When I posted about Small Press Month, we talked about finding something different out there in the book stacks. If you’re trying to break out of the ordinary, here’s your escape: Pentti Saarikoski’s The Edge of Europe – A Kinetic Image. Saarikoski has been gone for sometime, but this unusual work of his has just been translated into English by Anselm Hollo and published by Action Books. It feels like a stream-of-consciousness journal, and perhaps that’s just what it was. Each two to three-page entry contains wild, free-flowing prose that make you feel like you’ve got a mind-reading machine set to Saarikoski’s number.

Originally published in Finnish in 1982, The Edge of Europe was written by this most famous of Finland’s poets. In fact, Saarikoski was so popular from the late 50’s to the early 70’s that he was often called “The Blond Beatle of the North.” He was a radical, often controversial figure who maintains a following to this day.

Interestingly, The Edge of Europe was written while Saarikoski was also working on his three volumes of poetry called Trilogy, his final poetic work. Both were written as he moved throughout Europe, staying in one place until he started to feel at home, then moving on. The Edge of Europe takes the reader through Norway, Brittany, Dublin, and Stavanger, an island off the west coast of Sweden. So if you’re trying to travel the world in your readings, this book will take you to some interesting corners.

I love to encourage people to step out of their usual reading patterns and reach for something different. I’m happy to tell you that this time, I have not one, but TWO copies of The Edge of Europe for a giveaway. So leave your comment here telling me what intrigues you about the book (something more than “sounds good” is kindly requested, just to keep things interesting). As always, subscribers to carp(e) libris reviews are automatically entered to win this and all giveaways here, so make sure to sign up. The winners will be randomly selected on April 1st, 2008, 12noon EST. I promise – no April Fool’s jokes! Just two lucky winners.

Check here for complete giveaway rules.


  1. Wow!!

  2. I would love to win this giveaway, especially because it is by a Finnish author. I’ve been fortunate enough to make five extended visits to Finland with my employment and love the country and her people. A bonus is the fact that it’s prose.

  3. Victoria Kondovski

    I would love to learn more about Europe – never been

  4. I love travel books, and am planning a family trip to Europe soon – this would be great!

  5. That sounds like a fascinating book! I’m reading my first Scandinavian novel right now and really enjoying it. All the better since I have Scandinavian roots.

  6. Great book

  7. I have always dreamed about going to Europe. I enjoy reading about Europe. This book intrigues me because it is written by a native. I’m sure I will pick up some new insight into the sense of Europe.

  8. I’m an Anglophile thru and thru 😉

  9. Samantha Pruitt

    i love anything that’s stream-of-consciousness, it really just fascinates me, and the title is really interesting!

  10. Great book cover photograph!

  11. Rebecca Lunsford

    I am very intrigued and interested in reading Saarikoski’s style of writing. I also find his concept of living in one place until it begins to feel like home and then moving very intriguing. Translated works are often hit or miss, sometimes I find the voice in the other language cannot fully be translated but this sounds like a good read all in all.

  12. It’s intriguing to me because he’s a radical. I’m curious what he wrote like.

  13. need to read

  14. Sounds cool that this is more of a travel journal than a regular story type book. Plus this will take me back to my travel hopping days across Europe!

  15. This isn’t a book I would normally pick out to read. I could do with a change and this book does sound like it could be good.

  16. Sylvia Porter

    i love anything that takes place in the 60s and the 70s, that whole movement is absolutely amazing to me! i wish i had been more a part of it when i was there.

  17. Charlene Kuser

    What intrigues me about this book is his radical thoughts
    put into poetry and the thought
    of it being translated.Sounds
    interesting please enter me

  18. This is a great book.

  19. I am not very familar with this author; however, my passion for reading is returning; as it was in childhood and youth; would love to live and enjoy the wins. Best of luck to whose who enter

  20. The stream-of-consciousness aspect intrigues me.

  21. I tend to have eclectic tastes. This book may have a tendency to delve into areas i have never read about.

  22. kathleen Yohanna

    I have always wanted to travel. This looks like a great book that will entice me to keep saving for my trip.

  23. I love travel books. This would be a great one for me to read!

  24. looks like a good book!

  25. I love unique books, I’d love to win!

  26. I have always dreamed of going to Europe.

  27. Suzanne Reichel

    The book sounds very edgy – that intrigues me!