulls?

Reviews:

”The way in which Järvelä combines comedy and tragedy through a direct collision is masterful. The last chapter of the novel is terrific. I can’t remember when I last felt so stirred by the beauty of prose.” Turun Sanomat

“Absolutely hilarious. Jari Järvelä’s Fragile is a novel written amidst such juicy, macabre self-irony that it knocks you out in one blow. It makes you laugh at the whole tragicomedy of life.” Helsingin Sanomat

“The story culminates into a thriller. A bullring opens before the reader. Teemu takes his place among the people who run before the animals. The Pamplona-section is a glorious stroke by Järvelä. Fragile is a dead-serious story with a twinkle in its eye.” Savon Sanomat

Publishers:
Finland, Tammi (Bonnier)