About the book
Karl Gunnar Hammarkvist is 64 years old, an accountant and alone. It would most likely have remained that way if he hadn’t been forced to leave the apartment he has lived in for almost all his life to spend a few weeks in a makeshift flat. Here he makes himself at home and sees the whole thing as a rather pleasant break in everyday life, until one evening he happens to hear an ongoing conversation coming from the other side of the wall.
What he perceives cuts right through the armor he has built up around himself for decades, and he becomes obsessed with finding the woman who said what she said at the neighbour’s. In the hunt for the unknown, Karl-Gunnar is forced to reconsider everything – his work, his relationships with other people, his morals. Above all, he is confronted with what he has repressed for so long. The terrible mistake that led to a disaster and to love disappearing from his life forever.
But is it possible to reconcile even with the worst? Can you start all over again?
The Eavesdropper is the story of a life that turned out the way it did because of the circumstances, and that nothing can be done about that. Until the day it can.
What other people have said
A positive review is always a pleasure. These ones made me really happy.
“… a strangely remarkable short novel of only 140 pages … Ernestam has an original tone and ‘The Eavesdropper’ demands the reader’s presence even though it is neither difficult to read nor complicated, rather deceivingly easy to read and positively peculiar." Bibliotekstjänst, nr 1/24, Anna Thurfjell
I love such concentrated books where you have really worked with the text. It (The Eavesdropper) is a feverish, exciting story, it’s cinematic, a little Kaurismäki, a little Modiano, he who won the Nobel Prize a few years ago. It’s a bit mysterious, it’s memories, it’s moods, it’s incredibly dramatic and at the same time very low key. And drastic humor. I love ‘The Eavesdropper’! Johan Anderblad, TV 4, Nyhetsmorgon
“Maria Ernestam is an author who gives a voice to the quiet and the forgotten. She does this with a sharp, psychological eye while at the same time showing tender compassion with her literary characters. She never exaggerates in order to make everyday life more eventful than it is. That is how her story remains trustworthy. That is when everyday life turns into a gripping story, capturing the reader … Maria Ernestam is a brilliant storyteller who masters her subject and the art of spinning a yarn and in the nuances of her language there is a proselyrical tone, recognized by literary pillars of support Håkan Nesser and Johan Theorin. We thank them for that. This is fiction very much worth reading." Ölandsbladet, Ragnhild Oxhagen
“'The Eavesdropper’ by Maria Ernestam is 140 pages of pure and absolute reading joy! I enjoy the language and the setup of the novel … the intrigue is both personal and unique … a capturing and fascinating read … this is exactly what the author so skillfully masters – the balance between the beautiful, fragile and the threatening and dangerous … a great reading experience with rich content that I will carry with me for a long time." Agneta Norrgård, boktipset P 4 Västernorrland, Augustambassadör, Go’kväll, bokbloggare
“Like pulling the curtain a little bit aside, stand there in the dark and slowly behold a person’s life; the beautiful, the repressed, the genuine … an emotional gripping explosion … I will read this book again." Victoria Hellberg, Kafferatur, redaktör, bokbloggare
“This painting is for you, Karl-Gunnar Hammarkvist … at the same time, I could ponder over you and your life a little bit more … I devoured the book about your life, Karl-Gunnar, it was just impossible to stop reading … what an emotional explosion you have shared with me … this is an absolutely wonderful, unique novel that covers almost all life’s range of emotions – friendship, love, alienation, revenge …" Helena, Kustboktanten, Säljkonsult Pocketgrossisten, Bonnierförlagen, bokbloggare