Before I Burn

Gaute Heivoll Don Bartlett

RRP: £12.99

1 April 2013

Published by Atlantic Books

ISBN: 9780857892164

RRP: £7.99

1 April 2013

Published by Atlantic Books

ISBN: 9780857892188

In the late 1970s, a pyromaniac runs amok in a close-knit community in rural Norway. Homes are burnt to a cinder, and panic spreads, as neighbours wonder who amongst them could be wreaking such fear and anguish. And slowly, almost imperceptibly, a mother comes to realise that her son is lighting the fires.

Born into this time of chaos, Gaute Heivoll is indelibly linked to the arsonist intent on such destruction. By juxtaposing the pyromaniac’s story with his own, Heivoll explores memory, loss and the agonising separation of child from parent that it is a rite of passage for us all. Written in fluid, luminous prose, Before I Burn is a literary sensation, by the foremost Norwegian writer of his generation.



One of the best Scandinavian crime books to have reached our shores
Sunday Telegraph

One of the best books I have ever read... [Gaute Heivoll] manages to describe the rush of setting fire to a house so well. We understand the pyromaniac's fascination for the fire and the heat ... A pyromaniac seen from the inside, and is marvellously written.Karin Fossum

Gaute Heivoll is one of the finest voices of his generation. Before I Burn is a glowing depiction of the darkness in an isolated human being's mind.Karl Ove Knausgård

Gaute Heivoll's new book is great storytelling of the highest order, an existential horror story from the foremost of the young writers.Edvard Hoem

It has been an eerie pleasure to read Gaute Heivoll's thrilling novel about the pyromaniac who shook his home district in 1978. Før jeg brenner ned shows once again that Heivoll is a key name among his generation of writers and one of the most significant in contemporary Norwegian literature. The novel has all the requisites to captivate readers and become Heivoll's definitive breakthrough.Hans Herbjørnsrud