Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Evil by Jan Guillou

Title: Evil
Author: Jan Guillou
Year of publishing: 1981

This story is about a boy named Eric Ponti who is 15 year old and lives with his mom and his stepfather in Stockholm (Sweden). The story starts in a public school in the capital city, from where Eric gets expelled because he blackmails and fights with other students. When this happens, all his friends abandon him and his stepfather who has a habit of beating him, I guess would not be so pleased with Eric´s behavior. His mother then sends him to a private school to keep him away from his stepfather and give him a chance of a proper education. This school is located in the country side and when you study there, you live there. When he arrives at this new school he gets a friend but he soon comes to realize that it´s not going to be easy to fit in here. Erik and his friend develop a very strong friendship and they stay together most of the time. Both of them get harassed by the older students. But Erik is a strong boy both in mind and in body and tries to stand up to them. The story takes place in the 1950´s and the author Jan Guillou`s intention with this book is to criticize the school system and the behavior, purpose and intention from some of the teachers at this time. Also have in mind that most of this is a true story and that makes it even more interesting. I have read this book in two languages and it´s equally good. I think they manage not change too much of the feeling of the Swedish environment.  If I should categorize this book I would say it´s a drama filled with action, romance and thrills and I strongly recommend reading it!  

Written by Martin     


Anonymous said...

Hey Martin,
Great review.. I have read the novel several times myself, but I would like to read it in an English translation - but I haven't been able to find it anywhere. Did you review it from an English translation, since you are reviewing it in English?

Kind regards

David Demais-Behrens

Linda said...

David, As far as I know, Martin read the novel in English but I think he too had problems finding it in English. I think he got it from a friend. Best regards Martin's teacher.