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  • Title : The Merman

  • Author:

  • Ranting:

  • ISBN: 1605989126

  • Number of Pages: 232 pages


The Merman Description

Nella and her brother Robert live a difficult life with their mother and father in a small town on the west coast of Sweden Robert is bullied at school, and Nella has to resort to debt and petty crime to pay off his tormentors When she turns to her friend Tommy for help, her suspicions are aroused by the mysterious comings and goings of his brothers at their dilapidated Nella and her brother Robert live a difficult life with their mother and father in a small town on the west coast of Sweden Robert is bullied at school, and Nella has to resort to debt and petty crime to pay off his tormentors When she turns to her friend Tommy for help, her suspicions are aroused by the mysterious comings and goings of his brothers at their dilapidated boat house But when she uncovers the reason behind their enigmatic behavior, her life is opened to the realities of a mindboggling secret.The Merman is a dark and haunting novel about sibling love and betrayal and about what happens when the mundane collides with the strange and beautiful Get A CopyKindle Store Online StoresAudibleBarnes NobleKoboApple iBooksGoogle PlayAbebooksBook DepositoryIndigoHalf.comAlibrisBetter World BooksIndieBoundLibraries Or buy for Hardcover, 232 pages Published December 7th 2015 by Pegasus Books first published 2012 More Details ISBN 1605989126 ISBN13 9781605989129 Other Editions 18 All Editions Add a New Edition Combine Less Detail edit details Friend Reviews To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up Reader QA To ask other readers questions about The Merman, please sign up

