Den stora utställningen – The Great Exhibition

By Marie Hermanson

The Gothenburg World’s Fair is launched on the 8th of May 1923 and the city takes on an almost magical, otherworldly feel.
In the crowd is young journalist Ellen Grönblad, so is also Detective Constable Nils Gunnarsson and young donkey-keeper Otto. Soon their paths will intersect in unexpected ways.

When it is revealed that Albert Einstein will hold his Nobel Lecture at the exhibition, sinister antisemitic powers are put into motion.

Marie Hermanson has written an imaginative and enchanting novel, partly inspired by true events.

First published by Albert Bonniers förlag, Sweden, 2018.
299 pages.

“The Great Exhibition” is well worth reading, both as a charming page turner and a depiction of an interesting historical period.

It’s enjoyable, well-balanced and so skillfully done that the reader becomes both elated and pensive at the same time.

It’s vivid, told in a quick and funny way, a pleasant history class… you’re invited on a merry-go-round ride to a spring in the 1920s with both a great belief in the future and romance. 

Marie Hermanson is always a driven narrator, and “The Great Exhibition” is no exception.

Hermanson’s novel gives great joy of reading.

A historical suspense novel with an anchrage in reality, written by an author that fully masters the art of narration. Add some humoristic turns to it and this year’s first 10/10 is a fact! I’m overwhelmed! That Marie Hermanson is a skilled author I knew since before, but the question is if this isn’t her best?   

A powerful historical drama from Gothenburg and Berlin.
Philip Teir, DN

“The Great Exhibition” is a wonderful reading experience… Read it! Immediately!

Hermanson manages to recreate the optimistic spirit of the 20s, with the dark undertones of xenophobia and the grandiose patriotism. She depicts the portraits of her characters, who come from different backgrounds, with a light touch and intertwines their fates skillfully… 

Hermanson is obviously entertained by telling all this and it rubs off on the reader. She builds a thrilling story… In the more dramatic sections the novel resembles an adventure story, one you read in your youth.  

“The Great Exhibition” is a greatly composed novel and a pretty thrilling story about some people who are very different, whose fates intersect in an almost unbelievable way… Even if she writes simply, ordinary and very readable in the best sense, her stories are often stranger than life itself. She’s a very good narrator.        

It’s a well-written novel with just enough of facts, but also a great deal of fiction. 

With the same solid dramaturgy as always the threads are skilfully tied together in Hermanson’s plot-driven novels, without concealing ideas and moral philosophical questions.

“The Great Exhibition” is an ingenious composed novel that mixes fact and fiction… The descriptions of the surrounding are vivid, with a perfect amount of imagination inciting metaphors.

Czech Republic, Omega
Germany, Suhrkamp Verlag
Italy, Guanda
Sweden, Albert Bonniers förlag