Entry updated 25 October 2021. Tagged: Author.
(1971- ) Finnish author (see Finland), largely in the crime mode, much of whose work contains a strong, sardonic sense of the absurdity of mapping a largely American genre onto a parochial Finnish setting, such as Palm Beach Finland (2017 trans David Hackston 2018), in which an entrepreneur turns to illegal methods to establish a seaside utopia. Unlike Reijö Mäki, with whom his work has many similarities in style and tone, Tuomainen has been swept up in the overseas vogue for "Nordic Noir", leading to many of his novels to be translated with impressive speed.
He is of sf interest primarily for Parantaja (2010; trans Lola Rogers as The Healer 2017), set in a Finland beset by Climate Change, with Helsinki's coastline inundated by floodwaters and foreign refugees, government in a state of collapse, and epidemics running wild. The unstoppable, ongoing End of the World, as revealed through the external Disaster, serves as a metaphor of the protagonist's own troubles, as he searches for his missing wife, while tracking a serial killer determined to exact revenge on those deemed responsible for the world's pain. Pikku Siperia (2018; trans David Hackston as Little Siberia 2019), introduces an Extraterrestrial McGuffin to Finnish small-town life, as various parties contend over a valuable meteorite. That its galaxy-spanning journey of billions of years comes to an end by smashing through the roof of a drunken rally-driver's Audi is itself an evocation of Tuomainen's sense of the ludicrous. [JonC]
born Helsinki, Finland: 1971
- Parantaja (Helsinki: Helsinki-kirjat, 2010) [hb/]
- The Healer (London: Vintage, 2014) [trans of the above by Lola Rogers: hb/]
- Palm Beach Finland (Helsinki: Like, 2017) [hb/]
- Palm Beach Finland (London: Orenda, 2018) [trans of the above by David Hackston: pb/]
- Pikku Siperia (Helsinki: Like, 2018) [hb/]
- Little Siberia (London: Orenda, 2019) [trans of the above by David Hackston: pb/]
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