An existential thriller about the power of fear and the brains capability to repress things that is to painful to remember. About the fatal consequences when a girl brought up in a rigorous religious home is forced to deny her sexuality. And about the biggest shame of all: The feeling of not having been loved by one’s parents.
Winner of Platinapocket 2006 (for the most sold
Swedish novel in paperback of the year)
Nominated for Duncan Lawrie International Dagger Award
"An incredible reading experience. /---/ Karin is number ONE
when it comes to writing psychological novels. /---/ Reading SHAME
is like going for a roller coaster ride. That feeling left in your
stomach, the mixture of pure horror combined with utter
satisfaction. The uncertainty of what is waiting around the next
corner. The only thing that's certain is that it won't pass by
unnoticed. Nor does SHAME pass by unnoticed."
"A novel to read at a stretch. /---/ This is a suspenseful,
sometimes frightening and very captivating story about how a
person's life is marked by his or her past. It's about guilt, shame
and denial, but also about goodness and forgiveness. Karin Alvtegen
is a master of creating an especially unique atmosphere in her
novels. SHAME is absolutely no exception to this rule. One doesn't
want to leave this story out of sight, but rather devour it all at
once from cover to cover."
"There is an intense and prolonged cry of pain throughout
Karin Alvtegen's newly published novel, SHAME. It is a pain that
stems from deep self-contempt and degradation. Skilfully, Karin
Alvtegen weaves the characters everyday lives together with sturdy
threads that won't break./---/ A novel one won't readily put down
until the last page is read."
"Last year Karin Alvtegen managed to impress us all with her
work Svek; a penetrating story about a generation of people lacking
happiness and joy - the stressed "modern-day" Swedes - who in the
author's own words seem caught by an unexplainable restlessness and
inability to slow down and express joy about the goals they've
already achieved, marked as they are by the fear of having
something pass them by. Now, with Skam, she has once again written
a compelling story about modern day man's emotional poverty and
loneliness - and she's done it with empathy and a distinct sense of
artistic certainty. /---/ One is tempted to say that its Strindberg
in the year 2005. Even Karin Alvtegen expresses her pity for
mankind, singing along to the sad tunes in her own striking
Peter Dürrfeld, Information
"Super exciting. /---/ Unbearably suspenseful - something to
read from cover to cover, preferably without a break."
"It's a story that is hard to let go of, exciting yet deeply
troubling all at once."
"Karin Alvtegen deeply touches me as a reader."
"Karin Alvtegen's latest novel confirms her strong position as
the writer in the Nordic countries, who writes the most distorted
and painful crime novels, in a very personal, unique style. /---/If
one could say that Graham Greene in his time wrote Catholic
suspense novels, one could definitely agree that we, in Karin
Alvtegen, have an original author who writes Protestant crime
novels with an existential thematic./---/"Shame" is awful in that
sense, and yet very Swedish in any way, when compared to other
Swedish writers such as Strindberg, Bergman and Lars Norén.
However, "Shame" is at the same time a suspenseful, well-written
and suggestive novel that seductively leads the reader into a
not-so-sweet story, but that in the end lights a candle of
Bo Tao Michaëlis, Politiken
"Top of the line entertainment. /---/ Exciting, well written
and entertaining. Karin Alvtegen masters the art of producing
frightfully good entertainment. /---/ This is exactly how a truly
suspenseful novel of top notch quality should feel."
"It's absolutely captivating"
"Intricate and insightful in a brilliant
"Karin Alvtegen's fourth novel, SHAME, is an exciting and
gripping tale about the fate of two people which is dramatically
interwoven. In a captivating way, she manages to portray the power
of fear, a strict religious upbringing and forbidden
"With great feeling and respect, Alvtegen depicts the
struggles of two seemingly different women, with their inner
demons, repressed memories and severe feelings of
"A fascinating suspense novel. /---/ This suspense novel is
fascinating to take part of - it feels as though one hasn't been
able to read about this type of stuff before. Alvtegen also
succeeds in describing those parts of society that seldom are
brought to light; something that gives the novel yet another
"A terribly good thriller. This book is a pearl in it's genre.
Sensitive, suspenseful and completely horrific! Karin Alvtegen has
a truly fluent style of writing. /---/ A psychological thriller
that takes place in everyday life!"
"Karin Alvtegen has written her best novel yet, and she shows
great development and maturity in her writing in her latest novel
SHAME. /---/ What we otherwise barely can grasp, with regard to
people's pitiable states, now is comprehensible, thanks to Karin
Alvtegen's skilful narration."
"Alvtegen writes about the agony of existence, that it's hard
as hell to be human, in a simple, easily accessible manner, without
creating a fuss or without all too obvious speculative effects.
That's also why she has a large audience; an audience that she, as
opposed to many other entertainment authors, really
"Alvtegen is glimmering in sorrow."
"When I read Karin Alvtegen the same thing always occurs: I get a
lump in my throat, the slightly forbidden mean humour makes me
happy again, and it is so clear how lucidly she's able to describe
people and their black thoughts and abysmal feelings."
"In my private authors heaven, Alvtegen's star shines among the
"It's impressive and convincing, and as a reader you keep
gasping for air."
"She deserves her large audience."
"The novel evokes many thoughts and, at the same time, offers
"When I read Karin Alvtegen I always think of Minette Walters,
which works to Alvtegen's advantage. No series of novels with a
fixed cast and scenery. She boldly throws herself into unknown
waters each time and succeeds surprisingly well. Translated into 23
languages, receiver of the Glass Key, nominated for the Poloni
Award and now getting filmed. The latest book sold in 200.000
copies. Truly, she can be called a Crime Queen."
"This is a suspense novel without murder, but how does that matter
when it's Alvtegen who holds the pen."
"She is great at portraying people, Karin Alvtegen, I'd like
to say. So I say it again: Karin Alvtegen is probably one of the
best novelists of our time. Her account of society cuts through a
modern Sweden where the working people suffer from the emptiness of
their lives while the people society has discarded yearns as if
buried alive within their lonely apartments. /---/ Congratulations!
Long live the new Crime Novel."
"Entertainment of highest quality" "The accidents pile up; the
tension is winded up, the unavoidable disaster approaches and
detonates like a bomb. But it is full of surprises and unexpected
elements. Here is warmth, an atmosphere and a language clear as
water. And a faith in the readers' ability to draw their own
conclusions about the characters based on pieces of puzzle from
their lives. Malevolence and compassion, strength and despair can
be found in all of them."
"Exactly like this the flavour of an entertainment novel of the
best quality supposed to be!"
"One of Sweden's best authors is back. Around the forbidden
feeling of shame, she builds the story and weaves the destinies of
the characters together, making it more thrilling than the most
spine-tingling Crime Novel. A necessity as the autumn darkness
"Guilt, Treachery and Shame. These are central ideas within
psychology, but also titles of novels by Karin Alvtegen. Naturally,
this isn't a coincident: When it comes to man's emotional life,
Alvtegen is probably one of our most knowledgeable authors."
"Alvtegen writes about the anguish of existence, that it is damned
hard to be human, in an easy, understandable way without getting
stuck-up or with too apparent theatricals. That's why she gets a
large audience, an audience that she, opposed to some other
entertainment authors, really deserves."
"Here we can find the strength of Alvtegen: the ordinary days
of the odd and lonely, and the twisted view they have of themselves
and the world and which compel their decisions. Believably she
describes the lives of people, making the reader understand their
fears and logic. It is impressive and plausible and as a reader you
gasp for breath, hurt and worry with those afflicted with weakness
-and here, nothing is predictable."