The Magnetist`s Fifth Winter

The thing I love about read is that you never know when you are going to discover a hidden gem you somehow never heard about. Take this Per Ulov Enquist for instance - I had never heard much about him and now I`ve totally fallen in love. So, maybe I don`t fall in love with 70 year old Swedes in the carnal meaning of the word but this story about the magnetist clearly ranks among the best I`ve read in quite a long time. It is a partly true story about a man travelling around and practicing so called "magnetism medicine" - a somewhat mystical treatment of patients that sometimes tends to work miracuosly. What is good about the book is that despite the reader being aware the this Meissner is not a good man and that he is partly a fraud one can not wish him not to succeed - for after all his treatment is usually much more humane (and reasonable for that matter) than that used by the so called professional doctors. In terms of style it reminds me of Patrick Sueskinds "Perfume" - it takes part in the 18th century, it has its share of mysticism and unexplainable content, and the hero himself is also similar to the perfumer (he is also a bit crazy for sex, just like that other fellow). What surprises me the most is how could this book be published in the Soviet Latvia in 1980 - it`s a bit dirty, it doesn`t have no social moralizing whatsoever, it`s mystical and it does`t mention Carl Marx even once. Strange, isn`t it? Now the only thing I know is that I`m going to be looking for other books by Enquist in order to be dissapointed most likely. Yet "The Magnetist`s fifth winter" will surely find its place among my all time favourite books.
2006-02-25
9.0
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