books > Encircling


336pp B Format deluxe Pbk with flaps
ISBN: 978-1-908745-29-3



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by carl frode tiller

A poised and effective Rashomon-style exploration of multiple psyches. Kirkus

David has lost his memory. A newspaper advert appears asking friends and relatives to share their memories of him.  Three respond: his two closest teenage friends, and his stepfather, now estranged, from his backwater hometown of Namsos. Their reminiscences of teenage nihilism and rebellion, the eroticism and uncertainties of first love, and intense experiments in art and music, are framed by present day scenes of lives run aground on thwarted ambition and intimacy.

Told in letters, interleaved with internal monologues and commentaries, Encircling provides a dark, searingly honest portrait of life at the edges of provincial Norway. Yet for all its apparent bleakness, Tiller’s remarkable opening novel of the Encircling Trilogy pulses with humanity and truth. As each narrative colours and reshapes the last, the enigma that is David continues to intrigue us.


“Drills into human nature with sensibility, painful honesty and accurate prose. A rare talent.” JO NESBO

“Tiller develops and challenges Norwegian realism with a talent that few of his generation can measure up to … the best thing to happen to Norwegian literature in a very long time.”ANE FARSETHÅS, DAGENS NÆRINGSLIV

"Encircling is magnificent … with this novel Carl Frode Tiller steps into the elite of Nordic authors."STEIN ROLL, ADRESSEAVISE

“ This carefully scored polyphony allows Tiller to shift between registers, from the dying Arvid’s touching, but still deluded, meditations on love and mortality to Silje’s Strindberg-style marital rows ... If Encircling delivers vocal virtuosity – carried into English with equal dexterity by Barbara Haveland – it gains most traction from passages of close-focus domesticity. (The character) Jon may sneer at the films of Mike Leigh and Ken Loach, but visitors to Tiller’s Namsos may feel that their spirits hover not too far away”.THE INDEPENDENT

“ A beautiful meditation on the subtler ways we fail each other, our quieter forms of grief. . . . It’s thrilling to know two more books will arrive.”USA TODAY

“ What makes this novel, the first of a trilogy, extraordinary is the suspense: like the best mystery novels, it transforms the reader into an obsessive gumshoe.”THE NEW YORKER

“ Brilliantly structured. . . . Were this book not the first in a trilogy it still would stand powerfully on its own.”NEW YORK JOURNAL OF BOOKS

“ A wholly satisfying story about how unreliable narrators tell tales not just about events, but about our core emotions. A poised and effective Rashomon-style exploration of multiple psyches.”KIRKUS REVIEWS, STARRED REVIEW

Drills into human nature with sensibility, painful honesty and accurate prose. A rare talent.

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