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THE GOOD FRIEND (working title)

Bjørn Esben Almaas

  • Original Title: DEN GODE VENNEN
  • Publication date: December 2019
  • Country: NO
  • 154 print pages
  • Drama


  • Epoch: Mixed
  • Time Period: 20th century, 21st century
  • Location setting: Norway
  • Themes: FAMILY, Childhood, Paternity, Filiation, PEOPLE facing life, Looking back on one's life, Facing failure, PEOPLE facing the extraordinary, Psychological dysfunction, SOCIETY DYSFUNCTIONS, Violence, LOVE / HATE, Destruction, Perversion, Sex, CHARACTERS, Child


A heart-rending childhood tale of a boy, his loneliness and quiet desperation after a traumatic experience.


Nominated for the Nordic Council Literature Prize 2020

Translation rights sold: Denmark

Bjørn Esben Almaas is a Norwegian writer. He made his debut in 2001 with the collection of short stories COSTA DEL SOL which received great reviews. He has also made short films and written movie scripts.


In THE GOOD FRIEND we follow an 11-year-old boy during a few autumn months in 1987. The second part of the story takes part in 2013, when the main character has married and himself become a father to two boys.

From August to November 1987, something happens with the boy. He is being pushed around by classmates and other people around him. But there is also something else going on. He becomes evasive and less talkative. He doesn’t want to be a boy scout anymore, and doesn’t want to go to school. But what has really happened?

As an adult we meet him as everyday family life threatens to slip away from him, and a sudden abyss appears among those closest to him: How do you see your children when you yourself know so much about the vulnerability of being a child?

Bjørn Esben Almaas portrays a young boy’s sensitivity and innocence with tenderness and compassion. THE GOOD FRIEND is a powerful story that step by step reveals the fragile threads between the child and the adult.

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