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Lists with This Book Judging a Book By Its Cover 152 books 79 voters Jack Daws Condolarthian Roadtrip to Destruction 23 books 1 voter More lists with this book Community Reviews showing 1 30 filter sort default Rating Details 0 copy ratingGraph.clone j rating_details_tip_graph.remove copy.attr id , rating_details_tip_graph copy.find script.remove j rating_details_tip.prepend copy Oct 09, 2015 Heather live on coffee and flowers rated it it was ok Shelves mermaids etc, what, translations, 2016 I just didn t enjoy this one as much as I d hoped I ve seen this shelved as magical realism, but despite the story having a merman, I didn t feel it was magical at all.I didn t like the way every character was connected in some meaningful way to the others For example view spoiler Gerard and Nella s dad Nella s dad and Tommy s brothers Why What was the point of this hide spoiler Besides Nella and Robert, none of the characters were particular fleshed out I didn t feel the friendship I just didn t enjoy this one as much as I d hoped I ve seen this shelved as magical realism, but despite the story having a merman, I didn t feel it was magical at all.I didn t like the way every character was connected in some meaningful way to the others For example view spoiler Gerard and Nella s dad Nella s dad and Tommy s brothers Why What was the point of this hide spoiler Besides Nella and Robert, none of the characters were particular fleshed out I didn t feel the friendship between Nella and Tommy at all.There were graphic descriptions of violence, such as view spoiler a cat being burned alive in a bag and descriptions of injuries done to the merman hide spoiler There were several odd moments that stood out from the story and didn t appear to have a point In one scene a junkie guy is undressing Nella, a fourteen year old girl, with his eyes A few sentences later, he s doing the same to Nella s mom This was just such a strange addition to the scene, especially since this guy barely appears in the story at all Another time, Nella s dad tells several racist jokes in a row I just didn t see why this had to be included.Lastly, the merman I didn t think it actually added anything to the story, except as a convenient way to view spoiler dispatch of Nella s bully at the end hide spoiler.This could have been quite interesting with just a few tweaks Overall, it was a disappointment flag 21 likesLike see review View all 24 comments Oct 15, 2015 Maxine rated it really liked it Nella and her brother Robert live a hard life Their mother is a drunk and their father is in and out of prison Robert is bullied mercilessly at school and Nella has become his protector She commits petty crimes to buy off his tormentors She has become an expert on dealing with bad situations on her own but when she witnesses the school psychopath torture and kill a kitten, he accuses her of tattling on him and demands money than she can steal She asks her friend, Tommy for help His br Nella and her brother Robert live a hard life Their mother is a drunk and their father is in and out of prison Robert is bullied mercilessly at school and Nella has become his protector She commits petty crimes to buy off his tormentors She has become an expert on dealing with bad situations on her own but when she witnesses the school psychopath torture and kill a kitten, he accuses her of tattling on him and demands money than she can steal She asks her friend, Tommy for help His brothers have always got some scheme on the go but they have been secretive than usual lately Tommy shows her the secret, a real live creature that looks like a Merman Suddenly it seems that, if she can save the creature she can save herself and Robert.The Merman by Swedish author Carl Johan Vallgren is a bleak dark tale with very few bright spots and if you asked me why I like it I would have to say I m not sure but I did a lot There s not much that s been written about mermaids, you see Mainly fairy tales with tragic endings.And there is a definite fairy tale quality to this tale although Hans Christian Anderson than Charles Perrault Don t look for a happy ending here although it is a realistic one Nella and her brother might survive and the bad guys might be vanquished but there will be no perfect happily ever after for anyone The story combines the fantastic with the painfully real and somehow Vallgren not only makes it work, he makes it seem right The Merman is a story about family and friendship and what we will do for both It is a fast read and a deceptively simple tale with memorable characters but it packs a wallop It is the kind of story you can read in an afternoon but will stay with you long after you finish the last page.Trigger Warning the killing of the kitten is particularly graphic and disturbing flag 9 likesLike see review Jun 11, 2016 Pinar Celebi rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves own, fiction, nordic lit, magical realism, books read in 2016 Okurken i imi ac tan, can m yakan, sinirlendiren, zen bir kitapt Bu kadar ok hissi bir anda aya a kald ran bir kitap nas l k t olabilir ki zaten ki oturu ta bitirdim bu kitab ve s zde a rdan ald m S rf bitmesin diye Az c k fantastik eler bar nd rsa da i inde b y l ger ek ili e k y s ndan yakla an ama ger ekten b y l bir kitapt Denizadam Son y llarda okudu um en iyi kitaplardan flag 9 likesLike see review Dec 08, 2016 Hande Dilbaz rated it really liked it review of another edition Anne babas taraf ndan ilgisizli e mahkum edilmi ocuklar n hikayesi Yazar, ocuklar n ac lar n b y l ger eklik temas zerinden anlatarak, konuya farkl bir bak a s getirmi Kitap olduk a ak c bir uslupla yaz lm Okurken ilgisiz b rak lm ocuklara i imin ok ac d k s mlar ise olduk a fazlayd.Sevmedi im y n hikaye bir ekilde ilerlerken, kitab n ortas nda pat diye y n de i tirip farkl bir seyler anlatmaya ba l yor Yazar, sonunda t m anlat klar n bir ekilde birle tirmi Anne babas taraf ndan ilgisizli e mahkum edilmi ocuklar n hikayesi Yazar, ocuklar n ac lar n b y l ger eklik temas zerinden anlatarak, konuya farkl bir bak a s getirmi Kitap olduk a ak c bir uslupla yaz lm Okurken ilgisiz b rak lm ocuklara i imin ok ac d k s mlar ise olduk a fazlayd.Sevmedi im y n hikaye bir ekilde ilerlerken, kitab n ortas nda pat diye y n de i tirip farkl bir seyler anlatmaya ba l yor Yazar, sonunda t m anlat klar n bir ekilde birle tirmi birle tirmesine ama bana g re a k kalm k s mlar vard 3.5 dan 4 flag 5 likesLike see review View 2 comments Sep 17, 2015 Rebecka rated it liked it review of another edition Shelves read_in_norwegian bokm l, scandinavian lit This reads a bit like a children s book, yet it s far too sinister to be just that I think A bit heavy on the mental and physical torture, I d say For children.And what s the lesson learnt from this Kill sadistic boys straight away Don t let them grow up And just how shitty are the authorities in this book If you want to read something frustrating and sad, this is a brilliant choice flag 5 likesLike see review Jan 10, 2017 Leylak Dal rated it it was amazing review of another edition H z nl bir yk , yer yer fantastik geler kat larak b y l bir dille anlat lm Yazar n okudu um ikinci kitab , birinciyi ok sevmi tim, bunu daha da ok sevdim flag 4 likesLike see review Apr 27, 2017 Levent rated it it was amazing review of another edition Ba lar ba lamaz zd , can m yakt ve bo az mda d m olu turarak da bitti Ayn zamanda iki karde in kar s na kan k t insanlardan da nefret ettim.B t n duygular ayn anda ya att , zellikle h z n duygusundan bir s re daha kurtulabilece imi sanm yorum ahane bir kitapt Herkes okumal flag 7 likesLike see review Sep 28, 2013 Celine rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves young adult, paranormal, contemporary A dark and bleak story of abuse, love between siblings, and the dark side of human nature The Merman is the story of Nella, a fifteen year old girl, whose parents are drunks Her father is in prison, and her mother drinks every single penny they have away She has to care for her younger brother who gets bullied severely in school.The beginning of The Merman is extremely heavy There is severe bullying, and absolutely disgusting animal abuse which is witnessed by the main character, she s not t A dark and bleak story of abuse, love between siblings, and the dark side of human nature The Merman is the story of Nella, a fifteen year old girl, whose parents are drunks Her father is in prison, and her mother drinks every single penny they have away She has to care for her younger brother who gets bullied severely in