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The chapters are days in his life. He's old, lives alone in a basement apartment, his health deteriorates as the book progresses and it's more and more difficult for him to get out.

One story I remember was him meeting his daughter on the street or in a store (they weren't seeing each other on a regular basis) and then she told him she drinks her urine for health reasons and he was surprised that she has a sense of humor but she wasn't joking.

Around the middle of the book he met an old judge who sent him to jail and regretted doing so (I think the old man was a doctor and performed a mercy killing but maybe it was something else), they became kind of friends and used to meet in a park.

I think there was also another unrelated story in that book (or maybe it was related but not in a clear way) about a man being accused of a crime of a sexual nature because of his coat. He wasn't guilty but was impacted heavily buy the investigation.

I think it happened in the 20th century. I might be wrong about the writer being Scandinavian and maybe I misremember some of the details I described.

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Found it:
Kjell Askildsen - Thomas F's Last Notes to the Public

I read it in Hebrew and it looks like there is no English translation, probably that's why people here are not familiar with it. Shame, it's a great book.


It matches the story based on the following:

It is about a man who is informed by a stark and somewhat sinister police man that he is suspected of having committed a heinous crime. Living with this suspicion becomes unbearable and he ends up completely dominated by it.

Matches the story about a man being accused of a crime.

The second story though, the titular Thomas F.... It is a first-person account of a very aged misanthrope, a sort of short diary of events and memories.

Matches the old man part. Both quotes are from here. The Daughter is also mentioned in another review.

a surprise meeting with a daughter

And of course Kjell Askildsen is a 20th century Scandinavian(Norwegian) author.


How did I find it? I looked at different 20th century Scandinavian authors but couldn't find it. Got no responses here so I checked tag info looking for ways to improve my question.

The paragraph about translation gave me the idea to search in Hebrew(Israel is a small market and I didn't think there are translations to Hebrew that don't exist in English) searching for "סופרים נורבגים" Norwegian writers in Hebrew I found a different book by Askildsen A Great Deserted Landscape.

The name of the author looked familiar and searching his name in Hebrew "של אסקילדסן" immediately shows the book I was looking for which I recognized when I saw it.

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  • Good job finding this! Any chance you could edit to make it a little clearer to other readers how this story fits the description in your question? You know it's correct, but even story-ID questions are often useful to future visitors, so it helps to provide evidence that doesn't require following the link to read the book. See also.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Mar 20 '18 at 17:22
  • @Randal'Thor I did what I can, somewhat difficult when it's a self-answer.
    – Oleg
    Mar 20 '18 at 22:18
  • Thanks! I already upvoted, but this answer looks muuuch better now.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Mar 20 '18 at 22:21

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