Dear Mr. Hanks,

Congratulations on your book Uncommon Type and greetings from Finland! Yes, it’s the same country that just celebrated its 100 years of independence. You kindly wished us happy birthday and wanted to give us a baseball glove and two balls so we can play catch. Well, thank you for that and here comes the catch: you might not know that we have a national sport called pesäpallo which is also known as Finnish baseball. You can learn more about it from this Wikipedia article. Also your fellow author Paul Auster learned about it when he visited us this year and was interviewed by our President in a local bookshop. Yes, that really happened, and yes, we have a President who actually reads books. You can watch this brilliant interview here.

Now when you are a debut author you should come and visit us on our annual Helsinki Book Fair. Your friend Dan Brown just did and was very impressed. He also told us nice anecdotes about you so you should definitely pay him back by telling us some funny things about him. We invited him with this video where a crazy Finnish woman reads Brown’s book after swimming in a hole in the ice. I must admit that I read your book on rather more cosier setting. I think your book works better when read in a corner of a cosy sofa with a nice cup of tea. That’s not so exciting video material so I didn’t make any. I hope you don’t feel neglected for that.

So what did I think about your book? Unfortunately you must first learn some Finnish to find out. Good luck with Google Translate, it’s notoriously bad with our peculiar language. Mr. Brown learned at least one word here and it’s korvapuusti. That is our special cinnamon roll that you should try some day. I will teach you one more Finnish word that you might appreciate: kirjoituskone. I learned from your book that you like those a lot. Guessed already? Yes, it means a typewriter. You are most welcome to leave a comment here if you find something to agree or disagree with my blog post.

Merry Christmas to you and your family from the land of the real Santa Claus!

Best wishes,
Tiina


Näyttelijä Tom Hanks on debytoinut kirjailijana ja julkaissut tänä syksynä novellikokoelman Uncommon Type – Some Stories, joka sisältää 17 tarinaa. Erillisten tarinoiden yhteinen nimittäjä löytyy Hanksin intohimosta eli vanhoista kirjoituskoneista, joita hän on keräillyt lähes koko uransa ajan. Kirjoituskoneen voi bongata tavalla tai toisella jokaisesta tarinasta. Joissakin ne ovat pelkkää rekvisiittaa, joissakin saavat keskeisemmän roolin. Hanksin novellit ovat viehättävällä tavalla vanhanaikaisia ja nostalgiaa tihkuvia – kuten vanhat kirjoituskoneet. Hanksille ominainen lämmin ja humoristinen kertojaääni välittyy kirjan sivuilta, vaikka luinkin kirjan perinteisenä paperiversiona. Vasta puolivälissä tajusin, että tämähän olisi ehdottomasti pitänyt kuunnella äänikirjana, jonka Hanks on tietysti itse lukenut. Toisaalta, perinteinen painettu versio sopii paremmin kirjan teemaan. Kirja on myös visuaalisesti miellyttävä. Epätasaisesti leikatut sivut ja jokaisen novellin alussa oleva kuva vanhasta kirjoituskoneesta korostavat kirjan nostalgista tunnelmaa.

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