school.The beginning of The Merman is extremely heavy There is severe bullying, and absolutely disgusting animal abuse which is witnessed by the main character, she s not the one doing it Especially the animal abuse was too much for me They put a kitten on fire in very graphic detail It went on for pages, and I skipped several of them, disgusted After this I put the book down for weeks, not having the stomach to read on Luckily it gets better after that, and there are barely any scenes as dark as that one.This book manages to pull off being a book about abuse and bullying and being an outsider on the one hand, and having a supernatural on the other I won t say much about the creature that lends this book its title as not to spoil anything, but I think the combination of the ordinary and the other worked very well in The Merman It s a strange book, but a good one.Mr Vallgren has a clean, to the point writing style that I enjoyed After reading hundreds of books I ve come to the point where I m realising that I don t like my prose to have endless detours skirting around the goal, I want it to say what it means It was barely noticeable that this is a translation from Swedish, except for some words that stuck out for me Especially the continuous use of the word lad seemed a bit strange The Merman is painfully honest and open about crazy people, and therefore I wouldn t recommend it to young teens It displays, yet never judges or preaches It doesn t get wrapped up in a neat little bow, but has a realistic yet satisfying ending flag 3 likesLike see review Sep 07, 2015 Kelly rated it liked it Shelves reviewed, read in 2015 Fairy tales with tragic endings Full disclosure I received a free electronic ARC for review through Edelweiss Trigger warning for violence, including bullying, sexual violence, and animal abuse, as well as offensive language There is no beginning, and no ending I know that now For others, perhaps, there are stories that lead somewhere, but not for me It s like they go round in circles, and sometimes not even that they just stand still in one place And I wonder what are you supposed Fairy tales with tragic endings Full disclosure I received a free electronic ARC for review through Edelweiss Trigger warning for violence, including bullying, sexual violence, and animal abuse, as well as offensive language There is no beginning, and no ending I know that now For others, perhaps, there are stories that lead somewhere, but not for me It s like they go round in circles, and sometimes not even that they just stand still in one place And I wonder what are you supposed to do with a story that repeats itself There s not much that s been written about mermaids, you see Mainly fairy tales with tragic endings Petronella s life is a lot like a fairy tale Not the ending, when the lowly peasant girl has found her prince, the heroine has slayed the dragon, and everyone is free to live happily ever after for the rest of their days Rather, Nella is the beginning the nightmare that comes before the daydream The raw truth that lurks under the Disneyfied facade, fangs and claws bared.Nella s is a family of three, occasionally four She and her younger brother Robert live with their mother Marika in a maisonette apartment on Liljev gen in Falkenberg, Sweden her housing is largely regarded as a sort of slum where social service cases live An unemployed alcoholic, Marika is a neglectful mother at best Her mom is likely to spend the family s public assistance funds on booze than food, forcing Nella into shoplifting to make up the difference Sometimes the free lunch at school is the only meal Nella and Robert will see in a day oftentimes it s the one and only reason they bother to show up at all That, and to get out of the house no matter how much Nella tidies up, it s not long before hurricane Marika sweeps through, leaving mess of dishes and vomit in her wake Dad s even worse, with an erratic disposition, sketchy friends, criminal endeavors, and his own addictions Lucky for Nella and Robert, Jonas has been away for most of the past year, serving time for possession of narcotics The bad news he s set to be released in a matter of weeks As if Nella doesn t have her hands full with managing the household, there s also Robert to worry about Whereas the kids at school mostly just shun Nella, pretending that the stick thin girl with dirty clothes and unwashed hair doesn t exist, Robert is the target of vicious and unrelenting bullying Robert has a learning disorder that was only exacerbated by problems with his vision, which long went undiagnosed Now he wears coke bottle glasses that have been broken and taped back together who knows how many times , and tends to wet his pants when scared Which is often the kids call him names, break his few possessions, spit on him, and nail him with snowballs Yet as cruel as his own peers can be, their bullying is downright quaint next to the treatment Robert receives from Nella s classmates When the Ninth Year psychopath Gerard becomes convinced that Nella snitched on him for dousing a kitten in petrol and lighting her on fire, he decides to make her pay through Robert Gerard and his trailers drag Robert into the woods behind school, shoving grass into his mouth and pine needles down his pants When Nella tries to intervene, they sexually assault her with a pine cone She attempts to pay Gerard off with a thousand kronar, but all attempts at buying peace predictably backfire he s simply having too much fun tormenting Nella to stop Already suspicious of adults one of Nella and Robert s greatest fears is being separated by social services going to the authorities is out of the question even some of the adults are terrified of Gerard.Nella turns to her friend Tommy for help, but he s got his own secrets Lately he s been preoccupied, guarded, and mysteriously absent from school When Nella decides to tail him and find out why, she stumbles upon a creature that shouldn t exist a merman, kept drugged and chained in Tommy s family s fishing hut He s in a bad way, and not just because of the initial trauma of being caught in a trawling net and hauled onto the boat with a fishing hook his injuries are extensive and varied Clearly someone many someones have been abusing him, repeatedly The two teenagers must race against the clock and the baser instincts of humankind to save him The Merman is not an easy read It s grim, violent, and depressing, with an ending that s neither happy nor satisfying While I didn t expect everything to come up roses how can it when your mom s an alcoholic and your dad s an abusive drug trafficker I was hoping for a marginally better outcome For all the violence the audience is forced to witness, I feel like we deserve a bigger payoff What we get is perhaps realistic, but unbearably bleak.The narrative is confused and jumbled in places Several times I had to go back and reread certain passages, though this didn t always help me sort things out It s difficult to tell if this is an issue inherent in the original text, or if it arose in the English translation Either way, the book could definitely use another round of editing, especially copyediting The text is rife with missing and incorrect punctuation missing periods, or commas where there should be periods, resulting in a mess on run on sentences Quotation marks are single, not double, and not all of the pairs are complete, making it especially difficult to follow conversations between characters Even names seem to change the Professor is alternately referred to as Lazlo and Lazio I checked Wikipedia, but the latter doesn t seem to a derivative of the former To be fair, I read an ARC hopefully most if not all of these issues will be fixed in the finished copy I deducted a star each for the ending and many errors which I normally disregard in ARCs, but were so extensive here that they couldn t be ignored That said, I did enjoy the story overall I read it in one day, which is unusual for me Despite the frustrations, I was captivated by the intertwined plights of Nella and the merman For Nella, the merman offered a chance to redeem herself while she was unable to do anything to help the poor kitten she even tried to turn her back on the whole scene I did not want to become a witness to something I would be sorry for she might have a shot at rescuing the merman from his abusers and releasing him back into the sea And though it may cost Nella her life the men holding the merman captive are not people to be trifled with she s unwilling to stand by and watch as another act of violence unfolds Like