22 jun 2020

Love and Pokémon – in John Ajvide Lindqvist’s new novel

In March 2021 Sweden’s master of horror fiction, John Ajvide Lindqvist, is back with the novel The Kindness. It’s his biggest book to date and the kindest one he has written. It’s also the creepiest.

After the Places Trilogy, which ended with the 2017 novel X – The Last Place, John Ajvide Lindqvist is finally back with a new book. The Kindness spans thirty years of contemporary history, covering major events in Sweden and the world – all played out in the microcosm of small town Norrtälje. Here are Anna and Siw, Marco and Maria, and of course Johan and Max – six people that are equal parts ordinary and odd, who all grew up in the Norrtälje region. Despite their differences, their destinies become interlinked when a yellow container is dumped in the Norrtälje harbor one late summer day. It soon becomes clear that its contents will transform something everyone has taken for granted. For what is a world without kindness?

“In one sense, The Kindness is the gentlest thing I have written. In another sense, it’s the most disturbing. There is not a lot of violence or blood; instead there’s the unsettling premise that something causes simple, everyday kindness to disintegrate for a few autumn months in Norrtälje. It’s my longest novel to date, over 700 pages, and above all, it’s about love. And pokémon.”

John Ajvide Lindqvist

“Receiving a manuscript like this is momentous. I thought the concept of the ’great American novel’ was exhausted, forgotten and pointless. And then John comes along and writes one. Except it’s about Sweden. Set in little Norrtälje. The novel is an intricate weave which in the end reveals a picture of how Sweden has changed over the last thirty years.”

Pelle Andersson, Publishing Director, Ordfront förlag