Review of the short story collection – The Man Behind the Mirror

by Jette Holst, Horsens Library “The man behind the mirror and other deadly stories” is a series of fate stories that take you on a journey from before to now and to what is waiting in an unknown future. In the early ’00s, Jan Patrick Skaarup received a harsh message from the doctor. He was in the risk group to die of a blood clot, and the forecasts looked not good. Fortunately, it was not that bad, but the frightened Skaarup started writing. In 2015, he published a biography about his grandmother, outbreak king Carl August Lorentzen, and now this novel collection is about the tragicomic things that happen in life. Skaarup writes in his preface that you should not read the collection if you have just lost a sweet person. I will give him that right. As equally entertaining I think the stories are, it is as clear to me that they are absolutely NOT intended for mourning. On the contrary, Skaarup fills his own fear of death and laughs straight into the face. Already the first novel “By my doctor” gives a good picture of what to expect. The main character is hypokonder and constantly makes his doctor on the doorstep. After receiving a non-satisfactory consultation, the man drives the vehicle where he is witnessing a traffic accident with a known victim. The story is about how difficult it is to look beyond his own anxiety. The hypokonder does not come with the doctor because he wants to bother him. He is really afraid of being ill. Therefore, it’s a pain for him to know that he must come back in a week. He thinks he is dying. The end of the novel is harsh in a laugh-high-of-the-absurd-in-situ-mode. Very appealing. I was very pleasantly surprised by the “Man behind the mirror”, which is both full of black humor, but also with thoughtful considerations of being man and middle of life. There are tales about seizing life, if not daring, to dream and – of course – about death. A really entertaining novel for both men and women who are not afraid to be provoked a little.]]>