Mamma försökte Mother Tried
We know Jens Lapidus as an author with the ambition to depict general tendencies and motely groups in the Stockholm underworld. In his new collection we are given another side of the story. Here, the author lingers at individual moments, specific memories, and the dense atmosphere of particular scenes. In a dozen short stories we meet the characters from Lapidus’ Stockholm Noir universe, each in their own voice. For the first time, Lapidus introduces some unexpected features, inspired by the classic horror and sci-fi short story. But the voice is the same; the sharp depiction of lies and self-delusions, the authenticity of both tragedy and comedy in this world of large egos, too many weapons and an inexhaustible need for cash.
It is particularly the moral aspect of the various crimes that Jens Lapidus explores in this short story collection. How does a defense attorney justify defending a criminal responsible for such dreadful acts as child abuse or murder? What is life like after ten years in prison and a soiled resume? And how does one as a family member cope with the fact that a brother or a son is behind bars?
“It's not easy to convert crime novel intrigues into short story form. Lapidus succeeds well. With swift and precise brushstrokes and linguistic intensity he catches the characters in highly charged situations or turning points. … There are elements reminiscent of Edgar Allen Poe’s terrifying stories about being buried alive, but there is also an element of the fantastical of the surreal kind that really marks something new in [Lapidus'] stable and reliable authorship.”
“Lapidus uses his understanding of class and other hierarchies with greater nuance here, and with a sharp eye for the silent, brutal struggle of a certain group of people. … The socio-political discourse is the collection's main virtue, as is the rapid sketches of the Swedish justice state's weaknesses, like the brutal and endless pre-trial arrests. But also the storytelling, the monologues from within a wide range of carefully drawn individuals, creates both a direct and detailed collective story from the society around us.”
“[Lapidus] is a master at three things – to depict crime from the criminals' point of view, to dramatize the action with quick cuts between acts and consequences, and to create an external moral gaze that does not feel judgmental.”
“Defense attorney Jens Lapidus knows what he's talking about. It's rare to see ethnically mixed street slang as authentically captured as here.”
“Jens Lapidus' books… manage to step out of the ordinary crime plot and create their own bleak universe. … All in all, Mother Tried is an excellent reading experience, which can certainly be recommended to those who have yet to read Jens Lapidus' books.”
- Jens Lapidus
- Reading material
- Rights sold
Norway, Cappelen Damm
Sweden, Wahlström & Widstrand