her classmates did, when Gerard and his cronies kidnapped Robert into the darkness of the forest In The Merman, we see how various forms of violence are intertwined, how they feed into and influence one another When Robert her sweet little brother declares that he d like to toss Gerard down a well and subject him to all the indignities Gerard visited upon him, Nella is shocked she d never before seen her brother lust for revenge Gerard s murder of the kitten wasn t the first time he harmed an animal of the human or nonhuman variety , nor would it be his last his violence simply continues to escalate, unchecked.Jonas s father beat him, and he went on to mistreat his own children, his wife and the merman Nella recounts one of her father s old jobs, down at the mink farm, and how employment kept him sobermostly On skinning day, everyone got shit faced to endure the blood and the smell of flayed animal carcasses And fear, which Nella senses as she crosses the killing room floor, littered with hundreds of mink paws.I found it especially poignant that the merman s suffering takes place against the backdrop of so much animal exploitation and abuse first in the brothers fishing hut, and later at the mink farm I couldn t comprehend where all that hate came from, the desire to harm him He was totally defenceless But maybe that s exactly what attracted them The knowledge that there wouldn t be any consequences Violence begets violence begets violence flag 2 likesLike see review May 17, 2012 John Hatley rated it it was amazing review of another edition This is a remarkable and surprising book To those of you who don t read Swedish, I recommend waiting until it has been translated into a language you do read The wait will be worth it flag 2 likesLike see review Feb 03, 2016 Maria T Peycke rated it it was amazing The Merman by Carl Johan Vallgren is by no means a gentle story It is wonderfully written, yet brutal and stark, leaving you simultaneously attempting to avert your eyes and continue reading at the same time There are some disturbing events, brilliantly executed, that will have you wishing you could put the book down, yet finding yourself powerless to do so.This is a well written story of deep love, selflessness and perseverance n the face of great adversity Young Petronella and her very depe The Merman by Carl Johan Vallgren is by no means a gentle story It is wonderfully written, yet brutal and stark, leaving you simultaneously attempting to avert your eyes and continue reading at the same time There are some disturbing events, brilliantly executed, that will have you wishing you could put the book down, yet finding yourself powerless to do so.This is a well written story of deep love, selflessness and perseverance n the face of great adversity Young Petronella and her very dependent brother, Robert, are brutalized at school by bullies and have no safe place to rest Home is a chaotic mess with a drunken mother and absent father They are their only refuge, carefully keeping their own council out of necessity and fear.To say they are brutalized is putting it mildly These bullies are a negative force in the extreme, abusing animals, assaulting authority figures and the weak alike They have no regard or respect for anyone or anything After reading of their heinous acts, I found that even I was intimidated by them, through the pages of this gripping tale Enter, the Merman, another victim of this harsh and cruel world Caught up in a net and hauled aboard a ship he fights against his captors but is unsuccessful and finds himself kept prisoner by these same men who pulled him from the icy depths These men spend their time fishing, engaging in illegal activities and abusing this odd creature They are as brutal as the bullies Petronella encounters in school and these groups actually overlap into each other although they are of vastly differing ages Water finds its own level, as Grandpa used to say These scenes of brutality were extremely difficult for me to read, yet I cannot say they were unnecessary in the telling of the tale There was no gratuitous violence to be found, although I have to say again, it was not easy to take Personally I abhor violence and avoid it in film mostly, as it s hard to watch The descriptions presented by the author were all too easy to imagine in my mind and normally it would force me to put a book aside, but in this case it did not I was fascinated by the plight of these two young people and desperately hoped that they would survive to find a better life for themselves Eventually Petronella finds the Merman and sets out to save him Perhaps it is her inability to save herself and her brother that prompts her to attempt this all but impossible task This fact is striking This poor girl has no ability to do anything to control her own life, but despite her own trials, she feels such empathy with this creature that she risks everything to save him Their lives run in a parallel and because of that she finds she cannot turn away The story of Petronella, Robert and the Merman are one in the same With an oddly fairytale like quality, this story will transport you into a dark and dangerous world Despite my difficulty with this level of despair, I was able to enjoy this story and find hope in the love, caring and bravery displayed by these three main characters They retained their dignity despite all they had endured Through it all, that made me smile I received a complimentary copy by the publisher for my unbiased review flag 3 likesLike see review Apr 26, 2015 Kippy Gascoigne rated it it was amazing review of another edition One of the best books I ve ever read A pleasant jolly story for the family to enjoy wot flag 1 likeLike see review View all 3 comments Feb 13, 2016 Angello Adrien rated it it was amazing That was such a good book flag 1 likeLike see review Jul 04, 2017 Emily rated it liked it Shelves lit fiction This was hard to get into A girl and her brother have a shitty life, with parents who don t care, no money, and bullies who pick on them and are increasingly dangerous The pure horribleness of their lives almost strains credibility It isn t until very late in the book around 40% that we get to meet the merman, and he plays a relatively minor role in the story, which was disappointing to me I wanted badly for an ending even a depressing one to pull everything together and make it absolute This was hard to get into A girl and her brother have a shitty life, with parents who don t care, no money, and bullies who pick on them and are increasingly dangerous The pure horribleness of their lives almost strains credibility It isn t until very late in the book around 40% that we get to meet the merman, and he plays a relatively minor role in the story, which was disappointing to me I wanted badly for an ending even a depressing one to pull everything together and make it absolutely necessary that the creature is a merman, but the story s conclusion frankly felt like a cop out Nella might have had to make a really hard decision and live with what that means about her, but she is spared that And no one lives happily aver after flag Like see review Mar 17, 2017 enay izne ayr ld rated it really liked it review of another edition konu g zel, olaylar n ge ti i muhitler g zel, dram g zel ama yine de kitapta bir eksiklik var, daha iyi olabilirdi dedirtiyor okunabilir flag Like see review Nov 22, 2013 Elizabeth Harrison rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves young adult, thriller, wow, make this into a film please This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here Wow Just Wow Brace yourselves for The Merman because it is a dark read that pulls no punches It s YA but definitely skewing higher, as it has extreme violence and torture scenes In fact, there is a scene very early on involving a kitten that made me feel ill So Be warned.Set in 80 s Sweden, The Merman is told from the perspective of Nella, a 16 year old girl from a highly dysfunctional family Dad in jail, Mum a useless drunk who trashes her daughter s room looking to steal booze money Ne Wow Just Wow Brace yourselves for The Merman because it is a dark read that pulls no punches It s YA but definitely skewing higher, as it has extreme violence and torture scenes In fact, there is a scene very early on involving a kitten that made me feel ill So Be warned.Set in 80 s Sweden, The Merman is told from the perspective of Nella, a 16 year old girl from a highly dysfunctional family Dad in jail, Mum a useless drunk who trashes her daughter s room looking to steal booze money Nella is