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The Edge of Europe by Pentti Saarikoski - Review & Giveaway

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.

77 comments to The Edge of Europe by Pentti Saarikoski - Review & Giveaway

  1. Louise A Brouillete
    March 22nd, 2008 at 10:32 am

    Count me in

  2. kathy Scott
    March 22nd, 2008 at 10:46 am

    I have always dreamed of going to Europe. Since it hasn’t happened, I enjoy reading books about Europe.

  3. Tonya Keener
    March 22nd, 2008 at 10:59 am

    I’d love to read this

  4. Nancy P
    March 22nd, 2008 at 10:59 am

    I love to read and this sounds like a very cool read. I’m always looking for something new and different to read and this is definitely both of those!

  5. Karen
    March 22nd, 2008 at 11:29 am

    Having been to Europe quite a bit, it will be interesting to read another’s perspective.

  6. susan varney
    March 22nd, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    love to learn more about europe

  7. Desmond
    March 22nd, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    Count me in, I’m always looking for a new voice or a fresh perspective.

  8. Megan
    March 22nd, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    I just had to quote what you said because it is exactly why I am interested in this book!
    “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.”
    This sounds amazing. Thanks so much for introducing me to this book. I was going to say something else but my mind literally just went blank with excitement.

  9. Nicole
    March 22nd, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    I love travel books, and my mom’s side of the family is Finnish so it would be interesting to read one by a Finn.

  10. diane
    March 22nd, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    I am interested in this perspective of Europe and am intrigued with Europe and the changes taking place. I enjoy reading about Europe and would enjoy this new outlook.

  11. Tara
    March 22nd, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    I like the sound of the “stream of consciousness journal”. I don’t think I have ever read anything like that so why not give it a try?!

  12. adrienne gordon
    March 22nd, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    I travel to europe alot, this would be interesting to read

  13. The Edge of Europe by Pentti Sarrikoski - 2 winners | Contests 4 Moms
    March 22nd, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    [...] Where: carp(e) libris reviews [...]

  14. Susan Smith
    March 22nd, 2008 at 6:18 pm

    I love travel books

  15. Dan Smith
    March 22nd, 2008 at 6:19 pm

    interesting book

  16. Michelle
    March 22nd, 2008 at 6:22 pm

    I am always looking for interesting and out of the norm books. It doesn’t seem like anything i’ve read…might be a nice change of pace. Count me in for sure!

  17. Lesha
    March 22nd, 2008 at 8:01 pm

    Sounds great :)

  18. Shirley Younger
    March 22nd, 2008 at 9:18 pm

    Just the kind of book I love

  19. Cindi
    March 23rd, 2008 at 12:15 am

    Happy Easter! I have not heard of the poet/author and he sounds like someone that I probably wouldn’t have looked at twice. Now, because of you, I would be interested in his book. It is good that it has been translated into English and we can now enjoy it! I love Europe and it would be delightful to see the places your mentioned because I have not been there before…..Please enter me in your drawing. Thanks,Cindi

  20. christopher h
    March 23rd, 2008 at 12:51 am

    i’ve been a fan of Pentti Saarikoski for a while now

  21. gautami tripathy
    March 23rd, 2008 at 1:46 am

    I like stream of consciousness novels. This seems like an interesting one. Do consider me in for the giveaway!

  22. bethany canfield
    March 23rd, 2008 at 2:00 am

    me too! (sorry…I know, I’m greedy ;)
    I am always interested in Europe, and life there, since I grew up in Spain. And I love small press books too!

    I’d love to get this one!

    thanks for another GREAT giveaway!

  23. Paul
    March 23rd, 2008 at 8:15 am

    Travel books take me to places that I shall never go otherwise. I would love to read this book as I too am a poet. :-)

  24. Sharon Jones
    March 23rd, 2008 at 8:24 am

    seems so interesting and different…would love to read and then pass along to my mom, an avid reader herself…also, great cover

  25. veronica
    March 23rd, 2008 at 10:11 am

    sounds like a great read I love to read

  26. david basile
    March 23rd, 2008 at 11:16 am

    sounds like a good read

  27. Ivan Girl - Dear Me
    March 23rd, 2008 at 2:26 pm

    wow! this book is surely interesting. imagine travelling to various places in Europe and dreaming the things you want to see, hear, feel in these places. :)

    loving to snag a copy of this wonderful book!

  28. djp
    March 23rd, 2008 at 3:02 pm

    love sitting back and reading about places i’ve never been or ever will

  29. Christina Steele
    March 23rd, 2008 at 4:11 pm

    I lived in Germany for 3 years, and greatly miss the European experience. As an avid reader I love to find books such as this one!

  30. Graham
    March 23rd, 2008 at 6:18 pm

    non-rhyming verse travelogues can be very good when done right

  31. Angela & Connor
    March 24th, 2008 at 1:41 am

    Id Love to have a copy!!

    I added you on prizeatron too!

  32. Carla Cui
    March 24th, 2008 at 6:18 am

    I’m intrigued about the type of writing in this novel

  33. Caroline
    March 24th, 2008 at 8:53 am

    This looks great, I would love to be able to see into someone’s mind, or at least feel like I could.

