Beaten up, bruised, and scared, a young writer hides in a Stockholm apartment, writing the story of its disappeared inhabitants: the flamboyant and charismatic Morgan brothers.
It all began a year earlier, when he was rooming with Henry Morgan, a boxer, piano player, composer, bartender, and old-fashioned gentleman with a Gatsby-like capacity for turning life into a feast and absolutely no talent for keeping secrets.
The two friends led the high-life in Stockholm until the day Henry’s younger brother Leo – a star poet, drunk, political provocateur – showed up. Leo drags them into a scandal involving illegal weapons and gangsters, and soon the three men find themselves unwittingly and irreversibly trapped in a dangerous plot.
Written with an intense regard for storytelling and style, Gentlemen is the most important literary work to emerge from Sweden in the past thirty years – simultaneously celebrating and mourning the post-WWII era with its jazz music, poetry, hidden treasures, and espionage.
Klas Ostergren was born in Stockholm in 1955 and is the author of several novels including the landmark Gentlemen (1981) and its sequel, Gangsters (2005). A leading star of Swedish literature for nearly three decades, he has won the Piratenpriset and the Doblougska prize from the Swedish Academy. A founder of the rock band Fullersta Revolutionary Orchestra, Ostergren has also worked as a playwright, scriptwriter for television and screen, and translator from French and English. His translations include works by J.D. Salinger, Charles Baudelaire, Henrik Ibsen, and Harold Pinter. He now lives with his wife and three children in the seafront town of Kivik in southern Sweden.
“...dazzling, uninhibited storytelling...A breathtaking performance.”
— Horace Engdahl, Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy
Publication Date: April 17, 2007
trim size: 9 x 6.4 x 1.8