Bleak written all over it: a family feud saga from a dark literary heritage

Book review: ‘The Brothers’ by Asko Sahlberg

LIKE a neat, impressionistic Chekhov story or an arty French film – in which single sounds and close-ups of movements are potent with meaning – ‘The Brothers’ gives an episodic insight into a brief but significant span of time in enclosed world.

This is 19th-century Finland, a beautiful, melancholy snow- and alcohol-filled setting, but the intense love-loathing rivalry between brothers Henrik and Erik, universally readily identifiable, could be transferred to almost any place and time.

Continue reading