2004 Park Life
Orig. title: Pussikaljaromaani

A snapshot from the other side of life, told with a big heart and great empathy.

Mikko Rimminen's novel Park Life follows day in the lives of Marshall, Pasty and Henninen as they wander through the streets of Kallio, a suburb of Helsinki. In-keeping with the traditions of such epic tales of the down-and-outs, the novel explores the whole spectrum of life in Kallio, including the joys and sorrows of throwing dice.

At a local kiosk Marshall bumps into Henninen and Pasty, who are still recovering from the excesses of the previous night. They decide to go back to Marshall's flat to look for their missing die, but can't find it anywhere. Each of them has their own way of recovering from the shock. Still, the three decide that it's going to be a wonderful day nonetheless and set off wandering about the town. They feel great warmth towards the world and all they ask for is a little love in return, but the rest of the world doesn't care for their wishes. They soon learn this the hard way in encounters with the police, teenagers, ticket inspectors on the tram and a gang of bikers.

They have been condemned to wander the streets of Kallio and to be thankful that at least they are not entirely alone.

Mikko Rimminen has painted an epic canvas, a great tale of our times, of an age in which there's no taking a break from your own life.

Park Life continues a strong tradition of depictions of Kallio in a spirit of heartfelt despair.

Park Life is a wild book, smash hit and the high-light of the literal autumn so far.” Ilkka

“Intelligent and warm laughter is such a rare phenomenon in Finnish prose, that one would like to name Rimminen’s Park Life as a protected piece of work which would be inaccessible to those serious people with no sense of humour fighting for art with a clenched jaw. As its protagonist, Park Life is an equally enjoyable book in every way, a joy to read.” Aamulehti

“We don’t have anything else but each other, says Park Life, and from this bond these scared, shy, sometimes noble and often (literally) hurt vagabonds on the run create light into the world, which, in this case, is a few blocks in Helsinki. Rimminen combines beautifully the familiar colourless complexity of bureaucracy, rare nouns, long-forgotten verb conjugations and scientific language - now popularised -, and words of foreign origin which have now become part of every-day language.” Image

“When Rimminen’s grand-mother had read a third of the book, she announced that she didn’t like the drunks in the book and the constant swearing. However, once finished with the book, she had almost grudgingly admitted that there is no way you cannot like the boys after all.” Anna

Finland, Teos
Sweden, Alfabeta
Germany, Kiepenheuer & Witsch
Netherlands, De Arbeiderspers
Russia, Text Publishers
Czech Republic, Kniha Zlin
Georgia, MTP