About the book
Sold toPoland: Pauza, Norway: Cappelen Damm
Petra and Johannes are The Perfect Couple. Made for each other. The lawyer, the doctor; well-mannered and beautiful. Even so, it’s complicated… Because there are others in the picture as well. Less perfect. But more exciting, perhaps?
Julia and Axel are each other’s opposites. Ish. Or rather, just too much alike. Yet they are drawn to each other, painfully and inescapably. While their differences become more obvious (Axel on the deep state career track, Julia passionately in opposition to every damn thing), society changes and its basic tenants are thrown out of whack. Love turns from sex, to weaponized power.
Juxtaposed against the upscale background of the well-to-do, chic and contemporary Europe, All My Love is the story of social transformations carrying four lovers with them, irrevocably.
With a story that will appease any fans of Lionel Shriver’s The Mandibles or Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, Agnes Lidbeck has succeeded in creating an enticing relationship thriller with an acute message about the hazards of the political road ahead, executed in the brilliantly precise prose that has become her trademark.
Lidbeck’s gaze is cold, almost mocking, and that is the work of art
That is Agnes Lidbeck’s currency: her unmistakable style. It is parodying a generic lifestyle tone, which can be read with a shudder of disgust, but moves with its objectively scrutinizing gaze like a sonar through people’s lives. Soon it will be over. Soon we have raised our children, loved our relationships asunder, done violence to ourselves, scooped up crumbs, sought peace. Lidbeck’s gaze is cold, almost mocking, and that is the work of art: how she writes in the same style and voice as the existence she uncovers. But this time Agnes Lidbeck can be read more politically, too, something Petra would never do, not because she is stupid or indifferent, but because the feeling of suffocation when big thoughts take up all the space, all the oxygenDagens Nyheter
All My Love is at its best when we find ourselves in the protagonists’ shameful, slightly chaotic and funny inner thoughts
Status, ownership and envy have been main themes in Agnes Lidbeck’s authorship, since her debut with Supporting Act (2017). The same goes for this book, and as usual she excels in the portrayal of the darkly resentful and actually quite absurd feeling. In All My Love, it’s completely normal to be angry with your friend’s breasts or your father’s self-evident authority. The protagonists’ inner monologues are also skillfully rendered. Lidbeck does not use the word I, but the word “one”, as if the private thoughts were some sort of public domain. And I suppose they are, to varying degrees. All My Love is at its best when we find ourselves in the protagonists’ shameful, slightly chaotic and funny inner thoughts.Göteborgs-Posten
when it comes to scrutinizing relationships, Agnes Lidbeck is becoming something of a Swedish master
In her fifth novel, All My Love, Agnes Lidbeck has moved in a new direction – into the future. A dystopian one, with increased surveillance and stifled freedom of opinion. Of course, this novel should be read as a warning bell. At the same time, Lidbeck remains the sharp psychologist and describer of manners. We follow a quartet of friends from youth to old age, their love tangles and life choices – because this is above all a story about the big, existential choices in a bourgeois existence. It is a really epic approach for such a short novel – 250 neat pages – and it can’t be helped that some things are left out. The political development, for example, is vaguely drawn, most probably deliberately so, so that us readers can be allowed to fill in the gaps with our own fears. /…/ Nevertheless: when it comes to scrutinizing relationships, Agnes Lidbeck is becoming something of a Swedish master. And it is an exciting novel, where the dark vision of society twists the plot and serves some really unexpected twists. It is nicely done.Sveriges Radio Kulturnytt
Agnes Lidbeck is an accomplished writer, who creates settings and scenes with small means
Agnes Lidbeck is an accomplished writer, who creates settings and scenes with small means. It is parsimonious, with a penetrating gaze towards all the things we play with in everyday life: hierarchies at work, tired parents, relationships going silent. /…/ Agnes Lidbeck depicts a societal development that is not very far off – it is both conceivable and frightening – and how it affects both love and friendship.Skånska Dagbladet