BOKEN – THE BOOK

BY RÅDSTRÖM, NIKLAS

A lonely figure is leaned over a book and while page after page is filled with words and meaning, an entire world and its struggling humanity is brought to life. The writer sends three angels to create order and justice among those trying to gain domination over their future.

Niklas Rådström’s Boken (The Book) spans thousands of years and resembles nothing else, besides the most famous book in the world. It is a daring and visionary update of the biblical books as one single tale of creation and life, full of poetry and powerful stories.

ABOUT THE BOOK

First published by Albert Bonniers Förlag, Sweden, 2013.
503 pages.

REVIEWS

It is a remarkable novel and evidently the result of many years spent pondering what the Bible really is and what it has to say. In places, “Boken” is a marvellously beautiful and moving novel. Technically, we know that the Bible is a collection of strictly edited and propagandistic texts written by a number of different authors. It falls apart and suffers from paradoxes and oddities. Technically speaking. But the calculating ingenuousness with which Rådström takes on the book of books, is startlingly effective.
Jonas Thente, Dagens Nyheter

Through the beautifully elevated prose that flows so lightly across the pages, the strong forward movement and the shrewd narrative technique – God as a writer – which create such mobility in the text, even the most burdensome questions can be presented without tom-toms and grand gestures.
Malin Lindroth, Göteborgs-Posten

Niklas Rådström’s prose possesses a lustre and acuity that is astounding and uncomparable. I read “Boken” with a mixture of devoutness and entrapped rapture. The prose entices and glistens, shimmers and breathes. It is beautiful and melancholic. It seduces and captivates. Rådström conjures up both magic and misery, a saturated mystique co-exists alongside sordid everyday events. Here is life. Here is love and disease, hostility and affinity, war and peaceful periods of unity, suffering and agonizing death. Here, both major and minor emotions are captured with grand accuracy. Smells and colours, animals and landscapes, the stench of carcass and the scent of flowers, pain and joy, ferocious rulers and both mighty and poor with forgiving and understanding natures – all of this Niklas Rådström manages to portray with large precision and a sharp sensitivity that magnetizes and – yes, fascinates.
Crister Enander, Helsingborgs Dagblad

Rådström plays with literature, but he does it with respect for the records and without transforming his adverse project into a type of insufferably self-conscious and obstinate monster creation affected by hubris. Instead he has condensed the stories of the canonized document and, like some kind of Prometheus, brought them closer to the people. From a pure theological-fundamentalistic perspective, this book is of course blasphemous. On the other hand, it is never irreverent, but instead written with a genuine fascination for the Biblical stories, and above all with a desire to simply tell about “the joy of existence”.
Martin Lagerholm, Kristianstadsbladet

“Boken” is written in a dizzyingly beautiful, crystal clear prose mixed with Biblical cadences. It is inquisitive, deeply human and refreshingly ambitious, respectful but never evasive: an indefeasible piece of literature.
Josefin Holmström, Svenska Dagbladet

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