Lars Walker’s new novel

Lars Walker is someone who hangs out at this blog fairly often.  He is also an accomplished novelist.   He has a new novel out entitled  Troll Valley.

Lars specializes in tales about Norway, especially the ancient Vikings in their transition from paganism to Christianity.  (See West Oversea.)  But this one is about Norwegians in Minnesota, settlers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries on the farms and in the small towns that would give us the Lake Woebegone cliches.  But there is much more to these people than that.

Lars also specializes in hard-hitting Christian critiques of modernity.  (See Wolf Time.)  For all of the Little House on the Prairie charm of watching the main character Chris Andersen and his family ply their customs in the New World, we see change a-brewing.  His father invents a better farm device, leaves the farm for town where he builds a factory and makes a fortune–embodying the industrial revolution with both its good sides and its down sides.  I was most taken, though, with his mother, who shows how a certain kind of Pietism can turn to moralism, which can then turn to progressivism, which can then turn against the very Christianity that inspired its beginnings.  Mrs. Andersen’s do-gooderism turns her into a crusader for prohibition and then for the women’s suffrage and then for a “moral progress” that has no room for the Bible and that wreaks havoc in her family.

And Lars also specializes in writing about the strange denizens of Scandinavian myth, legend, and folklore.  (See The Year of the Warrior.)  The thing about Chris Anderson is that, as he struggles with his withered arm and his self-doubts, he sees elvish creatures from a parallel world.  And he is regularly visited by his fairy godmother, who herself yearns for baptism and the Christian faith.  All of these fantasy elements are going on at the same time as the realistic story and as a sort of commentary on what is happening.  One critic has called what Lars is doing “Christian magical realism,” which is a good description, a reference to the quite interesting style pioneered by Latin American authors such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez.  (And it’s about time that contemporary Christian authors go beyond formula fiction to experiment with more sophisticated styles and literary effects.)

Another contemporary feature of this novel is that it is being published solely as an e-book, which means too that it costs a mere $2.99.  So if you have a Kindle or the equivalent, download   Troll Valley.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Another author here? Very cool! I’ll have to check this out!

    More power to you, Lars!

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Another author here? Very cool! I’ll have to check this out!

    More power to you, Lars!

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    Thanks for the encouraging review, Dr. Veith.

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    Thanks for the encouraging review, Dr. Veith.

  • Joe

    Looks good! No e-reader though …………..

  • Joe

    Looks good! No e-reader though …………..

  • http://oripomerantz.com/religion.html Ori Pomerantz

    Joe, you can get Kindle and Nook applications for the PC, or Android / iPhone.

  • http://oripomerantz.com/religion.html Ori Pomerantz

    Joe, you can get Kindle and Nook applications for the PC, or Android / iPhone.

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    I should probably note for Nook readers that an .epub version is avaialable from lulu.com. We hope to be selling through B&N soon as well.

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    I should probably note for Nook readers that an .epub version is avaialable from lulu.com. We hope to be selling through B&N soon as well.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    Another Lars book, nice! My wife will be in for a surprise as her kindle dings on a new download. Although if she reads this first then she won’t be surprised.

    Lars, are you planning anymore books with Father Aillil? He is one of my favorite characters.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    Another Lars book, nice! My wife will be in for a surprise as her kindle dings on a new download. Although if she reads this first then she won’t be surprised.

    Lars, are you planning anymore books with Father Aillil? He is one of my favorite characters.

  • Steve P

    I’m eager to read it. My dad grew up about 40 miles downstream from where the author grew up.

  • Steve P

    I’m eager to read it. My dad grew up about 40 miles downstream from where the author grew up.

  • Mary

    Just downloaded it!

  • Mary

    Just downloaded it!

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    Dr. Luther, I have another Father Ailill book written. I expect we’ll release it in a year or so. More to come with time, I hope.

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    Dr. Luther, I have another Father Ailill book written. I expect we’ll release it in a year or so. More to come with time, I hope.

  • Bob

    ‘Lars also specializes in hard-hitting Christian critiques of modernity.’

    So you mean he specializes in topics like the conservative Christian fusion to right-wing, reactionary, conservative, status-quo politics?

    “a certain kind of Pietism can turn to moralism, which can then turn to progressivism,…”

    OMG! Progressivism!! Don’t dare mention that hellish phrase!!

    That would definitely be much worse than becoming an apostate and leaving the Faith!!
    :)

  • Bob

    ‘Lars also specializes in hard-hitting Christian critiques of modernity.’

    So you mean he specializes in topics like the conservative Christian fusion to right-wing, reactionary, conservative, status-quo politics?

    “a certain kind of Pietism can turn to moralism, which can then turn to progressivism,…”

    OMG! Progressivism!! Don’t dare mention that hellish phrase!!

    That would definitely be much worse than becoming an apostate and leaving the Faith!!
    :)

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    What are you talking about, Bob? Read the book and decide for yourself if he’s right or not.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    What are you talking about, Bob? Read the book and decide for yourself if he’s right or not.

  • Daniel Crandall

    I own a NOOK, and happily downloaded the epub version here. My only issue is that my e-copy of Troll Valley didn’t include the wonderful artwork on the cover. :-(

    I’m really enjoying the book.

