All den luft som omger oss

All den luft som omger oss All the Air That Surrounds Us

All the Air That Surrounds Us is a haunting deep dive into an unsolved murder and the hidden killers behind it: loneliness and alienation. With a vibrating and sensitive prose, Malmquist uncovers the story of Mikael K, a young man whose life was brutally ended in a cave one night in 1991. When Tom finds an old newspaper notice about the murder, he’s instantly pulled back in time to his childhood, and as he starts to investigate what really happened to Mikael K, Tom begins to see parallels to his own life. The case turns into an obsession. Who was Mikael K? And why did he have to die?

All the Air That Surrounds Us is a story of alienation, loneliness, transience, and the year that was 1991.


  • “Malmquist’s prose is supple and full of momentum; it’s realistic and beautiful at the same time. As an author, he is exceedingly skilled at writing captivating and credible dialogue. All the Air That Surrounds Us is an impressive novel by an author that there’s every reason to keep an eye on.”

    BTJ, Sweden

  • “Malmquist’s old newspaper find has been turned into a poignant novel. /…/ An existential page-turner. /…/ [Malmquist’s] narrative style is unadorned and unsentimental, yet noticeably literary. All the Air That Surrounds Us is therefore just as much a novel as it is a memoir or a ‘true crime’ piece; an utterly heart-breaking work about life and death. About death’s brutality when it snatches loved ones from us without our consent, but also the hopeful moments in which we can choose life.”

    Svenska Dagbladet, Sweden

  • “An impressive study of masculinity and violence. /…/ The first half of All the Air That Surrounds Us is set up like a crime novel, and a very suspenseful one at that. /…/ Throughout the whole novel [Tom Malmquist] shows an impressive authority as a writer, and sense for explicit details.”

    Expressen, Sweden

  • “Those who have read Paul Auster will feel a sense of recognition, not only in Malmquist’s investigative approach, but the existential void that suggestively appears between the lines, a void that to me also seems to be the novel’s foremost motif and fuel. /…/ Kafkaesque-spooky.”

    Aftonbladet, Sweden

  • “Another strong novel by Tom Malmquist, where the individual, specific fate is both alien and recognizable at the same time.”

    SVT Kultur, Sweden

  • “Once again, Tom Malmquist displays how much great literary freedom and what possibilities autobiographical writing can accommodate.”

    Sundsvalls tidning, Sweden

  • “Just as in his previous book, [Malmquist] uses himself as a projection surface for so much more than the story outlined on the back cover. [The novel] stirs new thoughts, brings back forgotten insights, and functions as an on-going dialogue about what the hell this thing called Life really is.”

    Kristianstadsbladet, Sweden

  • “It’s the austerity that is Tom Malmquist’s great asset as a narrator.”

    Sydsvenskan, Sweden

  • “Malmquist’s method is more reminiscent of an archaeologist’s than a detective’s. The true driving force is not to catch the killer, but to understand who the man in the cave was. Slowly the image of Mikael K emerges: a postal service clerk whose loneliness is so great it squeezes an ice-cold fist around your heart. /…/ As in [In Every Moment We are Still Alive], it isn’t just the harrowing content of the novel that affects, but the way it is presented, with equal parts authentic clarity and poetic expertise.”

    Tidningen Vi, Sweden

Photo: Viktor Gårdsäter Tom Malmquist
  • Literary
Reading material

Swedish edition

English translation

Rights sold

Czech Republic, Bookmedia

Denmark, C&K Forlag

Estonia, Eesti Raamat

Finland, Schildts & Söderströms

France, Noir Sur Blanc

Italy, NN Editore

Norway, Gyldendal

Portugal, Porto

Serbia, Booka

Sweden, Albert Bonniers

More From Tom Malmquist