The Solitaire Mystery

Gaarder, Jostein: Kabalmysteriet

A novel for young readers which ranges far and wide in space and time. We follow a father and his son on their journey through Europe in search of the boy's mother, though underlying this theme are many other stories. What is the link between them? And why must Hans Thomas go back to a shipwreck in 1790 to understand why his mother left him to go to Athens? The author blends fantasy with reality, fairytales with family history. With warmth and understanding he portrays the relationship between father and son and their quest for an identity and a sense of belonging. The book is a journey through Europe - but also a journey backwards in time to some of the events that have made Hans Thomas what he is. Fate, or whatever it may have been, once shuffled the pack to produce him. Time goes round and round and there is a joker at large in the world. Hans Thomas is presented with a magnifying glass by a dwarf he meets at a petrol station in Switzerland; and in the little village of Dorf he is given a tiny book baked within a bun - which he is able to read with the aid of the magnifying glass.

Praise for The Solitaire Mystery:

"A sparkling injunction to be forever humorous, optimistic and above all curious, this is a book of marvels"
(Independent on Sunday)

"Elegant, thought-provoking and funny"
(Det fri Aktuelt)

"...a story-telling technique that brings to mind Umberto Eco’s In the Name of the Rose"

"Fascinating...A playful, ingenious, frequently moving celebration of our persistent search for answers to the ultimate questions"
(Kirkus Reviews)

"A welcome blend of whimsy and wisdom... A delightful hybrid between Robert Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle and Michael Ende’s The Neverending Story" (San Fransisco Sunday Examiner and Chronicle Book Review)

"Enchanting, unpredictable, absorbing fun. This novel is another offbeat delight, ontology masquerading as an ingeniously constructed fairy tale"
(Publishers Weekly)

"Intellectually arresting, emotionally uplifting"
(Daily Telegraph)

"Here is an honest-to-goodness dream-making bedtime story for grown-ups in the proud tradition of Alice in Wonderland"
(LA Times)

Jostein Gaarder: Biography and bibliography

First published: 1990, Aschehoug Children and Young Adults

Rights sold to

Language Foreign publisher
Albanian Onufri
American English Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Arabic Dar Al-Muna
Bengali Kaloharaph
Brazilian Portuguese Companhia Das Letras
British English Orion
Bulgarian Damyan Yakov Publishing
Catalan Empuries/Grup 62
Chinese (complex) Ecus Publishing
Chinese (simplified) Writers publishing house
Croatian Znanje
Czech Albatros
Danish Høst & Søn
Dutch Fontein
Estonian Koolibri
Faeroese Bokadeildin
Finnish Tammi
French Seuil
Georgian Nectar Publishing
Georgian Nectar
German Hanser
Greek Livani
Hebrew Schocken
Hungarian Noran Libro Publishing House
Icelandic Edda
Indonesian Mizan Publishing House
Italian Salani
Japanese NHK - Publishing
Korean Hyonam
Kurdish Avesta
Latvian Zvaigzne
Lithuanian Tyto Alba
Macedonian Bata Press
Polish J. Santorski
Portuguese Presenca
Romanian Editura Univers
Russian Amphora Publishers
Serbian Geopoetika Publishing
Slovakian Sofa
Slovene Zalozka Obzorja
Spanish Siruela
Swedish Raben & Sjøgren
Thai Ruan Boon
Turkish Pan
Ukrainian Litopys

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