Sunday 14 August 2016

Stallo by Stefan Spjut

Stallo by Stefan Spjut
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

1978. A young boy disappears without trace from a cabin in the woods. His mother claims that he was abducted by a giant. The boy is never found. The previous year, over in a Swedish National Park, a wildlife photographer takes a strange picture from his small airplane, of a bear running over the marshes. On its back sits a creature, which the photographer claims is something extraordinary.

25 years later, and back in Laponia, Susso runs a much-maligned web page, one dedicated to searching for creatures whose existence have not yet been proven: the Yeti, the Loch Ness Monster, Big Foot. But Susso has her own obsession, one inherited from her grandfather, the well-known wildlife photographer. When an old woman claims that a small creature has been standing outside her house, observing her and her five year old grandson for hours, Susso picks up her camera and leaves for what will become a terrifying adventure.


Stallo is a large human-like creature in the Sami folklore and since the book is about giants that kidnap children is the title quite logical. I listen to this book while working and since it's 600 page long was the book around 25 hours long to listen to. However, by accelerating the speed to max did I manage to finish it a bit faster. And, I had a pretty good reason to wanting to speed up the story. I have never before had the speed to max before, but it was the only way for me to finish the book. Not that it was bad. The story in itself was good. However, it could have easily been cut down around 200-300 page by just taking away all the tedious uninteresting stuff that had no bearing on the story. I mean as much as I like board games am I not that interested in listening to how some of the characters playing one on Christmas day. Or, when Susso at work etc. If I had read the book would I have skimmed a lot, unfortunately, I had to listen to most of it. It was just the last 100 pages or so that I read and that I was thankful for since I could finish the book quite fast.

As for the story, I found it intriguing, and I liked how the author manages to connect the story to John Bauer and Sven Jerring. And, the whole Stallo thing with the kidnapping of children reminded me of the  tv-series Jordskott and it was one of the reasons why I wanted to read this book. I liked this book, I just didn't love this book and that's because the story would have needed to trim down a bit and making it more flowing. And, it's too bad since I liked finding a Swedish paranormal book about giants.

So, all and all, not a perfect book, but still interesting to read. I do recommend reading it, and not listening to it since you can skim the less interesting parts. 

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