City of Flames
ORIGINAL TITLE: Staden och lågorna
AUTHOR: Jerker Virdborg
ORIGINAL PUBLISHER: Albert Bonniers förlag
Ever since his debut with the short story collection Landhöjning två centimeter per natt, Jerker Virdborg has explored the unpredictability of the innermost human mind, as well as what manages to slip through into the external world. In the novel Mannen på Trinisla this other world came into close focus in the form of a messenger in a craft unmarked by time or history. Also in Försvinnarna and in his latest novel Kall feber, reality is affected by unexpected forces – in both cases of a distinctly human kind – entering our lives and affecting our capacity for understanding.
Viktor falls overboard in the harbour near his home town and is saved at the last moment from drowning. However, the inn where he wakes up is both strange and frightening. He quickly runs up a debt and is bullied and kept locked up until he can pay what he owes. When at long last he gets out into the lanes, nothing is as it used to be – he is out of step with his own time and, in vain, tries to remember why he came here at all.