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Latest Review: The Howling Miller

Our latest review is of Arto Paasilinna’s The Howling Miller, which was recently published by Canongate.

The Howling Miller tells the story of Gunnar Huttunen, a mysterious miller who shows up in the remote northern Finnish province of Lapland and buys and repairs a run-down mill that the locals had all but abandoned. A giant of a man, Gunnar Huttunen suffers from a sort of social cluelessness, of the kind that might be diagnosed as a mild case of Aspergers; he’s outwardly normal, but he doesn’t always understand the social world that surrounds him, and he tends to make earnest and obvious mistakes. Prone to comic imitations of wildlife, especially of wolves, and of the local farmers and their wives, Huttunen’s antics are first welcomed in the small village, until his darker urges, storming off to the woods mid-performance and howling like the most forlorn wolf, for example, began to take over.

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