A Play in Perspective in Norwegian Artist Oyvind Torseter’s “The Hole”

Myra here.

The first Oyvind Torseter book I read was The Heartless Troll. It appears as if Torseter has a special fondness for this creature protagonist that seems like a more slender and adult Moomin of sorts. Torseter is also known for complex visual narratives that make the reader think.


The Hole

Written and Illustrated by: Øyvind Torseter Translated from the Norwegian by: Wilkins Farago with Assistance from Trono Abelseth
Published by: Wilkins Farago, 2015 ABN: 14 081 592 770 Literary Awards: Brageprisen Nominee for Children’s literature (2012), Gulden Palet (2016)
Bought a copy of the book. Book photos taken by me. 

The book starts innocently enough with the main protagonist who seemed to have just moved into his new home, carrying boxes labeled “books” and “kitchen supplies” among others. He was very quietly eating a meal when he noticed a hole near his door:

As soon as he investigated the hole, his panic increased, as it incredibly started moving about. Had I been in his position, I would think that I was going out of my mind, especially since it seems to follow him around.

I was just floored by Torseter’s play in perspective here, his clever positioning of the hole that has punctured the entire book. Talk about visual wit here. He has, hands down, won my geeky heart. Our protagonist called someone for help and was advised to bring it in for further tests. I was amused by how he “boxed” the hole to bring to scientists who are expected to know better.

Yet, the reader sees how the hole is actually released into the wild as the protagonist walks through the streets carrying the box with the hole in it:

It came as somewhat of a relief to me to note how the “scientists” in the “laboratory” actually saw the hole. A part of me was wondering whether this was all in the protagonist’s mind, but apparently, it is only all-too-real.

How the story ends, I shall leave for you to discover. This is an ingeniously-crafted piece of book engineering that you will have to experience for yourself.

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