During the winter of 2008, hunting for termites in an old monastery in Sao Paulo, an exterminator finds something unusual in a wall: the remains of two partially mummified women who must have been there for around two hundred years. The picture of the women reaches all corners of the earth. From this picture, the author has spun a remarkable tale about the life of an exterminator, the tragic fate of two novices, and the events surrounding the discovery of the remains.
More than anything, this is a novel about various kinds of vermin. And about how the survival of the fittest ultimately defeats, excludes and abolishes that or them who do not fit into ideal notions and prevailing systems.
Praise for Vermin:
“Vermin is a wonderfully bizarre novel. It’s completely absurd, yet elegant and well-written. Good writing is, amongst other things, about daring. It’s about challenging the reader. Gøhril Gabrielsen succeeds in this respect…Vermin can be read as a fable, an allegory. The novel is packed with contrasts – between Earth’s tiny organisms and the infinity of space, between the vile, the repulsive, and the otherworldly…Gabrielsen’s language is finely-tuned, lean and playfully lyrical, replete with precise depictions. The sum of these impressions – the excellent language, the outlandish plot – makes Vermin a novel that somehow gets under your skin.”
Five out of six stars, VG
“In Vermin, Gøhril Gabrielsen makes an unusual connection between insect extermination, spirituality and the ascetic life…Gabrielsen’s language is remarkable with its compelling, precise, palpable imagery…the connection between extermination, spiritual life (both base and pure) and asceticism is idiosyncratic and demonstrates clearly, but not too much so, that vermin can assume very different forms, depending on what kind of culture we live in…Vermin leaves the impression of being an intriguing, distinctive and, in addition, exceptionally well-written novel about, along with other issues, the terror of being exterminated.”
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