Culture novel is a dystopia, set in a future Sweden feels eerily nearby. The world we are in is a health fascist world, fixated on weight, writes Malin Lindroth, who read Asa Eric Daughter epidemic.
In the never-ending stream of reality shows include slimming soaps to the most dire. This alone will witness how a dietician storms into someone’s kitchen and tear out all my stash of cookies, chips and soft drinks, while the family is ashamed and watching, is so degrading that I can hardly stand it to see it. What is it about, this eternal reducing of all aspects of life to a matter of calories and weight? Hardly health well? No, shame coating! Reading Asa Eric Daughter’s epidemic is like being locked in a nightmare version of these soap operas, a bantningens Hades where renlevnadsidealen has completely run amok.
The novel is a dystopia, set in a future Sweden feels eerily nearby. Right from the start it is clear that the world we are in is a health fascist world, fixated on weight. Newborns with bad genes narrow operated directly. People eat flavored air, so-called AirFood and excite to their deaths at health centers where treatments carry names like Purify. All the while the Institute of Nutrition keeps eye on citizens FMK – fat-muscle ratio – and puts into action that pulls reminiscent of forced sterilization. The power innermost rooms are John Swords, Health Party founder, who knows to gather the masses around a value that unites all walks of life. With the promise of a slimmer Sweden, Sword won a landslide victory in the election and created a social climate in which overweight is pariah.
At the heart of the story are a handful of sympathetic weight rebels. The nurse Helena has fled to the countryside with her daughter, Molly, and may soon joined by researcher Landon that quickly becomes a love and friend. In another part of the story housed author Gloria, barricaded in his apartment, waiting for a new political order. When Gloria make the mistake to go to a gathering of labor discrimination takes the story a new and violent turn. Soon visible slaughter transport running through the night, to unknown locations and both Helena and Gloria disappears.
The story is as brutal as it is recognizable. Asa Ericsdotter is superb at picking up contemporary moods and phenomena, sharpen them slightly, and present them in a way that evokes unpleasant premonitions: yes, Health Party could well emerge the day after tomorrow. The novel is so black and white in the content of ideas is a pity. Already after one page, I state clearly for me and the story once I get no reason to waver in my belief in what is right.
I would have liked the story, at least initially, had moved more of a gray area. Again and again, I find myself getting caught for extras and wish that they had developed to the more central characters. The obese who mock others for obesity. The unknown person, handing out flyers on the subway with a greeting from the Swedish people. (It’s not your metabolism. It is your gluttony. What is your problem? You just have to stop eating.) What are they? What drives them? How they crossed the not always obvious boundary between good intentions and contempt? There I was happy to hear more about.
The really nasty in the epidemic’s herd behavior, or rather, people’s willingness to buy Johan Svärds ideas, but that part of the story is left relatively unexplored. The people we meet are either lucid or fanatics, never doubters. Thus, the voltage of the book to be less about the content of ideas and psychology, about the external drama. Gradually developing epidemic of classical bladvändaraction. As such, the well-written and unbearably exciting. The last third of the book I read in a hungry stretch Landon lost in the hunt for the abducted Helena and the truth.
Just as the publisher writes in the presentation text is epidemic a surprising turn of Asa Eric Daughter’s authorship. That a writer who has previously been known for dense prose lyrical, introspective novels – The epidemic is Eric Daughter’s eighth book since his debut – now turn the gaze outward, in a broader contemporary critical story makes me curious what’s to come.
For myself I have always thought a lot about Eric Daughter sensitively inward-looking prose, which often revolved around the eating disorders, kärlekshugrande body. The moment she let in the eyes of the wider epic, yes, so to speak assembles its inward-looking to outward gaze making, she will be one of tvåtusentiotalets really great writers.