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Enter the strange and wonderful world of Swedish sensation Karin Tidbeck with this feast of darkly fantastical stories Whether through the falsified historical record of the uniuely weird Swedish creature known as the “Pyret” or the title story “Jagannath” about a biological ark in the far future Tidbeck’s uniue imagination will enthrall amuse and unsettle you How else to describe a collection that includes “Cloudberry Jam” a story that opens with the line “I made you in a tin can”? Marvels uirky character studies and outright surreal monstrosities await you in what is likely to be one of the most talked about short story collections of the yearTidbeck is a rising star in her native country having published a collection there in Swedish won a prestigious literary grant and just sold her first novel to Sweden’s largest publisher A graduate of the iconic Clarion Writer’s Workshop at the University of California San Diego in 2010 her publication history includes Weird Tales Shimmer Magazine Unstuck Annual and the anthology Odd


10 thoughts on “Jagannath

  1. says:

    “I have to know What is the nature of the world? The djinneya smiled with both rows of teeth Which one?” Describing Karin Tidbeck's short story collection Jagannath as strange and uirky is in no way a sufficient description These tales are also funny in a dark and unexpected way Whether her characters are falling in love with machines Beatrice or creating a companion out of menstrual blood salt and vegetables Cloudberry Jam these stories stick with you Many of them like Reindeer Mountain draw their dark inspiration directly from Scandinavian folklore Jagannath the collection's title story is weird and unsettling and very evocative Recommended if you are in the mood for something different 45 starsI think we share the same fate


  2. says:

    Where do they keep coming from? Over the last handful of weeks I’ve read Near Far by Cat Rambo At the Mouth of the River of Bees by Kij Johnson and Errantry Strange Stories by Elizabeth Hand—three new collections of short stories all from small presses all by female authors and all superb And then just when I think it can’t get any better along comes Karin Tidbeck’s debut collection Jagannath which may just be the best one of the bunch If you take into account that this is Tidbeck’s debut collection in English and that it was translated from Swedish to English by the author herself it’s hard not to be awed by the sheer level of talent on display hereRead the entire review on my site Far Beyond Reality


  3. says:

    This volume is so short that it's barely a book 134 pages Are these all of the short stories that Tidbeck's written? Why not put in? This is not enough I hope that her other writing is translated into English because this is an excellent if brief collectionI would highly recommend these stories for fans of Kelly Link and Theodora Goss As well as Ursula LeGuin who blurbed it and Elizabeth Hand who wrote the introductionContainsBeatrice If you love someone set them free If they don't come back oh well A steampunk tale of a man in love with an airship and a woman in love with a steam engine Bizarre disturbing and an incisive commentary of the different types of feelings which we might call 'love'Some Letters for Ove Lindstrom An estranged son finds his alcoholic father dead and writes letters thinking back to when everything went wrong when his mother disappeared An effective mix of modern day sensibilities and folkloreMiss Nyberg and I A glimpse out of the corner of an eye turns into a story that might be true than its author guessedRebecka What if God insisted on repeatedly 'saving' a suicidal person refusing to let them take their own life? What extremes might that person be driven to? A fantastic story that captures the harrowing feeling of friendship with a suicidal person Herr Cederberg Escape from the cruelty of this world in an airship Or is it a metaphor for suicide? Or is it transcendence? Reminded me of a less fleshed out version of Theodora Goss' The Wings of Meister WilhelmWho Is Arvid Pekon? A man is employed in a call center where the job involves pretending to be whoever it might be that the caller wishes to speak to That's weird But it gets weirderBrita's Holiday Village A journal from a writer who takes a cottage in the off season to get some work done in peace and uiet and unexpectedly encounters something fragile and amazingReindeer Mountain Two sisters rivals A conflict over a family heirloom A family tale folklore about the mysterious Sidhe like 'vittra' One girl has always dreamed of other worlds She'd be delighted to be swept off by a fairy lover to 'under the hill' But that's not what happensCloudberry Jam Reminded me of a warped version of Thumbelina A woman creates herself a child but it's not a real human child and can't be what she wantsPyret A faux encyclopedia entry on an imaginary creature read like it belongs in one of Jeff VanDerMeer's collectionsAugusta Prima A look into what it might be like to live under a faery mound from a fairy's point of view Fairly horrifyingAunts A further exploration of a element mentioned in passing in Augusta Prima Like the preceding story strongly horrific but also sadJagannath A very China Mieville esue story about a group of humans who have lived for generations inside a giant insect dependent on it for every aspect of their lives But their 'Mother' is dying Grotesue and memorable


