2012 The History of Virtanen
Those investigating the history of Finland are usually puzzled by many kinds of questions, such as: Why would anyone decide to live in Finland in the first place? How is it that the Finns have survived through the centuries, despite the small challenges brought on by plague, frost, smallpox and the Great Northern War? Why is ‘Virtanen’ the most common surname in Finland? And what risk lies in the potato, the country’s national food?

The History of Virtanen answers all of those questions, and several others. It is a jocular journey through the history of Finland with a gutsy, resourceful man called Virtanen. Along with exploring the phases of history, the book follows Virtanen’s blundering relationship with a Finnish woman called Korhonen.

The book is based on a popular series of radio plays, broadcast by Radio Finland. The best sketches of the series were chosen and edited into this compilation.

Finland, Karisto

“The successful object of irony is a small person’s role within a large mechanism that, in the name of the common good, rumbles along, predicts and protects away all individuality. Lipasti’s satire is not mean, but rather, gently sneering, and the Finnish way of managing relationships often rises to be the target of successful, cheeky jokes.” Turun Sanomat

“I recommend this to anyone who enjoys satire and irony, to whom the European Union isn’t a terribly grave subject and who thinks its politics may be laughed at, fair and square, right in the eye.” Kirjavinkit

“A funny feel-good book that is suitable for snacking a little bit at a time.” Kulttuuri kukoistaa (blog)