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The Memoirs of Stockholm Sven, Nathaniel Miller

His first novel, and a brilliant one. His style of prose and the ebb and flow of words are displayed tactfully within his characters and story. A fever dream, captivating one’s chosen community. Sven has a distinctive voice and personality that you can’t put the book down… you must follow him wherever he takes you and shares his life. Bonds, connections, a life of routine, predictability of it, however harsh it is. Sven leaves Sweden in 1916 as a young man for the forbidden polar landscape and adventure in Svalbard -an area above Norway in the Arctic Circle. A cynic, a fatalist. The people he meets – a Scottish prospector/geologist; Tapio the trapper/ He moves to an archipelago after an avalanche nearly kills him in a mining accident. His face is now deformed, he seeks solace from the things of man. He goes nearly mad and becomes quite proficient in trapping under Tapio’s apprenticeship. His niece visits and with her, her newborn daughter. They stay together. Her niece, Helga- girlfriend is killed and Helga seeks revenge. Helga decides she must leave and Sven is left to raise her daughter. I’ve told enough, though there’s no way I can ruin a book where the journey is everything. Sven’s sense of survival without real responsibility within the daily life living above the Arctic Circle. At times enthralled with loneliness, within this remote fjord in upper Svalbard, and at times hanging over him like a malevolent moon. Sven describes so well the feeling the Arctic provides you, as it it did me during my time in Svalbard and in the high arctic, and North Pole – that your life was unimportant, expendable, and easily extinguished. This is a must-read for any book lover. A reflection deeply and inwardly, and inspired by a real man.


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