  4. says:

    Short stories Oh ohI've become uite wary of short story collections Wary of the promise of condensed stories and pacey plots that so often on arrival turns out to actually be a bunch of inconclusive narrative fragments that go nowhereSo many of the collections I've read can be summed up with yeah there are a couple of good stories here hardly a ringing recommendation and while I've read many good short works they're often surrounded by pages and pages of material I would rather not have trudged throughHowever despite my trepidations Jagannath Karin Tidbeck's collection was a pleasant surprise It's a satisfying fun and consistently entertaining readThere are some really lively stories in Jagannath infused with the cold perpetual sunlight of Scandanavian summers and the long darkness of their brutal winters There is obsession and murder strange creatures from Nordic myth men and women who fall in love with machinesI love reading books by non Anglosphere writers as there is often a subtle flavour to their writing that is absent from writers closer to my cultural home The spice and heat of Rushdie's subcontinent the politics and oppressive history of Cixin Liu's China and now the Scandie chill of Karen Tidbeck From the first few pages there are some real winners here and Beatrice sets the tone well with an odd tale of a man and a woman who fall in love respectively with an airship and a steam engine devoting their lives to these objects and maintaining real relationships with themThe title story Jagannath is one of the strongest and strangest focusing on a post apocalyptic group who survive on the inside of what appears to be a giant cockroach living entire lives tending the creature's bowels muscles and brain In its claustrophobia and the central character's unawareness of the outside world it reminded me of Glenn Wool's Silo albeit a biological version where the workers spend their days palpitating lengths of intestine rather than maintaining power plantsOther stories such as Brita's Holiday Village mix wonder with a sense of foreboding while the grim Rebekah is pretty much a straight horror story set in a world where God intervenes directly in people's lives to the point of thwarting their suicide attemptsTidbeck has real talent and the best of these stories are well worth your time There are a couple that don't go anywhere particularly interesting and one or two left me cold but overall this is a solid collection much stronger than many others I have read Tidbeck is a skilled storyteller never once missing a beat flubbing a sentence or breaking a reader's suspension of disbelief an impressive feat considering she is writing in her second language35 chilly woollen clad stars


  5. says:

    Please go to my blog for reviews wwwjenchaosreviewscomJagannath By Karin TidbeckVintage Reissue Edition February 6  2018176 Pages Paperback EditionFrom An award winning debut story collection by Karin Tidbeck author of Amatka and heir to Borges Le Guin and LovecraftA child is born in a tin can A switchboard operator finds himself in hell Three corpulent women float somewhere beyond time Welcome to the weird world of Karin Tidbeck the visionary Swedish author of literary sci fi speculative fiction and mind bending fantasy who has captivated readers around the world Originally published by the small press Cheeky Frawg the passion project of Ann and Jeff VanderMeer Jagannath has been celebrated by readers and critics alike with rave reviews from major outlets and support from lauded peers like China Miéville and even Ursula K Le Guin herself These are stories in which fairies haunt uiet towns and an immortal being discovers the nature of time stories in which anything is possibleGoodreads Rating 408 My Rating 400ReviewA collection of some reasonably short stories fantastically written and translated that capture the imagination in odd ways The first story Beatrice sets the tone for the rest of the book A man is in love with an airship A woman is in love with a steam engine Together they learn to live in the same warehouse tending to their secrets One day there is a tragedy and the man is left by himself fostering a strange daughter with his airship Somehow and only an imagination so fantastical so deep could come up with something like this there is communication between the child and the airship The child is not wholly humanalso strangeThe story is not long I think it is only about 15 pages in length However the strange story and almost disturbing content were beautifully written and something that led me to read stories in this short anthologyMany things separate each story from one another In the way that Stephen King puts together a book of stories each one is distinct with characters which are dynamic prose that is unmatched and contains some things that are unsuitable for young people I was awed shocked and inspired by each I have not read anything like this at all It reminded me of folk tales or fairy tales but for adults The magic and strange circumstances that the characters find themselves in seem so odd but part of their livesDrawn from Nordic and European folklore and an active imagination Jagannath is a collection that anyone who loves fantasy and the strange should readWritingWritten originally in Swedish Ms Tidbeck's mother tongue and later translated to English by the author herself this book is written so well; one cannot help but continue to read it The prose in the stories is smooth and fanciful evoking images of things that only a great writer can do I was in awe with the way she was able to do that If I die and come back as a writer I want to write like thatPlotsI say plots because there are several stories to talk about Ms Tidbeck makes sure to develop a storyline which is easy to follow characters that are well fleshed out; and a plot that ties up correctly in the end Each story is done well and there is no abandonment I was not a fan of the letters but they are chronological and make sense They make a story in and of themselves I usually find letters and epistolic works to be annoying or jerky but she does this uite wellWhat I LikedThe imagination that went into each story was terrific If I tapped into the darkest or craziest recesses of my mind I might be able to come up with some of the things she has in this book; but I was entertained I thought she handled the folklore and intertwined that with her imagination uite well I liked that the mostWhat I Didn't LikeI would have liked longer stories explanation on some of these Though they were all uite good I think 15 pages sometimes shorter sometimes a little longer was not enough I of course being used to reading uite long books short stories are hard for me to digest When I read a short story I am always disappointed that there isn't any of that particular storyline leftOverall ImpressionJagannath is an impressive read A well written anthology by a very creative mind While combining folklore of the days past with her crazy imagination this book has been given a life of its own I think this is perfect for lovers of fantasy and speculative fiction I rated this a 400


  6. says:

    So this is a collection I think I would class as bizarro fiction and that's a first for me I picked this up after hearing a few of my friends liked it and I am very glad that I did becuase Karin Tidbeck's stories have such a uniue feel to them that I instantly knew I'd found a good collectionThe author of these stories is Swedish but she writes in both Swedish and English and sometimes leaves Swedish words in the English stories so that the meaning is not lost in translation All of her stories had a distinctly nordic feeling to them but this was interesting to me and definitely a plus Some of the stories in the middle were uite short and blurred a little together for me but there were some at the beginning and end which really were wonderful The ones I most enjoyed includedBeatrice A story about a man who falls in love with a hot air balloonRebecka A dark story of a girl who has suffered and doesn't know how to break the sufferingWho is Arvid Pekon? A story of a phone operator who has to imitate people and yet who doesn't really know himselfBrita's Holiday Village A story of vittra and red dresses and a family with madness in its historyCloudberry Jam A young narrater who grows a companion only to see the companion develop in strange waysAugusta Prima An Alice in Wonderland inspired story about time and what it meansAunts An incredibly gory story which really was fascinatingJagannath An almost steampunk story which focused on a giant being inhabited by small workers to make it run smoothlyOf all of these I think Jagannath Augusta Prima and Beatrice are my three favourites but there are some great other ones too I would highly recommend this collection and it really made me think a little about some of the meanings behind the stories I gave this a 4s overall


  7. says:

    Jagannath is a collection of 13 short stories of different lengths all containing at least a hint of the imaginary the unreal and the weird as allegories of alienation otherness and the taboo but also as archetypal symbols in their own rightThe collection opens with Beatrice a story about the many forms love can take but how similar the pain is when that love goes unreuited It’s also a story about birth and the love between parents and children In Tidbeck’s stories the process of birth and the love between parents and children is often difficult and painful but always strong and touching as in the sad Some Letters for Ove Lindström the beautiful Cloudberry Jam the darkly opulent Aunts and the fantastic title story Jagannath about a living mothershiphive and its relationship to the offspring that is living inside their motherAnother theme is the mysterious the hidden and the uncanny arriving in the form of strange creatures or events as in the stories of Miss Nyberg and I Herr Cederberg Who Is Arvid Pekon and in particular Pyret The latter being an imaginary research article and report about a mysterious shapeshifting creature which seems to evolve into something increasingly human over time as it becomes and familiar with people and our way of lifeOther stories draw from themes encountered elsewhere in modern speculative literature such as Rebecka which is about life ethics and religion in a world after the Second Coming and Augusta Prima which is set in a timeless and dream like baroue world on the edge of oursMost of the stories in Jagannath are unmistakably Swedish and Scandinavian the landscapes the settings the celebrations and holidays the dishes that are served the characters’ daily habits and the way they communicate with and relate to one another Tidbeck also uses this to make sly observations about life in Scandinavia and by extension life in the Western world “The arrival of rationalism changed the face of Scandinavian faith and superstition in a way Christianity had not” “Despite the well known fact that it’s the worst time possible everyone who needs to speak to a governmental agency calls on Monday morning” as well as uestioning our identities and ways of interactionIt is therefore only natural that Tidbeck’s imaginary creatures seem to have been grown from the Swedish landscape and an ancient pedigree of Swedish mythology folk tales and literature reminding me of both the Scandinavian tales of the nisse “the subterranean people” and the imaginary creatures of Swedish Finnish writer Tove JanssonI enjoyed this collection a lot in particular because of its the Swedish and Scandinavian flavor It’s great to see this part of the world communicated in English and with such imaginative fictions and creatures This is particularly true for the longest and perhaps the most personal of all the stories Reindeer Mountain and the easily recognizable landscape in Brita’s Holiday VillageMy three favorite stories are nevertheless not set in any place in our world but in worlds adjacent to ours; the funny and melancholic Augusta Prima the fantastically baroue Aunts and the organically futuristic Jagannath not the same as but perhaps inspired by the HinduBuddhist Jagannath deity


  8. says:

    A really great collection of what I would call mind cleaner stories They're the sort of thing that you ought to read every so often to refresh your brain Tidbeck incorporates a good deal of Swedish folklore in her work and not being Swedish I found it all captivatingThe stories are also nice and short Nice short and odd


  9. says:

    I wish this book was three times the length so I could be absorbed in this strange wintery surreal Scandinavian folklore inspired world longer I could read Karin Tidbeck's stories all day every day


  10. says:

    People that should read this bookDo you like the movie Trick R Treat and you should you know? Despite being thoroughly 'modern' when you are alone in the dark do you secretly believe in the thin veil that separates reality from otherness and netherness? Do you have recurring nightmares about be lost in dark pine woods and of floating fairy lights in the distance trying to lure you off the path? Do you wish you could find perfume or cologne in the scent of fall leaves fresh rain falling snow and books? Do you know that happily ever after is never the actual end of the story? Yes yes yes then this is the book for you I was fifteen years old when I devoured all of HP Lovecraft's translated works in two weeks and had a short but near psychotic revelation that all of it was true I recovered but reality still has a bit of a wobble Yes and these stories definitely wobble through reality and unreality They were dark and magical and at times I almost felt like this book was properly seen out of the corner of my eye if I looked too directly at it the stories might just vanishNot every story was a winner some need two readings and some were unbelievable Beatrice Reindeer Mountain and Rebeckah were mindrending dark and fantastic Augusta Prima was good and intriguing lush in its surroundings I liked Aunts but I DEFINITLY do NOT recommend reading it while you are eating This is how I read it Over lunch Because I am bad at being an adult and making smart decisions You will find that if you are eating and reading Aunts at the same time that both processes warp and become oddly intrinsic and discomforting All in all I have always said that I am a short story hater and yet without uestion this was a five star read