fully responsible for her brother Robert, who is developmentally challenged, extremely short sighted and far too naive He suffers terribly at school, where the well meaning teachers are no help at all They have no money for food and are frequently bullied by the local kids Nella s only friends are local boy Tommy, from a local fishing family and The Professor, a kindly man who worked in the local library but was badly injured in a car accident.Nella is soon in the crosshairs of the local psycho bully, Gerard, and he subjects her and Robert to graphic, violent abuse, toying with them like a cat for his own pleasure He blames her for ratting him out for his aforementioned attack on the kitten She didn t report him, but he doesn t care, he enjoys causing her and her brother pain.When her friend Tommy grows distant, Nella investigates, following him to his brother s shed at the docks where she makes a mind blowing discovery A Merman Timmy s brothers, whilst on a smuggling run, found this creature and have locked it away, not quite sure what to do They beat and torture the poor creature inviting their smuggling partners to join in and Nella and Tommy make it their mission to try and save him They spirit him away to an abandoned cottage with a flooded basement, where they learn the healing power of water is what the Merman needs the most, as well as plenty of fish guts Gradually a bond forms between the injured Merman and the two teens, particularly Nella, and he grows stronger under their care, communicating with them in a magical, almost telepathic way He comforts the outsider Nella, shows her his pain at existing in her confusing, painful world, which she understands Despite not being the same species or speaking the same language, he brings her peace and a sense of belonging Nella and Tommy soon learn that the evil Gerard who has been expelled from school, has insinuated himself into the smuggling ring Tommy s brothers are part of, and knows of the Merman s existence When Nella and Tommy hide the Merman, Gerard suspects Ironing Board s involvement and he kidnaps Robert as punishment This leads a to climatic scene at the abandoned cottage, where The Merman uses his telepathic powers to bait Gerard and his cronies into a fight Gerard and the Merman perish in the resulting attack, but Robert and Nella escape what was almost certain death The ending isn t wholly happy Nella s Dad is in the wind and her Mum gives them up to the State, whereupon they are sent to separate foster homes But at least there is hope for them there, they have food and clean beds and clothes and people who at least care about their well being And Nella resolves to get Robert back the minute she is old enough to care for him legally.The Merman is a dark, violent but gripping read The characters are believable and Nella is captivating as a damaged but resourceful girl full of love It s different to a lot of YA Paranormal books as the paranormal element is incidental, it just serves as a catalyst for the violent and heart breaking action Read it You will not be sorry flag Like see review Jul 09, 2014 Catherine rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves own In saying that Nella and Robert have a difficult life the summary is actually understating the problems of their day to day existence Robert struggles to learn, in part at least because his poor vision was not diagnosed until he had been at school for some time and he has yet to catch up There is little enough money for clothes or food, let alone glasses or the cream he needs to treat his painful eczema, because their feckless mother is an alcoholic The one mercy at the start of the book is In saying that Nella and Robert have a difficult life the summary is actually understating the problems of their day to day existence Robert struggles to learn, in part at least because his poor vision was not diagnosed until he had been at school for some time and he has yet to catch up There is little enough money for clothes or food, let alone glasses or the cream he needs to treat his painful eczema, because their feckless mother is an alcoholic The one mercy at the start of the book is that their violent and unpredictable father is not around he s in prison It is Nella who makes sure they are fed, clothed and kept under the radar of the authorities who might remove them to separate foster homes.But Gerard, the nastiest of the school bullies, believes that Nella has grassed about an horrific piece of animal cruelty and first attacks Robert, then insists she pays to prevent him continuing Nella turns to her friend, Tommy, but he has been absent from school for a while and is reluctant to see her She goes to find him and discovers the creature that his brothers have pulled out of the sea and are keeping injured and imprisoned for reasons far mundane that not knowing what to do with it, him When her father returns unexpectedly, he too becomes involved in the situation and the circle of people affected by Gerard s psychopathic behaviour widens.The role of the merman in the story is odd He is a wonderfully described creature, powerful even in his captivity, but he is an intriguing distraction from or addition to Nella s worries for most of the book, rather playing a role in the problems she is having at home or with Gerard It is only at the very end that his actions have a significant impact And no, I m not saying what he does no spoilers except to note that some things are sorted but other problems remain Things for Nella and Robert are better in many ways, but it is not a saccharine happy ever after ending.This is not a book for the faint hearted, the squeamish or animal lovers Some of the publicity compares it to Neil Gaiman s The Ocean at the End of the Lane, but I d put the feel closer to one of Iain Banks not quite sci fi novels Transition perhaps not least because of the graphic descriptions of neglect, violence and cruelty It is not the magic of the merman, but Nella s pragmatic care for him, for her friends and, above all, for her brother that provides hope and redeems a story that, on the surface, is extremely bleak So, while I m not sure it s appropriate to say I enjoyed it, it was gripping and powerful and therefore hard to put down flag Like see review May 09, 2016 Jennifer Shelby rated it really liked it Shelves plan on re reading, fairy folk, mature adult, adult fantasy The Merman is a dark story, in the nature of the darkest early fairy tales It is a story meant to frighten, to horrify, and to make the reader see the world in a different way This is not a book for children or for someone seeking a happy ending The subject matter is difficult animals are cruelly disposed of, children are abused and bullied, and the fear of the unknown leads to violence You should know this before you consider reading this book One of the most difficult scenes happe The Merman is a dark story, in the nature of the darkest early fairy tales It is a story meant to frighten, to horrify, and to make the reader see the world in a different way This is not a book for children or for someone seeking a happy ending The subject matter is difficult animals are cruelly disposed of, children are abused and bullied, and the fear of the unknown leads to violence You should know this before you consider reading this book One of the most difficult scenes happens in the first twenty pages of my edition Cat lovers be warned.I liked this story, despite a strong aversion to the above mentioned aspects I was drawn to Nella and her troubles Vallgren has set the reader to view the reader in much the same way as the merman must see her, a tragic figure struggling to know and do what is best for everyone but herself She is cast in the role of protector over and over again without any tools, and in her struggle Vallgren builds his story The character of the Professor is unusual He feels both like an absent parent and a creepy friend It is almost as though he was a plot device that was never fully formed or someone thrown in to the story after it was finished to fill a few holes He fascinates me, but he also mangles the flow of the story Perhaps he would read better in the original language of the novel The Merman was first published in Swedish, translated by Ellen Flynn in 2013 , I do not know, but for this reason I removed one star from my review The Merman is a fascinating retelling of The Little Mermaid with a wicked twist and gender swap Vallgren has updated the story with modern characters and greater realism Despite the abuse the merman suffers, he somehow emerges with dignity