The Howling Miller, Paperback
5 out of 5 (1 rating)


When Gunnar Huttunen turns up in a small village to restore its run-down mill, its inhabitants are wary.

Gunnar is big. He's a bit odd. And, strangest of all, he howls wildly at night. If Gunnar is different, then he must be mad, the villagers decide.

Hounded from his home, he must find a way to survive the wilds of nature and the greater savagery of civilization.

The Howling Miller is a dark fairytale of community, conformity and our place in the world.




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A great modern(ish) fable! I wanted to howl a few times with the miller!<br/><br/>From the very beginning, though not related at all plot-wise, I felt like this was Dogville: close-minded villagers alienate, use, and provoke the somewhat ill-adjusted newcomer. They drive him away, far far away, and eventually... Well, don't want to give away the ending, but the poor chap has very little going for him. Interestingly, he is very hardworking, honest, and rather enthusiastic about his mill. He is also a very good carpenter, it seems. He is smart, able, and willing. None of these qualities seem to help him shine in the small village. Perhaps its his strange habit of howling now and then, or the biting imitations he make of some of the village's residents. But the tale takes some strange turns, with interesting friendships forged under weird circumstances, but I would not call any of it fantastical. The miller had a good amount of bad luck, and a good amount of good luck, and in the end, it is hard to know how it will turn out. The characters and the things they do seemed familiar and what I expect from the Finns I know, and I did not find the language at all awkward. This is not to mean that it is a literal translation of the original Finnish (and should it be?), but that as it stands in English, it is a good read all the same.<br/><br/>Recommended for those who like howling animals, nature walks, hunting, and vegetables.

Also by Arto Paasilinna