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The Serious Game
     

The Serious Game

5.0 3
by Hjalmar Soderberg, Eva Claeson (Translator)
 

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Sweden at the turn of the previous century. Arvid, an ambitious and well-educated young man, meets Lydia, the daughter of a landscape painter, during an idyllic summer vacation and falls in love. Lydia, however, has other suitors, and Astrid is frightened of being tied down by his emotions. Trapped inside loveless marriages of convenience, they struggle in later

Overview

Sweden at the turn of the previous century. Arvid, an ambitious and well-educated young man, meets Lydia, the daughter of a landscape painter, during an idyllic summer vacation and falls in love. Lydia, however, has other suitors, and Astrid is frightened of being tied down by his emotions. Trapped inside loveless marriages of convenience, they struggle in later years to rekindle the promise of their romance with bitter and tragic results.

Hjalmar Soderberg, born in Stockholm, in 1869, was one Scandinavia's leading modernist writers. The Serious Game is Sweden's most celebrated and enduring love story.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Although the story of misguided love, adultery and despair told in this turn-of-the-last-century Swedish novel is relatively simple, Soderberg's thorough exploration of his characters' lives makes it satisfyingly complex. Arvid falls in love with Lydia when they are both young; when ambition and straitened circumstances keep him from her, he still pines for her. After they both marry fairly lackluster mates, their love for each other remains constant. They have a prolonged affair, at the end of which lies despair for Arvid but contentment for Lydia. Soderberg manifests a keen painterly eye for settings: Arvid and Lydia's affair plays out against a backdrop of serene Stockholm parks, crowded newspaper offices full of workaholic journalists and the spare bedrooms where their trysts take place and in each locale, the details offered are just enough to create a world of sensations. Feminist readers may take umbrage at the male domination of Arvid's milieu women get little or no air time, although they would seem to determine the course of the novel. Soderberg creates psychological suspense worthy of Dostoyevski, as Arvid's internal moral conflicts achieve the gravity of physical pain. Tidbits of their affair are dropped along the way, as well, that make the book quaintly puzzle-like, as when Lydia instructs Arvid to put a postage stamp right side up if he loves her, upside down if he does not. Although the novel may be slow going in spots, its emotional intensity makes this translation a welcome occurrence. (Apr.) Forecast: A blurb from Margaret Atwood, a champion of Soderberg's work, may get browsers to stop and take a look. Even more effective would be a few well-placed reviews, which this novel amply deserves. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780714530611
Publisher:
Marion Boyars Publishers Ltd
Publication date:
07/01/2001
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
1,366,069
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)

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The Serious Game 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
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