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Purge (2008)

What happened in the questioning? Why everything changed after that? Who is buried under the floor?

← Back to Purge


  • [PURGE] processes Estonia’s modern history and its first chapter displays the most condensed, metaphorically effective prose I have read in a long time.
    — Aftonbladet (Sweden)
  • Sofi Oksanen has become a literary phenomenon...Purge is a flawed, brilliant piece of work that does not easily relinquish its grip on reader's imagination.
    — The Times (UK)
  • A dark, harrowing, and at times difficult read that wrings every ounce of emotion from the reader.
    — The Bookseller (UK)
  • Don’t ask me to lend you my copy of Purge. I won’t part with it. I have read it twice. The first time, I was so engrossed in the story that I couldn’t put it down, even when my daughter was singing to me. I decided to read it again, slowly. That was difficult. The narrative is so gripping that I found myself totally immersed in the book for the second time. . . . Beautifully crafted . . . Will grip the reader as surely as Steig Larsson’s books have.
    — The Concord Monitor (US)
  • Verdict: Highly recommended for fans of classic Russian writers like Tolstoy and Pasternak, as well as those who enjoy a contemporary tale of lust and betrayal.
    — Library Journal Review (US)
  • A sheer masterpiece… A marvel… I hope that everyone in the world who knows how to read, reads Purge.
    — Nancy Huston, author of Fault Lines (Canada)
  • Set in 1992, only three years removed from the joyful optimism undammed by the demolition of the Berlin Wall, Purge burns through the mists to show how decades of debasement have twisted society in the former USSR into one characterized by crime and cruelty. Oksanen couches this larger theme within a tight, unconventional crime novel, one punctuated by dreadful silences, shameful revelations and repellent intimacies. By examining the toll of history on a close, personal level, Oksanen . . . makes the cost of mere survival sickeningly palpable. . . . Evoking both noir and fairy tales . . . Purge is an engrossing read.
    — National Public Radio (US)
  • This wonderfully subtle thriller…captures both the tragic consequences of one of Europe’s biggest conflicts and the universal horrors that war inflicts on women. With a tone somewhere between Ian McEwan’s Atonement and the best of the current crop of European crime novelists, this bitter gem promises great things from the talented Oksanen.
    — Kirkus Reviews (US)
  • Taut, well-crafted tale of Europe´s still living post-war pain.
    — Booklist (US)
  • Now and then I read books that are so good that I can’t quite understand how the author does it. This applies to PURGE.
    — Dagbladet (Norway)
  • By reading Sofi Oksanen one regains faith in literary art’s power and potential.
    — Göteborgs-Posten (Sweden)
  • Its themes of love, treachery, power and powerlessness are timeless. Purge vibrates with tension: unspoken secrets and deeply shameful deeds stretch out across the book like a web and compel the reader to keep reading. With a rare precise and apposite language Oksanen describes what history does to individuals and history’s pervasion in the present.
    — Jury of Nordic Council Literary Prize
  • Only the very best that can bring to light a suffering mind and find a wounded nation within.
    — Jyllands-Posten (Denmark)
  • If you won’t read another book this year, then read Purge.
    — Elle (Denmark)
  • When the concentrated focus of drama and the multidimensionality of narrative conjoin, Puhdistus is born – a muscular, harsh, and solid book.
    — Pekka Tarkka awarding The Finlandia Prize for Purge
  • A suggestion for the Nobel Prize. /…/ If you’re going to read one book this spring, read Sofi Oksanen’s Puhdistus. /…/ Oksanen writes superbly. Language, technique, plot and message – all in an alloy that is sensational. [Oksanen will receive] the Nobel Prize in a few years. If one is allowed to guess.
    — Dagens Nyheter (Sweden)