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Paperback The True Deceiver Book

ISBN: 1590173295

ISBN13: 9781590173299

The True Deceiver

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

A New York Review Books Original Winner of the Best Translated Book Award Deception--the lies we tell ourselves and the lies we tell others--is the subject of this, Tove Jansson's most unnerving and unpredictable novel. Here Jansson takes a darker look at the subjects that animate the best of her work, from her sensitive tale of island life, The Summer Book , to her famous Moomin stories: solitude and community, art and life, love and hate. Snow has...

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

Trusty Friend

This is a story about the TRUST in human-nature. An old female artist,who lives in a dreamland of her fantasy,and, a young woman who is very realistic and sophisticated,they become friends,then,conflict,even shattered each other's personality. The old artist should be Tove Jansson's image!Although some people hurt her feeling,she choose to trust in everyone simply as a child. That young woman who is an orphan,she must fight for reality and count money,therefore she thinks the artist couldn't face the music,that is,people deceive each other. At last,they reach balance in their mutual love for their younger brother. The scene in the book is incredible pure and poetic,as the landscapes in Scandinavia. At first,it would be kind of hard to feel the transparent but misty atmosphere,however,the story itself is simple and beautiful! I love Jansson's every side!

Thought-provoking!

After reading Janssen's Summer Book I just had to have more. Am I ever glad I did! True Deceivers gave me a chill throughout; not be being 'scary', but by the author's setting and by her ability to take me to task about what and who is true deception. This little book makes me think. I would imagine that it would make a terrific book for a book club discussion.

A well crafted and haunting novel

I found Jansson's The True Deceiver, penned ten years after her charming "The Summer Book," haunting and thought-provoking, its measured pace working to lure the reader into darker and deeper psychological realms. It delves into the stunted psyches of a small, snowbound costal town. In Spartan prose she weaves the tale of the increasingly entwined lives of two women at opposite ends of the town's social scale, bringing into question the "truth" of their separate existences. For me it raised fundamental questions: Which of our deceptions--including self-deceptions--are pragmatic and beneficent and which dysfunctional? Is the artist's "vision" a useful self-deception, a prism that makes things clearer albeit still distorted? Is kindness often a deception? What is the proper balance between truth and deception? Jansson's taut prose, sharp characterizations and telling images work to expose the deceptions of the whole village in this compact and compelling novel. It is as dark and cold as "The Summer Book" is warm and comforting.

A Perfect Book

This is the great Finnish writer Tove Jansson at the height of her powers in a haunting novel which invites comparisons with Australia's Elizabeth Jolley. Being able to read Jansson's work in English is like "discovering buried treasure", according to the introduction to the novel by Ali Smith. And while I agree, I suggest you read this after you've finished the story, not before. It's a spoiler. Two outcasts in a blue-eyed, snow covered world are yellow-eyed Katri Kling and her slow lumbering brother Mat who live in a single room above a shop with a fierce dog Katri doesn't bother to name. The wolfish Katri sets her sights on wealthy old Anna Aemelin, a children's book illustrator who lives alone in a mansion. Anna paints the forest floor and fills her exquisite illustrations with flowery rabbits. And so the wolf and the bunny begin a dance over the long dark winter months, so skillfully evoked by this master storyteller. Anna is careless about money; Katri a penny-pincher who contrives for herself and her brother to live with the artist and create a dependency. Clever Katri soon shows arty Anna how everyone is cheating her. But honesty without compassion is indeed brutality. "For the first time in her life, Anna became distrustful. She went around brooding about all of them - neighbours, publishers, innocent little children." Anna loses her treasured peace of mind and her child-like trust. She can no longer find creative inspiration instead she sees betrayal everywhere, even in the letters of her once cherished parents. Katri takes Anna's old furniture and leaves it in a huge pile on the snow, waiting for the spring melt to claim it. It sits there like a menace in the woods. But who is lying to whom? And does the ends justify the means? This is a perfect book.
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