Cilla & Rolf Börjlind

At the very innermost point of a deep sea inlet on Sweden’s west coast lies the small village of Darkside. Thanks to the surrounding massif, the sun only reaches the village once every five years – an astronomical light phenomenon that occurs just as our story unfolds. The year is 1960.

Darkside accommodates most of the things one finds in small communities: passionate love; smouldering injustices; pitch black jealousy; and the ill health found at the bottom of a bottle. It is inhabited by small men with visions that have no prospect of success and single mothers with silent children. But there are also laughing youths, strong ladies of principle with wills as tough as amber, and gentlemen with incorruptible ties of friendship and peculiar interests.

It is a secluded place where life follows its own course, unaffected by the ravages of time. Almost.

One day, a stranger appears in this godforsaken village. He is carrying a box under his arm and claims to be called Georg von Nothing. Without much ado, he is accepted into the community by the small but illustrious circle of opinionated individuals who frequent the Place Inn, the village’s only hostelry.

George turns out to have very special and unexpected talents, both practical and magical, that shake the familiar life of the people in the village. He puzzles and charms everyone he meets and makes them open up their innermost hidden places and reveal everything they tried to forget; he himself keeps his own secrets.

Fortunately, the extravagant celebrations to mark the day the sun finally reaches the village – ‘the great celebration of reconciliation’ – are approaching. Everything will be transformed into a glittering spectacle and all discord will be set aside. At the climax of the grandiose festivities, the great magician Georg von Nothing will perform his final, astonishing magic trick before a stunned audience.

Whereupon Darkside will return once again to its own course. Almost.

425 pages


Germany: btb
The Netherlands: AW Bruna
Norway: Gyldendal
Serbia: Vulkan
Slovakia: Ikar
Slovenia: Hisa knjig Kms
Sweden: Norstedts


“The depiction of the people and environment in the small village surrounded by dramatic mountains located in a deep bay, forms the foundation for the story, with its both humorous and sometimes dark undertones. It is told colorful and visualizing, with an accessible language.”

Order reading material