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The Howling Miller

by Arto Paasilinna

This is a fable-like story of Huttunen, an independent man who tries to become accepted by the villagers but just cannot change his ways. Written in an enjoyable, economic and clear style (in spite being a translation of a translation) the author uses black humour to expose and condem officialdom and its many petty rules.

Extract

Eventually, outnumbered and exhausted from strug-
gling, the miller was forced to submit. Portimo snapped
the handcuffs shut on his wrists and the schoolteacher and
the shopkeeper dragged their unfortunate quarry to a cart
and tied him up. The pastor sat on Huttunen’s head while
the horse was harnessed. The miller bit the man of the
cloth in the bottom, but without any unfortunate conse-
quences, at least not for the pastor’s wife.
Translated by Will Hobson from the French translation by Anne Colin du Terrail

Parallels

The Summer Book by Tove Jansson
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
Chocolat by Joanne Harris
 

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