March 02nd, 2011
By Tiina Kristoffersson

It's always a special feeling to read the first reviews of a book. Red Whirl by Sami Parkkinen was published a couple of weeks ago. I have been waiting for the reviews ever since with excitement. Red Whirl may appear as a classical techno thriller at first sight but turns into something different. The story develops into an existential road movie dealing with great issues such as self-discovery and and eastern philosophy. With these kinds of multidimensional novels there's always a risk for misunderstanding and confusion. I was really glad when reading the reviews. The message has reached the readers. Or as one of them wrote: "‘What a strange book,’ I reflected when I finished reading the book, which is not such a bad thing.”


Red Whirl by Sami Parkkinen deals with important issues. The novel is a critique of a world in which technology advances at a frightening pace. It questions the wisdom of modern man's blind faith in medicine; a faith that no longer seeks to improve man’s wellbeing, but instead tries to turn him into God. The novel is also a narrative of one man’s self-discovery, and of a meeting between East and West. We can therefore say that the novel’s building blocks are typical of Parkkinen, and are thus sufficiently substantial.” Satakunnan Kansa

“Sami Parkkinen takes his reader straight to the point. The background to the characters and the action is given through flashbacks or momentary glimpses. The narrative is fluent and natural. The author’s masterful sense of rhythm manifests his understanding of drama, and the changing angles are kept skilfully together. In places, the novel is lightened by its cartoonish and cinematic qualities, such as its black humour.

Red Whirl continues Sami Parkkinen’s familiar handling of ethical questions. On the surface, Red Whirl is a sci-fi novel. On another level, the novel describes an individual’s search for solutions in the battle for a decent life. It shows plenty of possibilities, but leaves the final conclusions to the reader.” Lapin Kansa

Red Whirl is an unusual combination of sci-fi, techno thriller and existentialist genres. The novel follows the pattern of techno-thrillers, but its storyline takes an unexpected turn. ‘What a strange book,’ I reflected when I finished reading the book, which is not such a bad thing.” Helsingin Sanomat

Picture: Red Whirl (orig. Punainen pyörre) by Sami Parkkinen