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Lars Gustafsson – Tennisspelarna

Title: Tennisspelarna
English title: Tennisspelarna
Author: Lars Gustafsson
Year: 1977

As I have lamented from time to time, I read far too few books in Swedish. Since I will spend the summer in Sweden with access to both my own books and a lot of friends’ books, I think it’s a good idea to take the opportunity to read some Swedish. Lars Gustafsson’s Tennisspelarna (The Tennis Players) is a neat book depicting the author’s life in Austin, Texas more than twenty years ago. It focuses on tennis (to which he was addicted at the time), literature (he was teaching Scandinavian literature) and lots of other things that doesn’t easily fit into categories.

There are two reasons why this book is worth reading. First, Gustafsson is a master of balancing the various ingredients that make up the book. He spends exactly the right amount of time on any given part, nothing feels excessive, nothing feels to short. In other words, the book is precisely as long as it should be, which is very rare. Secondly, Gustafsson’s language is a pleasure to read, creating a cozy, homely feeling that is difficult to achieve. Even though there is no story to speak of, rather a series of related events, he still manages to keep my attention all the way.

Tennisspelarna is easy to read, it make me happy and the language is enjoyable. This is enough to merit four snails and guarantee that I’ll try to read more by the author later, perhaps even before summer is over. Why not more than four, then? This kind of literature doesn’t contain enough brilliance for that. Indeed, it’s pleasant to read, but it’s no masterpiece.


  1. Svante’s avatar

    Du kan låna mer Gustafsson av mig om du vill. En del andra böcker har mer av den sortens briljans som jag tror att du saknar här.


    1. Olle Linge’s avatar

      Det gör jag så gärna. Vi kan väl ta det vid tillfälle. Lycka till på SM!