Book Review | Jukka-Pekka Palviainen’s novel novel ignores fundamental questions and unhappy human destinies

The beginning of Jukka-Pekka Palviainen’s novel is unnecessarily unadorned, but gradually the grip condenses.


Jukka-Pekka Palviainen: With all due respect. Karisto. 205 s.

Jukka-Pekka Palviainen latest novel With all due respect feels a little unnecessarily unadorned at first. There is a brother and his sister, everyday professions, familiar love worries. Unhappy marriage, an attempt to approach a new fascination.

Fortunately, the first impression is deceiving. Gradually the grip condenses and towards the end the still life swings.

The world itself is familiar from Palviainen’s previous books: when viewed from the surface, a rather modest suburban life is spent in an unnamed city.

Tuomas, who is quite cool, and his temperamental sister act as narrators. The father is buried at the beginning, it is stated that the man has remained quite unknown as he sailed around the world.

The female priest pulls the funeral expenses, and Thomas has to figure out how to approach this good-looking woman. The opportunity comes when he gets to give a memorial speech to a non-church war veteran. You can ask a professional for advice.

More corpses appear to be remembered. Even a small macabre satire is born when the memory of a teenage girl has to be respected. The girl when not based on diaries is not as regular and artistic as the mother wanted.

Tuomas understands the girl, which brings a much-needed crack to his portrait. The serenity of character when it makes narration unnecessarily harsh.

Kaisa, on the other hand, releases full confessions of love to her own loved one, who became familiar as a penitentiary. And that brings color. The world of women is bubbling more than just beneath the surface.

Could considers it a bold move to describe specifically the twists and turns of women’s emotions. By the way, one can think for a moment if these are stereotypes and A Wonderful Man is allowed to do so.

In the end, it doesn’t matter. The main thing is that it brings the necessary drama to the novel.

Another important arc of the drama is that two conventional secularized early middle-aged people meet apparently genuinely believing people. Faith, of course, is tested, it is not appropriate to be in a relationship with a woman with a family.

In the end, the still life is quite different, and the novel is largely based on the plot.

Along the way, the fundamental questions are sidelined and unfortunate human destinies are encountered. You could have written about them more broadly. However, Palviainen’s style is to summarize, to write accurately, and that is virtue too.



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