Book Review | Marianna Kurto’s conquest of territory is not quite successful, even though the novel The Lion of the Lion contains ingredients for a peculiar work that modifies entertainment literature

Marianna Kurto’s experience as a writer is visible, as the text is close and the flirting dialogues work well.


Marianna Kurtto: A tender lion. Big Dipper. 362 s.

Special language images, fluent text, and strange plot twists. Here are the ingredients of which Marianna Kurton novel A tender lion consists of.

The entertaining work tells the story of playwright Anniina, who is looking for love.

Kurtto has previously written five collections of poetry and two novels. A tender lion is conquering the more entertaining side. With his previous works, Kurtto has won the Kalevi Jäntti Prize and the Tiiliskivi Prize, among others.

Kurto’s experience and poetry are conveyed from the work. The novel flashes special language images. Sometimes the images are insightful, sometimes the peculiarity slips to the odd side.

Through the butterfly ornament, the feelings of both Anniina and Samuli swing are described poetically.

“The chain may have been broken, and now the butterfly was lying somewhere between its hard mattress and the damp sweaty sheet and darkened, gathering in his horns a sticky grief oozing from the man.”

Anniina and Samul’s flirtation is described in a special way. Samuli responds “quickly like a puck bouncing back from the edge of a trough”.

Mostly the text fits well. Anniina and Samuli’s flirt dialogues work.

In the description of dating, the work also succeeds. The gifts given by the men, a butterfly charm and a troll, evoke memories of Niilo and Samuli in Anniina.

Even if the text works and the infamous search for love is successfully described, the work would have needed compaction.

The plot is the weakest part of the work. The beginning must be predictable.

In the end, there will unexpectedly be a pile of unexpected twists and turns. They’re not primed enough and don’t really lead to anything – except the woman’s misfortune.

An entertainment book doesn’t necessarily require big plot twists or an arc of drama, but the stories of the dating world may suffice in themselves. This has been demonstrated, among other things Henriikka Rönkkönen.

In the case of Kurto, there would have been ingredients for a successful, species-modifying and in a good way unique work, but the end result is lame.

Women the novelty is described unilaterally.

They are mothers, garden aunts, cooks and decorators. One female caretaker doesn’t turn a stereotypical setup on her head but rather feels like a glued publisher’s proposal.

Even if the work deals with an entertaining subject, I would have longed for even a little depth in it. Even Anniina’s career revolves around men. His success play tells the story of his former swing. Success in your career leads to wrinkles in your love life. The view that a woman cannot get both, a career and love is tired.

The protagonist doesn’t seem to take any responsibility for his own happiness and life. Among other things, he moves in pursuit of a man to an unpleasant residential area.

Once the previous heartache is over, Anniina joins almost anyone’s blunt handpiece. Identifiable perhaps, but at the same time frustrating as a reader.



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