Musikanternas uttåg

The March of the Musicians

by Per Olov Enquist

Musikanternas uttåg/The March of the Musicians is a superbly crafted documentary novel about how the workers in one small area of Northern Sweden at the turn of the century gradually awaken from an entrenched apathy – political, spiritual, emotional – and begin to fight against their appalling conditions. Such, however, is Per Olov Enquist’s ability to understand the motivation of these people who patiently allow themselves to be exploited by the sawmill owners and tormented every Sunday by hellfire preachers, that he transforms what is no more than a footnote in the history of Swedish labour movement into a story with universal meeting. And such is his empathy with his characters that in the end these flawed human beings achieve almost heroic stature.

Powerful, funny, tragic and deeply moving, Musikanternas uttåg/The March of the Musicians will be recognized as a major work of modern European literature.

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