A bird dips its beak into a pool of blood in a Barcelona square. An old punk takes a job at an institution for the mentally ill. A family gathers on the Southern coast of Norway to do quizzes at the beach. A man of good intentions has constant erections. A widow finds happiness when moving into a house of her own. A famous painter locks himself up in a castle and refuses to surrender to the police.
The people in Neutral want to get away. Away from their families, away from the world, away from themselves. Through five stories that vary from the bleakest darkness to comedy, from the realistic to the absurd, Bård Torgersen conjures up a strange and distorted picture of our contemporary society.
Praise for Neutral:
“Torgersen is a master at dialogue and at catching the absurd leaps of the human brain…. Neutral may well be a small stroke of genius”
“Torgersen has written a frightening and good book about life as a temporary state…. This is a book that with its original method and idea surpasses most of Norwegian contemporary literature”
Dag og Tid
“A good read has seldom left such a bad aftertaste as Bård Torgersen’s new novel… the book is fuss-free, it is simply remarkably well written… The somewhat absurd everyday dialogue and the many digressions make Torgersen one of the funniest contemporary authors I can imagine”
“Here is a writer who knows what he wants, who dares to do it and who doesn’t shy away from taking risks, where other writers would get stuck in the standardized language of conventional prose … a highly original novel.”
“A novel that digs at least six feet down into the Norwegian soul … a writer of rare caliber … Recommended!”
“At times the text works as sandpaper on the nerves … The different parts end in different ways, and all show different sides of Torgersen’s talent as well as his will to vary, to contradict any expectation the reader might have.”