  34. Kat
    March 24th, 2008 at 9:23 am

    I have always thought it would be interesting to read a ’stream-of-consciousness’ type writing..it is the type of writing I do myself. It sounds like this book,written in 1970’s - 80’s, may have resembled an early precursor of the twentyfirst century blog. What will also be interesting here will be the insight into the author’s thought processes as he worked on his final pieces of poetry.

  35. Leanne C.
    March 24th, 2008 at 9:31 am

    love it!

  36. carmen
    March 24th, 2008 at 9:39 am

    I like the idea that Saarikoski stayed in one place until it felt like home. Thus, he was able to write from the depths of experience & the reader will taste of it as well. I’ve lived in Europe & the thought of “visiting” someplace new thrills the wanderlust in me! Thanks for hosting!

  37. Jacob
    March 24th, 2008 at 10:13 am

    It is a shame some of us in the U.S. don’t get to become familiar with writers like Saarikoski until after the fact. But, it is always nice to see similar writers get a resurgence recently. Gunter Grass and Flann O’Brien come to mind.

  38. Shelly
    March 24th, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    Your description has me intrigued!

  39. S
    March 24th, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    going to Europe soon - would love this

  40. Liz
    March 25th, 2008 at 12:50 am

    Have to read about Dublin!

  41. Dave L
    March 25th, 2008 at 8:50 am

    This sounds like a great book.

  42. Deborah Wellenstein
    March 25th, 2008 at 10:18 am

    Thank you for this giveaway!

  43. Ann
    March 25th, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    Having moved from Europe to Oregon 2 years ago I would love to read this book!! Anything to stay close to my European roots.

  44. fan
    March 25th, 2008 at 7:24 pm

    I’d love to read something different, and I’ve always wanted to travel.

  45. Danielle S
    March 25th, 2008 at 7:41 pm

    Id love to read this! I’ve always been fascinated by Europe, but never been there…

  46. Carolsue
    March 26th, 2008 at 4:47 am

    My father was born in Norway, so this book would interest me a great deal - since the Scandinavian countries is what the book is about!

  47. Miss Heidi
    March 26th, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    My husband and I are both artists with European ancestry. So a book like this would be a great addition to our home.
    [email protected]

  48. Ginny
    March 26th, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    I was really into poetry when I was younger. Lately I have only been reading mystery books that are quick reads. Would love to get back into something that I liked in high school :)

  49. carp(e) libris reviews » Blog Archive » Home Among the Swinging Stars by Jaime de Angulo - Review & Giveaway
    March 26th, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    [...] Special Note: I have TWO giveaways running right now! Normally I do one at a time, but since I misread the calendar when posting, you’ve still got time to enter to win The Edge of Europe by Pentti Saarikoski. [...]

  50. abookblogger
    March 26th, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    Thanks for the heads-up - I almost missed this one. I’ll post it tomorrow as well as your other giveaway.

    Oh, and thanks for entering my giveaway

    ~ aBookBlogger
    A Book Blogger’s Diary

  51. James Jenkins
    March 26th, 2008 at 6:44 pm


  52. Nancy
    March 27th, 2008 at 11:09 am

    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.

  53. Victoria Kondovski
    March 27th, 2008 at 1:04 pm

    I would love to learn more about Europe - never been

  54. alison
    March 27th, 2008 at 3:53 pm

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

  55. Word Lily
    March 28th, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    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.

  56. Joy
    March 28th, 2008 at 6:30 pm

    Great book

  57. Buddy Garrett
    March 29th, 2008 at 8:04 am

    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.

  58. Leigh Nichols
    March 29th, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    I’m an Anglophile thru and thru ;)

  59. Samantha Pruitt
    March 31st, 2008 at 6:55 am

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

  60. Ed Nemmers
    March 31st, 2008 at 5:45 pm

    Great book cover photograph!

  61. Rebecca Lunsford
    March 31st, 2008 at 6:22 pm

    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.

  62. Elizabeth M.
    March 31st, 2008 at 7:28 pm

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

  63. mark
    March 31st, 2008 at 8:03 pm

    need to read

  64. kiyana
    March 31st, 2008 at 9:40 pm

    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!

  65. K. Cleaver
    March 31st, 2008 at 11:35 pm

    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.

  66. Sylvia Porter
    April 1st, 2008 at 1:48 am

    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.

  67. Charlene Kuser
    April 1st, 2008 at 3:19 am

    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

  68. Karen
    April 1st, 2008 at 7:35 am

    This is a great book.

  69. sarah woods
    April 1st, 2008 at 9:38 am

    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

  70. Lily Kwan
    April 1st, 2008 at 9:57 am

    The stream-of-consciousness aspect intrigues me.

  71. Tom Hoh
    April 1st, 2008 at 10:21 am

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

  72. kathleen Yohanna
    April 1st, 2008 at 1:17 pm

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

  73. susan smoaks
    April 1st, 2008 at 2:59 pm

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

  74. Janet M
    April 1st, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    looks like a good book!

  75. sarah
    April 1st, 2008 at 4:53 pm

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

  76. Timothy Sternberg
    April 1st, 2008 at 8:54 pm

    I have always dreamed of going to Europe.

  77. Suzanne Reichel
    April 1st, 2008 at 11:36 pm

    The book sounds very edgy - that intrigues me!

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