  • Daniel Crandall

    I own a NOOK, and happily downloaded the epub version here. My only issue is that my e-copy of Troll Valley didn’t include the wonderful artwork on the cover. :-(

    I’m really enjoying the book.

  • http://oripomerantz.com/religion.html Ori Pomerantz

    Oops. It seems I can package the book so it would pass the filters and be propagated to bn.com and iBooks, or I can package it with the cover, but I can’t do both. Mea Culpa.

    Daniel, would you mind sending me an e-mail? I am ori simple tech com . If you give me your e-mail, I’ll send you an epub that has the cover.

  • http://oripomerantz.com/religion.html Ori Pomerantz

    Oops. It seems I can package the book so it would pass the filters and be propagated to bn.com and iBooks, or I can package it with the cover, but I can’t do both. Mea Culpa.

    Daniel, would you mind sending me an e-mail? I am ori simple tech com . If you give me your e-mail, I’ll send you an epub that has the cover.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Simply found the book to be phenomenal. Kind of a Lutheran ” pilgrims Progress” but more interesting, and too Lutheran to enjoy the popularity it deserves, for that matter too controversial. And controversial for his conservativism.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Simply found the book to be phenomenal. Kind of a Lutheran ” pilgrims Progress” but more interesting, and too Lutheran to enjoy the popularity it deserves, for that matter too controversial. And controversial for his conservativism.

  • http://www,brandywinebooks..net Lars Walker

    Thanks, Bror.

  • http://www,brandywinebooks..net Lars Walker

    Thanks, Bror.

  • Joanne

    I know about dem Trolls, Lars. I spent a week or so in Iceland once and they were everywhere. They make them the toll takers at the tunnels, cause there’s an Althing decision from 1108 that gives the Trolls authority over all tunnels. And, don’t pick up or move a rock until you know that it is not being used by a Troll, which is a very hard thing to know, so just never pick up or move a rock while you’re in Iceland. And one more thing, on Sunday at the Cathedral (not Hallgrimskirja) in Reykyavik, the Trolls, they looked just like boys from the catechism class, had to sit up in the galleries away from all the humans. But I know they were trolls because they giggled and kicked the pews all threw the baptism that morning. It’s just another cross those poor Icelanders must bear.

  • Joanne

    I know about dem Trolls, Lars. I spent a week or so in Iceland once and they were everywhere. They make them the toll takers at the tunnels, cause there’s an Althing decision from 1108 that gives the Trolls authority over all tunnels. And, don’t pick up or move a rock until you know that it is not being used by a Troll, which is a very hard thing to know, so just never pick up or move a rock while you’re in Iceland. And one more thing, on Sunday at the Cathedral (not Hallgrimskirja) in Reykyavik, the Trolls, they looked just like boys from the catechism class, had to sit up in the galleries away from all the humans. But I know they were trolls because they giggled and kicked the pews all threw the baptism that morning. It’s just another cross those poor Icelanders must bear.

  • Joanne

    PS Lars, All the Nordic pubic libraries will buy your new book, as I’m sure they have always bought your books. The public ibrary in Reykjavik’s English collection is larger than its Icelandic collection.

  • Joanne

    PS Lars, All the Nordic pubic libraries will buy your new book, as I’m sure they have always bought your books. The public ibrary in Reykjavik’s English collection is larger than its Icelandic collection.

  • Joanne

    You notice Radical Bob’s reaction above. Tell me, isn’t progressivism really just do-gooderism with other peoples money otained with the sword of the government.

    But, just sayin’: You should have your publicist write his own reviews of your books and then pay the book trade mags to print it under one of their reviewers names. Don’t mention anything about conservative or Christian, but say something about the labor struggles of Trolls who worked at the farm machine factory. Every library in the world will buy your book then. Tell ‘em it’s a Marquez meets Sinclair Lewis kinda book. And, if you really think about it, with all that Nordic mysticism in your book, who’s to say that, on some level, it isn’t about progresssive Trolls???

  • Joanne

    You notice Radical Bob’s reaction above. Tell me, isn’t progressivism really just do-gooderism with other peoples money otained with the sword of the government.

    But, just sayin’: You should have your publicist write his own reviews of your books and then pay the book trade mags to print it under one of their reviewers names. Don’t mention anything about conservative or Christian, but say something about the labor struggles of Trolls who worked at the farm machine factory. Every library in the world will buy your book then. Tell ‘em it’s a Marquez meets Sinclair Lewis kinda book. And, if you really think about it, with all that Nordic mysticism in your book, who’s to say that, on some level, it isn’t about progresssive Trolls???

  • Lisa Stapp

    I’m so excited to hear about this new book and author. (Okay, so he’s only new to me… I’m still delighted!)

  • Lisa Stapp

    I’m so excited to hear about this new book and author. (Okay, so he’s only new to me… I’m still delighted!)

  • Steve P.

    I finally finished the novel. It kept me up late last night. I liked it very much.

    It reminded me of C. S. Lewis, especially The Great Divorce.

  • Steve P.

    I finally finished the novel. It kept me up late last night. I liked it very much.

    It reminded me of C. S. Lewis, especially The Great Divorce.


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