and purpose than the Little Mermaid All romance has been abandoned, and perhaps it shouldn t work, but it does If you think you can handle it, you should read this book it will lead you through the darkest corners of human nature and leave you filled with wonder flag Like see review Feb 08, 2013 Annelie Stupalo rated it it was amazing review of another edition En m rk och tung ber ttelse d r de v rsta f rest llningarna om skolmobbning och trakasserier f r ord Nella r storasystern som g r allt f r att beskydda och vaka ver sin bror Robert Det r bygdens r t gg Gerard som med sitt f lje ger sig p Robert p de mest vederv rdiga s tt De fr nvarande f r ldrarna g r n stan mer nytta n r de h ller sig undan eller sitter inl sta D blir det tminstone lugnt i radhuset och Nella kan ha koll p Robert En av Nellas f v nner, Tommy, brukar f lja med sina En m rk och tung ber ttelse d r de v rsta f rest llningarna om skolmobbning och trakasserier f r ord Nella r storasystern som g r allt f r att beskydda och vaka ver sin bror Robert Det r bygdens r t gg Gerard som med sitt f lje ger sig p Robert p de mest vederv rdiga s tt De fr nvarande f r ldrarna g r n stan mer nytta n r de h ller sig undan eller sitter inl sta D blir det tminstone lugnt i radhuset och Nella kan ha koll p Robert En av Nellas f v nner, Tommy, brukar f lja med sina br der ut med fiskeb ten Det visar sig efter en fisketur att de f tt n got h gst ovanligt i f ngsten Havsmannen r n got som liknar en manlig sj jungfru en merman Tommys br der ser f ngsten som en chans att tj na en hacka, men framf rallt en m jlighet att ta ut aggressioner och ge utlopp f r det onda och barbariska som bultar p insidan ibland F r Nella r ist llet havsmannen kraft och styrka av en helt annan sort Kanske den sort som kan hj lpa henne i den oj mna kampen mot bygdens pl goande Vallgren har verkligen f tt till den realistiska beskrivningen av barn och ungdoms ren d r vuxenheten har klivit tillbaka och l mnat utrymme t de m rka krafter som koncentreras i Gerard Man kan i periferin ana hur de vuxna i skolan g r vissa f rs k att tta initiativet men de st r ensamma i den kampen d de saknar barnens f rtroende s v l som f r ldrarnas Den socialrealistiska skildringen av Nellas och Roberts hemf rh llanden blir en skarp kontrast till det mytiska v sen som fastnat i fisken tet Men det r den urstarka goda kraften i havsmannen som g r att man orkar l sa i den tunga ber ttelsen flag Like see review View 1 comment Sep 11, 2016 Beth rated it it was amazing Shelves fantasy I ve never read anything by Carl Johan Vallgren, so when the reviews from this book crossed my desk, I thought, why not I enjoy reading fantasy, especially when reality gets to be a bit much And I picked this book up and could not set it aside From the opening paragraph I was drawn into the world of reality and fantasy that Vallgren has carefully crafted to make the fantastical seem plausible The fantastical in this case is a merman The reality is a society where children are taking care of I ve never read anything by Carl Johan Vallgren, so when the reviews from this book crossed my desk, I thought, why not I enjoy reading fantasy, especially when reality gets to be a bit much And I picked this book up and could not set it aside From the opening paragraph I was drawn into the world of reality and fantasy that Vallgren has carefully crafted to make the fantastical seem plausible The fantastical in this case is a merman The reality is a society where children are taking care of themselves, parents are taking care of themselves not their children , society is trying to take care of everything that falls through the cracks so nothing is taken care of and evil is present in anyone human, regardless of age Some of the imagery presented here is so graphic, that its hard to read, but it is nothing that we don t see or read in the news Still I skipped over some paragraphs because I could not stand to read about details of the cruelty that characters in the novel inflicted on one another The pace of this book is swift the writing style approachable and clear which, considering the subject matter, is all to the good You are dropped into a world that is all too real, and within a short time, a world where reality and fantasy collide Only this time children aren t being led astray by a witch to a candy house The face of evil is very familiar to us and even the fantastical creatures are not safe from it flag Like see review Dec 28, 2015 Patricia rated it really liked it A very unusual book and not meant for readers who do not like some mythology or to be suspended from reality Overall, this is a very sad and tragic story about two teenage siblings Petronella Nella or Ironing Board who is fifteen and her brother, Robert, twelve The siblings live with their drunk mother, Marika, and their father has just been released from prison Both parents are irresponsible adults Nella and Robert are bullied and taunted by many of their school peers A particularly toug A very unusual book and not meant for readers who do not like some mythology or to be suspended from reality Overall, this is a very sad and tragic story about two teenage siblings Petronella Nella or Ironing Board who is fifteen and her brother, Robert, twelve The siblings live with their drunk mother, Marika, and their father has just been released from prison Both parents are irresponsible adults Nella and Robert are bullied and taunted by many of their school peers A particularly tough group of boys, ring leader Gerard, and his two thugs Ola and Peder, are very hard on Robert and demand bribes of money from Nella, whom they call Ironing Board Nella witnesses the boys lighting a kitten on fire and they believe she told school authorities To remain safe she must pay Gerard.A friend of Nella, Tommy and his adult brothers earn their living by fishing but also illegal importation of cigarettes One night they catch a Merman which they hide and physically abuse Tommy and Nella try to save the Merman.At the heart of this story is neglect, abuse and bullying The parallel of the Merman s torture and abuse and the lives of Nella and Robert trapped between negligent parents and bullying peers is very sad I found the writing to be very beautiful and I was fully engrossed in this story and tale It reminded me a bit of Neil Gaiman s prose and stories flag Like see review Apr 08, 2016 Adele rated it did not like it This book was really bad, but its badness was insidious vocabulary word I only finished it because it started ok and just bad in that way that makes you think a book will get better once it gets going, but it never got better Instead it got worse and worse very gradually until by the time it dropped from two stars to one I only had about thirty pages left and figured I may as well finish it The writing was bad or maybe the cultural expectations are different or maybe I read a bad translati This book was really bad, but its badness was insidious vocabulary word I only finished it because it started ok and just bad in that way that makes you think a book will get better once it gets going, but it never got better Instead it got worse and worse very gradually until by the time it dropped from two stars to one I only had about thirty pages left and figured I may as well finish it The writing was bad or maybe the cultural expectations are different or maybe I read a bad translation Possibly all three Who knows The dialog consisted almost entirely of things no real person would ever say Events were sort of told chronologically except when they randomly skipped forward or flashed back for no purpose or reason whatsoever The plot is one ridiculous coincidence after another all the way through There are no likable characters and the bad guys aren t even scary even though apparently all adults including the police are terrified of the main psychopathic teenage boy I could go on and on, but I ve already wasted way too much time on this book flag Like see review May 25, 2016 saizine rated it really liked it An odd book, and one which I thought I wasn t going to be as enad with as I actually am The opening setup felt over the top and a little forced although I don t want to denigrate the situation it presents as impossible or, alas, that uncommon , though around the 100 page mark the merman was introduced And wow, can I just say, this is the best merging of horror, surrealism and the fantastic I think I ve read Folks, this isn t a merman as you d like to imagine him That coupled with the me An odd book, and one which I thought I wasn t going to be as enad with as I actually