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by Peter Adolphsen, translator: Charlotte Barslund

4*

Hardly even a novella, The Brummstein is very short, just 78 pages. I loved it, the writing had a softness, a gentle touch which was very beguiling, the story – of a strange geological specimen that passes from hand to hand – was utterly compelling and I wished with all my heart there had been more of it, MUCH more; this is not a story that can be told at this length, this is a story that needs a good, solid 130,000 words or more to truly meet its promise.

The characters were wonderful, but they were skeletons in desperate need of flesh. Each vignette of a tale held the seed of something tremendous, but they weren’t in any way sufficient to tell this tale as it ought to be told, they really needed chapter length exposition to fully develop.

A truly great short story is perfect as it is, it gives you all you need in just a few perfect paragraphs; The Brummstein wasn’t that, it was just a novel cut short, which seems a shame, and a terrible waste.

But I’d still recommend it, it’s much too short but it’s a wonderful story, and beautifully told.

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