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Vallgren, Carl-Johan 1964-

Vallgren, Carl-Johan 1964-


Born 1964, in Sweden.


Home—Stockholm, Sweden.




Augustpriset, 2002, for Den vidunderliga kärlekens historia; Litteraturklubbens Stora Litteraturpris, 2002; Årets bok-Månadens boks litterära pris, 2002.


Nomaderna, 1987.

Längta bort, 1988.

Fågelkvinnan, 1990.

Berättelser om sömn och vaka, A. Bonniers Förlag (Stockholm, Sweden), 1994.

Dokument rörande spelaren Rubashov, A. Bonniers Förlag (Stockholm, Sweden), 1996.

För herr Bachmanns broschyr, A. Bonniers Förlag (Stockholm, Sweden), 1998.

Berlin på 8 kapitel, 1999.

Den vidunderliga kärlekens historia, 2002, translated by Paul and Veronica Britten-Austin as The Horrific Sufferings of the Mind-Reading Monster Hercules Barefoot: His Wonderful Love and His Terrible Hatred, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2005.


Klädpoker med djävulen, 1996.

Easy listening för masochister, 1998.

Kärlek och andra katastrofer, 2001.

2000 mil, 400 nätter, 2003.

I provinsen, 2004.


Carl-Johan Vallgren is a Swedish novelist who has published numerous books, the first of which to become available in English translation is The Horrific Sufferings of the Mind-Reading Monster Hercules Barefoot: His Wonderful Love and His Terrible Hatred. Set in nineteenth-century Europe, the book tells the story of a dwarf named Hercule Barfuss, who was born in a brothel. Barfuss has neither ears nor arms, but is blessed with the ability to read minds. However, this blessing soon appears to be a curse, too, as Barfuss suffers a series of tragedies and finds himself persecuted because of his ability. Vallgren worked within the nineteenth-century literary tradition, but also delved into twentieth-century philosophy as he framed the story. In an interview with Sean Merrigan for Spoiled Ink, when asked about the nature of Barfuss's gift in terms of narration versus philosophy, the author remarked: "When I started out the novel it was a narrative ploy: what could I do with it, how far could I take it? But after a while all these other questions arose, questions about language, mind and perception, and I got obsessed with the grammar of the eye (for example in the sign language)." Carl Hays, in a review for Booklist, found the work to be "overflowing with engrossing drama and superlative characterizations," while a contributor for Publishers Weekly called it "weirdly compelling."



Booklist, March 15, 2006, Carl Hays, review of The Horrific Sufferings of the Mind-Reading Monster Hercules Barefoot: His Wonderful Love and His Terrible Hatred, p. 29.

Publishers Weekly, January 30, 2006, review of The Horrific Sufferings of the Mind-Reading Monster Hercules Barefoot.


Carl-Johan Vallgren Home Page, (November 15, 2006).

Spoiled Ink Web site, (November 15, 2006), Sean Merrigan, interview with Carl-Johan Vallgren.

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