am The opening setup felt over the top and a little forced although I don t want to denigrate the situation it presents as impossible or, alas, that uncommon , though around the 100 page mark the merman was introduced And wow, can I just say, this is the best merging of horror, surrealism and the fantastic I think I ve read Folks, this isn t a merman as you d like to imagine him That coupled with the merciless violence, animal abuse, sadistic tendencies and perhaps most terrifying of all the general tendency towards apathy makes for a bleak and troubling book, although not in ways which would warrant lower star ratings Definitely try this one out if you can stomach the violence which has been extensively discussed in other reviews and find alternate tellings of well trodden mythologies compelling flag Like see review Aug 27, 2013 Reese rated it liked it review of another edition The Merman is a bleak tale, set in a bleak Swedish town, about children with a bleak reality That being said, this novel is page turning and poignant Vallgren s writing style is clipped, gritty, engaging, and glaringly realistic as he details the travails of outcast Nella, and her brother Robert as they make do with the hand that s been dealt to them There is neglect, alcoholism, a vicious bully, crime and the odd mythical creature thrown in.It s schoolyard Stieg Larsson meets Stephen King.Th The Merman is a bleak tale, set in a bleak Swedish town, about children with a bleak reality That being said, this novel is page turning and poignant Vallgren s writing style is clipped, gritty, engaging, and glaringly realistic as he details the travails of outcast Nella, and her brother Robert as they make do with the hand that s been dealt to them There is neglect, alcoholism, a vicious bully, crime and the odd mythical creature thrown in.It s schoolyard Stieg Larsson meets Stephen King.Throwing the usual jumble of vampires and wolves to the wind, the author introduces, of all things, a merman, with a welcome blend of fantasy with reality As the story progresses, the merman proves to be a helpful and unselfish sentinel in their world, enabling the children s lives to change for the better.This unexpectedly original novel details the triumph of the human spirit under adversity, and showcases that blood is thicker than water even with a merman swimming in it flag Like see review Jan 15, 2015 Val rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves world extra Another good novel from Sweden.Nella and Robert have a rotten life, so Nella tells her brother fairy tales to help him through it She tells him that he is as smart as anyone else and she tells him that things will get better eventually, even though they get worse first Then something happens which belongs in a fairy tale.There is a graphic scene early in the book to let the reader know that the story is grim than Grimm There is no magical fairytale ending, where everyone lives happily ev Another good novel from Sweden.Nella and Robert have a rotten life, so Nella tells her brother fairy tales to help him through it She tells him that he is as smart as anyone else and she tells him that things will get better eventually, even though they get worse first Then something happens which belongs in a fairy tale.There is a graphic scene early in the book to let the reader know that the story is grim than Grimm There is no magical fairytale ending, where everyone lives happily ever after Everything Nella fears and has been trying to avoid all through the book may not be the worst things that could happen from an outsider s point of view however.The author is talented and imaginative the book is very well written It is not a comfortable read flag Like see review Jul 11, 2016 Pat rated it it was amazing Shelves thriller, fiction This is a rather strange work of fiction I do not know if it was meant to be a fairy tale, a dark children s book, or a bleak exploration into the sufferings of the poorly treated children of alcoholic parents, a murderous psychopath masquerading as the school bully, and a mysterious, mythical sea creature The book is not for everyone It is certainly not for the feint of heart or for those who cry oh this book is too depressing if the story is about real life instead of love stories and hap This is a rather strange work of fiction I do not know if it was meant to be a fairy tale, a dark children s book, or a bleak exploration into the sufferings of the poorly treated children of alcoholic parents, a murderous psychopath masquerading as the school bully, and a mysterious, mythical sea creature The book is not for everyone It is certainly not for the feint of heart or for those who cry oh this book is too depressing if the story is about real life instead of love stories and happy endings I found it to be a powerful, ominous, thrilling piece and absolutely could not put it down flag Like see review Jan 04, 2016 Brenda rated it really liked it Shelves fiction, fantasy, suspense Solid story telling, vivid characters and a level of intensity that would not relent There are scenes in this book that sensitive readers might find disturbing involving bullying and abuse of children and one graphic situation involving severe animal abuse But nothing I couldn t handle, personally The beginning is the roughest part, and if you can handle it, this little book is a good one, worthy of your time.The ending was inevitable, but satisfying I was impressed with the suspense and int Solid story telling, vivid characters and a level of intensity that would not relent There are scenes in this book that sensitive readers might find disturbing involving bullying and abuse of children and one graphic situation involving severe animal abuse But nothing I couldn t handle, personally The beginning is the roughest part, and if you can handle it, this little book is a good one, worthy of your time.The ending was inevitable, but satisfying I was impressed with the suspense and intensity I found myself holding my breath and reading as quickly as I could through some of the scenes flag Like see review Jan 20, 2016 Jan Stinchcomb rated it it was amazing Deep breath First of all, many people will not be able to read this book because the early scenes of violence, while necessary to the narrative, are merciless That said, this was a completely satisfying coming of age novel, a terrific and original addition to the mermaid genre It reminded me of Stefan Kiesbye s books, or of the film Let the Right One In Told by an unassuming first person narrator in 1980s Sweden, this story is as much about growing up poor and abandoned as it is an examinati Deep breath First of all, many people will not be able to read this book because the early scenes of violence, while necessary to the narrative, are merciless That said, this was a completely satisfying coming of age novel, a terrific and original addition to the mermaid genre It reminded me of Stefan Kiesbye s books, or of the film Let the Right One In Told by an unassuming first person narrator in 1980s Sweden, this story is as much about growing up poor and abandoned as it is an examination of all the monstrosity inherent to the human race flag Like see review Dec 25, 2016 Zahide Ertu rul rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves books read 2016 y l n son kitab beni bu y l en ok etkileyen kitap oldu.Bitireli o kadar oldu ki etkisinden ancak k p payla abiliyorum ki kere foto raf ekmek i in elime ald m ve kendimi ylesine bir yerinden tekrar okurken buldum Denizadam i inde fke ve ac y ok a bar nd ran bir kitap ah bir de karde sevgisini Nella n n Robert i in yapt klar ,yapmay bile d nd eyleri okuduk a i im par aland.Denizadam ise hikayenin en can al c k sm yd.Sevgiye dair ok etkileyici bir kitap,okumadan lmeyin flag Like see review Jul 07, 2016 Dzenana113 rated it really liked it 4.5 stars This book was absolutely horrible the unbelievable cruelty of Gerard and his never ending game of cat and mouse was simply stomach churning I loved the merman the description of him, his kindness, his vulnerability I particularly liked the fact that he was luminous What keeps me from giving this version of the book 5 stars is the translation I did not care for it at all and it really did interfere with my enjoyment of the book but the story definitely made up for it flag Like see review View 1 comment previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next new topicDiscuss This Book There are no discussion topics on this book yet Be the first to start one Recommend It Stats Recent Status Updates Readers Also Enjoyed.



