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Review: “The First” by Marit Verne – Culturenet in Part One

Review: “The First” by Marit Verne – Culturenet in Part One

Title: “the first”
author: Marit Verne (“Shadow”, “Abalone”)

I’m looking for an entertaining novel Which is a reasonably quick read that at the same time still challenges the mind? Then you have this one.

The main character is Erik Gustafsson He is living his best days as a cultural journalist in Stockholm. As a revolt against the decline in interest in his person, he sold a third plot in Södermalm and found a wooden farm near Siljan in Dalarna. “In the navel of the fanatics of the motherland,” he says.
Soon Eric penetrated the Amateur Theater Society and assumed the position of prince of local cultural life. Now the villagers, and indeed all of Sweden, will have to lose their chins. The next theatrical premiere in this small village will be legendary, and Eric will be sure of that. Even the cultural elite will make the pilgrimage here to see the definitive play about Gustav Vasa, the first king of Sweden.
Eric himself will play the main role. Like Gustav, he is red-haired. Can Vasa, and surely Eric can unite the people and win their favor?
“We have a responsibility to manage Dalarna’s cultural heritage! Just trust me!” Eric commands the slightly skeptical and more realistic members of the Theater Society.

It’s descending, of course To the almighty Eric, on almost every level. The one thing he manages to maintain, almost throughout the book, is his irreverent sense of humour. A clever and funny contrast between many in the book. Marit Verne is good at writing characters who lose their grip. I’m reminded of Esther and Tom in her previous novel, Abalone. But the more floating story has little in common with this one.

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The “first” is deadly A very beautiful and irresistible read. It is especially enjoyable when the action of the play itself and Gustav Vasa take center stage. Then this original version of Yes Why Not sways the national romantic farce in a truly modern style and Marit Verne is at her very best.