The Howling Miller

by Arto Paasilinna | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 9781841959566 Global Overview for this book
Registered by molekilby of Brithdir, Wales United Kingdom on 6/4/2008
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This book is in a Controlled Release! This book is in a Controlled Release!
10 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by molekilby from Brithdir, Wales United Kingdom on Wednesday, June 04, 2008
This was given to me by one of the baristas at the Starbucks (Cardiff Bay) that I frequent on a regular basis. They have asked me to pass on to the next reader. Very easily done.

This tale was bizarre at times and humourous. It also showed how prejuidiced people can be.

Synopsis:

Gunnar Huttunen arrives in North Finland after the war and buys a dilapidated mill. Despite being a decent and hard-working Finn, he is also an outsider and an eccentric: prone to mood swings, black depression, high elation, and a general lack of decorum. He puts on performances at the mill for local children at which he specialises in imitating animals and making fun of the village notables. Already prejudiced against him by his jibes, the villagers reserve most ire for the howling which Huttunen indulges in at night, which the local dogs join in delirious chorus. Passionate and outraged by his treatment at the hands of the villagers, it is not long before the accident-prone miller finds that his situation soon spirals out of control...Paasilinna's riotous book revels in a black, rebellious, deadpan humour. It is also a fable about the eternal struggle between freedom and repressive authority.

Journal Entry 2 by molekilby from Brithdir, Wales United Kingdom on Tuesday, June 10, 2008
I suppose there has to be some rules for this bookray. Try and get the book read and sent to the next person on the list within a month. If this will be a problem (due to life's pressures or too many book rings arriving at once) then let me know I'm sure we can find a solution. Let's try to keep this moving at a regular pace.

Participants (please PM me of you wish to join):

1. Jinglefish (UK)
2. erpax (Finland)
3. Releanna (Austria)
4. okyrhoe (Greece)
5. Supertalya (USA)
6. VeganMedusa (New Zealand)
7. dorng (USA) <------ book is here
8. aetm (Ireland)

Journal Entry 3 by Jinglefish from Woking, Surrey United Kingdom on Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Yay:-) Book has found its way to me safely today. I have one book to finish and will then be right into this. Thanks, molekilby - I'll be sure to journal when finished. (Love your post-it stickies btw).

Journal Entry 4 by Jinglefish from Woking, Surrey United Kingdom on Monday, July 07, 2008
I've found an author I really like in Arto Paasilinna. I read The Hare just prior to receiving this and thoroughly enjoyed that so eagerly ventured into the pages of this and I'm so pleased I did. The book has several layers to it - as mentioned above - prejudice, humour and friendship. I particularly found the humour to my liking although am not too sure what that says about me!

Have PM'd erpax for an address and will move along as soon as I can. Thanks molekilby for providing me with the opportunity of reading this.

Journal Entry 5 by Jinglefish from Woking, Surrey United Kingdom on Thursday, July 10, 2008
Posted to erpax in Finland today by airmail so should hopefully arrive quite quickly.

Journal Entry 6 by wingerpaxwing from Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Thursday, July 17, 2008
Book received safely, Thanks Jinglefish. Will read and journal asap.

Journal Entry 7 by wingerpaxwing from Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Tuesday, July 29, 2008
There were several similarities in this novel when compared to some other Paasilinna’s books, for example Jäniksen vuosi (The Year of the Hare ) and Onnellinen mies. Despite of that I enjoyed this novel and the opportunity of reading it in English. Thanks molekilby!

I will today post The Howling Miller to Releanna.

Journal Entry 8 by wingerpaxwing at on Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Released 11 yrs ago (7/29/2008 UTC) at

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I just wanted to test this "Controlled Release" option.

Journal Entry 9 by Releanna from Wien Bezirk 23 - Liesing, Wien Austria on Thursday, July 31, 2008
just arrived today, thank you, erpax, for sending :)

Journal Entry 10 by Releanna from Wien Bezirk 23 - Liesing, Wien Austria on Sunday, August 10, 2008
this was my first Paasilinna-book and it makes me want to read more by him.

This story is at the same time funny and sad and tells a lot about people's reaction to different minds. A book that makes you think a lot
I really enjoyed reading it. It can now travel on to okyrhoe

Journal Entry 11 by okyrhoe from Athens - Αθήνα, Attica Greece on Saturday, September 06, 2008
Oops! I just realized I forgot to journal promptly. This book arrived around ten days ago. Thanks molekilby for including me in the bookring, and Releanna for posting it to me!

