Intimus Intimus

Jan Arnald’s new novel is an intimate story of love and loss, and the interconnectedness of all beings and places. Two motifs in particular – classical music and the belief systems of indigenous peoples – imbue the narrative with a timeless feel, as we follow the two protagonists from their safe middle class lives in Sweden to a shipwreck on an Australian beach, in search of answers, passion and that inner-most essence they lost long ago – their intimus. Jan Arnald superbly integrates themes from the tradition of the romance – exotic locations, exile, reunion and redemption – in this contemporary novel featuring two ordinary people who are struggling to come to terms with their pasts.


  • “An existential twin-thriller.”

    Sydsvenskan, Sweden

  • “Jan Arnald’s Intimus is a novel that will mystify you while also providing insight. It is a clever, tragic and very beautifully narrated story about two people’s inner-most essence, about choosing between good and evil and how these choices determine what direction life takes. /…/ On the book’s cover, Intimus is defined as a psychological thriller and a love story, and [it] certainly succeeds in being both. There is a stimulating, page-turning suspense in piecing together the fragments of Mirra’s and Ferry’s lives… Although it is a dark story, it is bolstered by an intense longing for love, passion and intimacy. /…/ To read Intimus is to go on an extraordinary journey, where one surely doesn’t understand everything, but where one takes great pleasure in the craftsmanship and the story itself.”

    Skånska Dagbladet, Sweden

  • Intimus…dresses the entire story in a thin layer of psychological thrill that is suffocating like a plastic bag over everything that could be sugar sweet in the middle-age-crisis-stricken characters’ faith in that last, trembling sigh of teenage hedonism… Arnald gradually condenses his language with an absolute pitch that creeps into the nerve fibers of the readers and stays there like the irritating remnants of old chewing gum under a tabletop. /…/ Jan Arnald’s prose illustrates the enormous potential of language as power, and as long as the story goes on he owns his readers.”

    Upsala Nya Tidning, Sweden

  • “In [Intimus] we recognize… Arne Dahl’s/Jan Arnald’s literary art, not least the daring mix of styles and genres and the brilliance of the narrative technique.”

    Svenska Dagbladet, Sweden

  • “Arnald’s text affects me in the same way asHaydn’s music. It is balanced and very technically skilled. /…/ But I am also impressed by the inventiveness, the flowing prose and the titanic ambition that meets the reader. /…/ The story of Mirra and Ferry develops into a thriller with a huge surprise in store, but it is also richly post-modernly narrated. /…/ Perhaps, this novel represents a will to transform music’s dizzying flow into language.”

    Dagens Nyheter, Sweden

  • “The foundation is an impossible love story. /…/ In addition, it is suspenseful. Jan Arnald is – despite his academic knowledge – not a dry intellectual, maybe even less now after eleven action-packed crime novels. Intimus is a romantic electrical charge, a dance on a high-voltage power line that crackles with human longing for intimacy. /…/ There are parts of Intimus that generate the vertigo that only skillfully depicted improbabilities can. /…/ Intimus grips you as tightly as any of Arne Dahl’s thrillers, [and] leaves you with an intensive wish that faith, hope and love shall prevail.”

    Expressen, Sweden

  • Intimus is a very complex novel, written with great tenderness and precision. /…/ Intimus is about realizing your inner possibilities, about breaking free of the fatalistic constraints of heritage and environment. About trying to see the world through someone else’s eyes /…/ To observe intimacy with microscopic precision without succumbing to emotional excess is a difficult art, which Arnald commands with excellence.”

    Göteborgs-Posten, Sweden

Photo: Sara Arnald Jan Arnald
  • Literary
Reading material

Swedish edition

German edition

English sample

Rights sold

Denmark, Modtryk

Estonia, Eesti Raamat

Germany, Piper

Sweden, Albert Bonniers

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