By Jonas Karlsson

The gentle, off-beat narrator of The Circus is perfectly content with his quiet life. By day he works in a bakery, and by night he obsessively organizes and reorganizes his record collection. It’s all just the way he likes it. But when a childhood friend named Magnus comes calling out of the blue, the contours of our narrator’s familiar world begin to shift. On a visit to the circus together, Magnus volunteers in the magician’s disappearing act, and midway through the routine he vanishes – and never returns. Is this part of the act? What’s happened to Magnus? And who is it calling on the phone in the dead of night, breathing into the receiver, but never saying a word?

Smart, sharply unsettling, and with its playful sleight of hand exquisitely kept, The Circus is a funhouse mirror of a read – one that ingeniously reveals the way we see ourselves and the stories we tell.

Named one of the most anticipated books of 2020 by The New York Times.

First published by Wahlström & Widstrand, Sweden 2017

China, Shanghai 99 (Simplified Chinese)
France, Actes Sud
Germany, Luchterhand
Netherlands, Meridiaan
Serbia, Laguna
Sweden, Wahlström & Widstrand
UK, Hogarth
US, Hogarth

“Karlsson delivers a pithy and sagacious jaunt into an uncanny reality in his riveting third novel. /…/ Karlsson’s knack for Kafkaesque surrealism and suspense is wonderfully paired with sardonic humor and a deeply sympathetic protagonist. This excellent, clever yarn is Karlsson’s best yet.”
– Publishers Weekly *Starred Review*, US

“A book that fully embraces the weirdness of its characters, and Karlsson is a master of that sort of tomfoolery.”
– Book Riot, US