Books

Maybe You don't know it, but Death really doesn't Play Handball

Author
Belanner, Linda
Persson, Fredrik
Swedish title
Du kanske inte vet det, men Döden spelar faktiskt inte handboll
Category
Children \ Young Adult
Pub Date
Apr 27, 2012
Format
288 pages,135 x 212 mm

Life does not always turn out as we expect. Above all not for Mattias who is 14 and in league with death. Linda Belanner and Fredrik Persson make their debut with a dark and captivating story which chips away at the edges of reality and does not hold anything back.

Mattias is 14 years old and the most lonely person in the world. Against his will he has been appointed to be Death’s helper. Death, or Göran which is his real name, does not have much in common with the traditional figure with the cloak and scythe. Instead he wears a purple velvet jacket, drives a flashy 4x4 and smokes stinking cigars. And he thinks Mattias is pathetic and soft because he weeps buckets whenever he has to pick someone up.

When Mattias gets his first assignment of his own it is no easy task he faces. The fact that he also fancies the girl he is to pick up complicates matters to say the least. Cool and spirited Zahra from Teheran loves music and laughs at life. She makes Mattias feel strong and warm inside. But how can Mattias save her from death? Göran is beginning to get restless and when Zahra is suddenly inexplicably ill everything is turned upside down and Mattias is forced to take desperate measures to save her.

Maybe you don’t know it, but Death really doesn’t play handball has a lot of colourful characters. Among others we meet Prince, the street food vendor who likes salsa and wears the world’s ugliest bandana, Louise who hides her insecurity behind a cocky façade, Ante who believes that his hairy footballer’s legs are every girl’s dream and the slimy sports teacher Hasselhed who sees it as his life’s challenge to win the annual handball tournament.