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Literature / Berättelse om herr Roos

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"Life will never get better than this. Never better than this."
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Berättelse om herr Roos ("The story about Mr Roos") is a crime novel written by Håkan Nesser in 2008 and the third book in The Barbarotti Series.

Valdemar Roos, almost 60 years old, seems like a boring person. He is unhappily married to Alice and works for 20 years for the same company and awaits nothing more eagerly than a change in his boring life. One day, he wins almost 2 million SEK playing pools, but instead of telling somebody about it, he quits his hated job and buys "Lograna", a cabin deep in the woods, and starts a second life, pretending to his family that he goes to his job every morning. He spends his days simply enjoying life and taking walks. Meanwhile, a young woman called Anna runs away from a drug withdrawal home after being mistreated, and runs into Valdemar and his cabin while looking for a shelter. At first, Anna is timid and avoids meeting Valdemar personally, but after some time the two get to know each other better and become friends. Soon after though, Anna's brutal ex-boyfriend Steffo manages to track Anna and attacks her, whereby Steffo gets killed by either Anna or Valdemar. From now on, Inspector Gunnar Barbarotti has to investigate this crime.

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Tropes:

  • Alcoholic Parent: Anna's father died from drinking, and her mother seems to have become an alcoholic too.
  • Arc Words: "Aldrig bättre än såhär."note 
  • Bastard Boyfriend: Steffo was this to Anna.
    Steffo: You're mine. Never forget that you are Steffo's now.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Wilma and Signe, Valdemar's stepdaughters.
  • Character Title: "Berättelse om herr Roos"
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Valdemar, before he wins the money.
  • Detective Fiction: The second half is from Barbarotti's point of view.
  • Gambler's Fallacy/Million-to-One Chance: Valdemar has been playing pools for years with the same numbers before finally winning 1 954 120kr.
  • Interrupted Suicide/Faking the Dead: Valdemar at the end. Though it is left open at the end of this book and is only revealed some books later when Barbarotti runs into Anna and she tells him that Valdemar actually is alive.
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  • Lack of Empathy: Averted with Steffo. Steffo once told Anna from a session at a psychotherapist; and that the psychotherapist told Steffo that children who abuse animals don't understand that the animals feel pain and that some people will never understand that, even later in life, and that she hopes that Steffo is not one of these people. Steffo then told her that he isn't, because when he once broke the wings of his sister's canary bird, he actually did understand that the bird was feeling pain and enjoyed it. Anna is understandingly disgusted and terrified after hearing this.
  • Loners Are Freaks: Both Valdemar and Anna are seen this way by other characters.
  • Recovered Addict: Anna is a former heroine addict.
  • Reverse Whodunnit: The reader knows why Steffo is dead and why Valdemar and Anna are on the run, but the police doesn't until the end.
  • Second Love: Alice was this to Valdemar.
  • Take This Job and Shove It: One of the first things Valdemar does after winning the money is quitting after working for 28 years for Wringmans Elektriska.
  • Tears of Joy: Valdemar, when he first sees Lograna and immediately falls in love with the place.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: It's never told in which country the fictional city of Maardam is. Sometimes it is even assumed that it is in a fictional country.

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