2016 · June · Reviews

Book Review: “Farlig Midsommar”, by Tove Jansson

Published in 2015 by Rabén & Sjögren | First published in 1954 | Mumintrollen #5 | Five Feathers
Translated into English as “Moominsummer Madness”

Summary from the back of my (Swedish) edition (my own translation, because I liked it so much):

Did you know that hattifatteners come from seeds, and that you have to sow them during the midsummer night? And did you know that it is dangerous to whistle in the theatre?

This is the story about what happens during the magical month of June, the same year as the fire-breathing mountain moved and Moomintroll’s mom made her most beautiful bark-boat. The entire Moomin valley was flooded and a theatre came floating along… and the Moomin family was brought into a midsummer night’s adventure filled with magic and surprises.


During the past year, I have become increasingly fond of the Moomin books. This was the third one I read, and so far I think it’s my favourite. I bought it almost a year ago, but have been saving it for the midsummer weekend to be in the right mood for it. It worked. This was such a wonderful book.

There are some absurd themes to this, which I really enjoyed. For example, the Moomin family’s house is flooded, but they just shrug and go with it. Then they find a floating theatre and randomly move in.

Another aspect I loved about this is the fact that there are several layers to it, which makes it possible for everyone to enjoy it. It can be read as a mystical story about midsummer, but it is also possible to see metaphors and similes in it. This means that both children and adults can enjoy it, so it’s a book (series) that you can have with you for a long time.

That said, I don’t think this is something for everyone. But I loved it and thought that it is a wonderful book.


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