Before I Burn

Before I Burn

A Novel

Book - 2013
Average Rating:
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An international literary sensation about an arsonist on the loose in rural Norway and the young man haunted by the story

In 1970s Norway, an arsonist targets a small town for one long, terrifying month. One by one, buildings go up in flames. Suspicion spreads among the neighbors as they wonder if one of their own is responsible. But as the heat and panic rise, new life finds a way to emerge. Amid the chaos, only a day before the last house is set afire, the community comes together for the christening of a young boy named Gaute Heivoll. As he grows up, stories about the time of fear and fire become deeply engrained in his young mind until, as an adult, he begins to retell the story. At the novel's apex the lives of Heivoll's friends and neighbors mix with his own life, and the identity of the arsonist and his motivations are slowly revealed. Based on the true account of Norway's most dramatic arson case, Before I Burn is a powerful, gripping breakout novel from an exceptionally talented author.

Publisher: Minneapolis, Minnesota :, Graywolf Press,, ©2013.
ISBN: 9781555976613
1555976611
Branch Call Number: MYSTERY HEI
Characteristics: 307 pages ; 22 cm.
Additional Contributors: Bartlett, Don - Translator

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bookwormjeph
Feb 09, 2016

Potentially a great story but somehow it didn't come off as gripping as the blurb suggested. It wasn't the intense thriller I was expecting , maybe it was me, maybe something lost in the translation from Norwegian into english. Still an OK read but a little unsatisfying.

Cynthia_N Jun 07, 2014

I found the story itself interesting, a town in Finland that is being burned one building at a time, but I did not enjoy this book. The flow of the story felt awkward to me, perhaps it lost something in the translation process. I thought pulling himself into the story when he was an infant only added to the awkwardness of the flow.

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