KVICKSAND – QUICKSAND
BY SWÄRD, ANNE
A hot summer in Copenhagen in the 2030’s. Things don’t look quite the same as they do today, something has happened. And someone has bought the ground under the city, and is for some reason having tunnels dug there.
Adam lives alone and spends most of his time in the barracks, where he lives, or in the canteen, where he eats. If he’s not working nights as a taxidriver. On a constant lookout for his lost brother, René, he at one point gets to know a homeless man and his son.
He also meets the young woman Azra, who has literally chosen an underground job and works in the cellar of the city’s archives, on the run from the very same René. And it is now that Kaj choses to return to Copenhagen, following a mysterious twenty year-long absence, which left her sons without any explanation for her disappearance.
With Kvicksand (Quicksand), Anne Swärd shows yet more evidence of her talent for charging the story and bringing maximal tension into the atmosphere. It’s an ambiguous, suggestive and eerie story about love and the importance of never losing one’s hope.
ABOUT THE BOOK
First published by Wahlström & Widstrand, Sweden, 2006.
RIGHTS SOLD TO
The Netherlands, Saga Egmont
Persian, Café 60 Media
Sweden, Albert Bonniers Förlag
Anne Swärd has created an anti-hero who, presently and with some reluctance, is forced to become involved with other peoples’ lives. By depicting Adam’s gradual transformation from a passive bystander to an active participant, the author has created a portrait worth remembering.
This is a mysterious and frightening book which step by step becomes clearer, but never clears completely. The author refrains from straightening out all the question marks and solving all the riddles, thus turning the reader into a co-creator of this story. We are, thank heaven, far away from the arranged description of reality found in the entertainment literature. And still it is entertaining.
“Quicksand” is a novel about a catastrophy but it is neither violent nor resigned. Anne Swärd manages to mix sorrow with a sense of humour and an unobtrusive tenderness, and yes, even with a bit of hopefulness. The fact that you do not find what you are looking for, does not necessarily mean that you don’t find anything at all.
The new book is just as captivating as the first one… Just as in the previous novel the language is so well worded, rythmical and full of meanings. There is never even a flutter; I get the impression that the author approaches the text as if it was lyrical: every phrase, every word has its place in the whole… The language is full of meditations on life, of sententious phrases like this one from Azras: One prepares for the worst, but is never prepared for the very best thing happening. That is too big a thing. No room for it in your hands. So you almost lose it.
This is a simply brilliant book and there should really be a law saying that you have to read it. This is a combination of love and the end of the world at its best, dressed in black – it is at least as good as Klas Östergren at his best. What an autumnal pageturner! Wow!
“Quicksand” is a quiet and beautiful novel, but at the same time a book that gives you nightmares. It affects, it lingers.