The Merman Reviews

The Merman
Heather *live on coffee and flowers*

I just didn t enjoy this one as much as I d hoped I ve seen this shelved as magical realism, but despite the story having a merman, I didn t feel it was magical at all.I didn t like the way every character was connected in some meaningful way to the others For example

The Merman
Maxine

Nella and her brother Robert live a hard life Their mother is a drunk and their father is in and out of prison Robert is bullied mercilessly at school and Nella has become his protector She commits petty crimes to buy off his tormentors She has become an expert on dealing with bad situations on her own but when she witnesses the school psychopath torture and kill a kitten, he accuses her of tattling on him and demands money than she can steal She asks her friend, Tommy for help His br

The Merman
Pinar Celebi

Okurken i imi ac tan, can m yakan, sinirlendiren, zen bir kitapt Bu kadar ok hissi bir anda aya a kald ran bir kitap nas l k t olabilir ki zaten ki oturu ta bitirdim bu kitab ve s zde a rdan ald m S rf bitmesin diye Az c k fantastik eler bar nd rsa da i inde b y l ger ek ili e k y s ndan yakla an ama ger ekten b y l bir kitapt Denizadam Son y llarda okudu um en iyi kitaplardan.

The Merman
Hande Dilbaz

Anne babas taraf ndan ilgisizli e mahkum edilmi ocuklar n hikayesi Yazar, ocuklar n ac lar n b y l ger eklik temas zerinden anlatarak, konuya farkl bir bak a s getirmi Kitap olduk a ak c bir uslupla yaz lm Okurken ilgisiz b rak lm ocuklara i imin ok ac d k s mlar ise olduk a fazlayd.Sevmedi im y n hikaye bir ekilde ilerlerken, kitab n ortas nda pat diye y n de i tirip farkl bir seyler anlatmaya ba l yor Yazar, sonunda t m anlat klar n bir ekilde birle tirmi

The Merman
Rebecka

This reads a bit like a children s book, yet it s far too sinister to be just that I think A bit heavy on the mental and physical torture, I d say For children.And what s the lesson learnt from this Kill sadistic boys straight away Don t let them grow up And just how shitty are the authorities in this book If you want to read something frustrating and sad, this is a brilliant choice.

The Merman
Leylak Dalı

H z nl bir yk , yer yer fantastik geler kat larak b y l bir dille anlat lm Yazar n okudu um ikinci kitab , birinciyi ok sevmi tim, bunu daha da ok sevdim

The Merman
Levent

Ba lar ba lamaz zd , can m yakt ve bo az mda d m olu turarak da bitti Ayn zamanda iki karde in kar s na kan k t insanlardan da nefret ettim.B t n duygular ayn anda ya att , zellikle h z n duygusundan bir s re daha kurtulabilece imi sanm yorum ahane bir kitapt Herkes okumal.

The Merman
Celine

A dark and bleak story of abuse, love between siblings, and the dark side of human nature The Merman is the story of Nella, a fifteen year old girl, whose parents are drunks Her father is in prison, and her mother drinks every single penny they have away She has to care for her younger brother who gets bullied severely in school.The beginning of The Merman is extremely heavy There is severe bullying, and absolutely disgusting animal abuse which is witnessed by the main character, she s not t

The Merman
Kelly

Fairy tales with tragic endings Full disclosure I received a free electronic ARC for review through Edelweiss Trigger warning for violence, including bullying, sexual violence, and animal abuse, as well as offensive language There is no beginning, and no ending I know that now For others, perhaps, there are stories that lead somewhere, but not for me It s like they go round in circles, and sometimes not even that they just stand still in one place And I wonder what are you supposed

The Merman
John Hatley

This is a remarkable and surprising book To those of you who don t read Swedish, I recommend waiting until it has been translated into a language you do read The wait will be worth it.

thumbnail Title: The Merman
Author:Carl-Johan Vallgren
ISBN :1605989126
ranting: 1.5
Reviewer: 16 Reviews
Description: Nella and her brother Robert live a difficult life with their mother and father in a small town on the west coast of Sweden Robert is bullied at school, and Nella has to resort to debt and petty crime

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