Norlin joins to the same genre as Jerker Virdborg date of his first novel “Black Crab” from 2002: the paranoid action thriller with the guys on the dangerous mission in a future war situation – any one of a military boy book adventure, but with a forty baby boom base gravity and existential chasm throat. Norlin also flashes to a tradition of more sedate depictions of a devastated world that when he à la Tarkovsky’s “Stalker” call it bombed, radioactive area of the zone.
While Virdborgs heroes hemingwayskt skated on a black shiny sea ice pops Norlin deep under the surface and lets the story unfold on an atomic submarine equipped with a far too inexperienced crew. It is not a novel for those who suffer from claustrophobia. The young men are at the mercy of each other in a flimsy tin can, the enemy is invisible, but can strike at any time and no one can be sure of ever returning. The submarine runs around like a Aniaraplatsen under water, possibly forever lost in the ocean dark space.
Cleverly creates the author an atmosphere of total uncertainty and the constant threat and strikes a dense conspiratorial tone: “No one knew how many they were and no one knew exactly where they were. The only thing that would be known about them was the cargo they brought with them down there in depth. They wore on retaliation in its interior. “Security does not exist: even skyddsdräktens rubber cracking.
Submarine theme is made for a technological report of prose, but Norlin laps uniformed objectivity with sadness charged and austere poetic paths. Yes, verging on every single sentence holds a fateful clang. Both stylistically and aesthetically, it is a very driven debut, furious nicely implemented.
The novel is divided in short chapters, written by electronic mail from the protagonist to a woman he never met but who had a decisive influence on him. She, the absent, becomes the lifeline that keeps him up when his head clouded by doubt and a symbol of the need for communication, word proximity. A picture of the human in an inhuman environment. Yet it is something as fascist as a breeding program that ties them together.
While the “Days without light, nights without darkness” keeps the tension up, it is a novel that asks where we are going somewhere, and it is perhaps a journey blindly.