Journal Entry 12 by okyrhoe from Athens - Αθήνα, Attica Greece on Wednesday, September 10, 2008
What an enjoyable read!

I liked how for Huttenen the knowledge found in 'books' is of no use to him: the 4H promotional pamphlets on growing vegetables don't explain the actual process, the scholarly tomes on mental illness fail to identify his particular malaise, the study-by-post business course -despite his best intentions- is utterly wasted on him out there in the wilderness. And ironically, even though he's not much of a Bible reader, JC still 'speaks' to him.

There's always a part of our self that can't/won't accomodate to social conformity, and one readily identifies with anti-heroes like Huttenen. The problem with most stories of this genre is that authors tend to overexaggerate the satire, by making the character suffer to the utmost for his stance against the powers that be. When the worst possible befalls the protagonist, the situations are so extreme or incredible that the reader loses that 'connection' with the anti-hero, and the character is reduced to a pawn in the schematic plot of satirical fiction.
In this tale, The Howling Miller's ordeals are kept within the limits of credibility, the misunderstanding and injustices he encounters are ones we can accept as occuring on a daily basis somewhere if not here. The black humor is indeed funny, yet not so painful to read that we cringe. Huttenen's is a credible personality and our emotional identification with him remains intact to the very end. As I was nearing the last of the book's pages I eagerly wanted to find out whether he would howl his last howl or not....

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Sept 18: On its way to Supertalya.

Journal Entry 13 by Supertalya on Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Thanks, I just received this in the mail.

Update 20 October 2008: I just finished this. I am not sure how I feel about it. I felt the story was quite awkward at times and I am curious if it may have been the translation. The relationships were all interesting to read about. I don't know if I would reccomdend this book to anyone.

Journal Entry 14 by Supertalya at por correo, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Sunday, October 19, 2008

Released 11 yrs ago (10/23/2008 UTC) at por correo, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases

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On its way to VeganMedusa

Journal Entry 15 by VeganMedusa from Invercargill, Southland New Zealand on Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Thanks Supertalya and molekilby (and everyone in between)!

Journal Entry 16 by VeganMedusa from Invercargill, Southland New Zealand on Saturday, December 20, 2008
Two new people for this bookray - aetm and dorng. Will read this in the next month and then send to dorng.

Journal Entry 17 by VeganMedusa from Invercargill, Southland New Zealand on Friday, January 16, 2009
Ready to send on. Not sure how I feel about it. Enjoyed it but I also felt maybe it lost something in translation.

Journal Entry 18 by VeganMedusa from Invercargill, Southland New Zealand on Tuesday, January 20, 2009
On its way to dorng.

Journal Entry 19 by dorng from Austin, Texas USA on Monday, February 23, 2009
Ready to read. Arrived safely.

Journal Entry 20 by aetm from Austin, Texas USA on Thursday, April 09, 2009
My other half, dorng, arrived here with the book today - he didn't have time to finish this book yet, but I will :)
Paasilinna was one of my dad's favorite authors. I haven't read any yet as most were just big books (and in Finnish - something that made me more scared than the book size) but I'm looking forward to reading this now (after finishing the one I'm reading now).

Journal Entry 21 by aetm from Austin, Texas USA on Thursday, April 16, 2009
Enjoyable and nice read (and fast). I was probably expecting something as nailing as Drifting Clouds of Kaurismaki in a literature form - it didn't go as far as that but it was nevertheless fun and different and I think caught something that could have been in the mentality back there back then.
I took the book to the Cork meeting and Micrsosquid wanted to read this - after which I think my inlaws (Farsighted here in BC) will enjoy it too.

Journal Entry 22 by aetm at Cork, Co. Cork Ireland on Thursday, April 16, 2009

Released 10 yrs ago (4/16/2009 UTC) at Cork, Co. Cork Ireland

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For Microsquid now, then to my inlaws.

Journal Entry 23 by microsquid from Cobh, Co. Cork Ireland on Saturday, April 18, 2009
Picked up at the Cork BC meet - the back looked good, so home with me it went!

Journal Entry 24 by aetm at Cork, Co. Cork Ireland on Sunday, July 26, 2009

Released 10 yrs ago (7/27/2009 UTC) at Cork, Co. Cork Ireland

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Sending to Farsighted in mail.

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