The Black Tongue

  • by Marko Hautala, Jenni Salmi - translator
  • Narrated by James Patrick Cronin
  • 8 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

For generations, the urban legend of Granny Hatchet has plagued the quiet residential area of Suvikylä in northern Finland. As the story goes, this immortal killer murders her victims with a hatchet then buries the hearts in a potato field and eats them after they've rotted black. But not everyone is convinced it is just a story.
Maisa Riipinen has returned to her hometown to complete her dissertation on urban folklore at the same time that Samuel Autio has come home to arrange his father's funeral. As hazy, disturbing memories from their pasts meld with strange events in the present, Maisa and Samuel attempt to make sense of the town's fearful obsession with the mythical Granny Hatchet. But if it's only a legend, then why are people still vanishing without a trace?
From Finnish author Marko Hautala comes The Black Tongue, a gripping novel about a terrifying story with the power to silence - and the power to make those who dare speak disappear.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Tedious as scraping barnacles off a hull

This poor book was written for a limited audience. If you're not a post gorh adolescent, you will request that your purchase price be refunded. I stuck with it for quite a while thinking something would cross the pages expkaining the happuy pyblisher's review. Nope. Nada. Totally suited for a Halloween comic book.
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- Donna

Poorly translated and a disjointed story

Would you try another book from Marko Hautala and Jenni Salmi - translator and/or James Patrick Cronin?

No. The translation is way too literal, like a non-native English speaker did it. The terminology, phrasing and references were all foreign and distracting. The narration switches between 1st and 3rd person, maybe 4th person at times(if that's possible). The narrative is a mix of thoughts, internal dialogue, memories and what's happening now. Impossible to follow.

What was most disappointing about Marko Hautala and Jenni Salmi - translator ’s story?

It's incredibly juvenile. The author is obsessed with under-age teen sex, condoms, drinking and puking for some reason. Someone is constantly doing of these things, awkwardly and usually without motivation. He talks about sex, drugs and rock n roll like someone who's heard about these things, but never experienced them. The conversations and encounters are all unbelievable and awkward.

How could the performance have been better?

The story may be great, I don't even know. It needs to be westernized and translated in a way that "translates" so it can be followed as the scenes switch. Also, the entire performance sounds like it's half-whispered.

What character would you cut from The Black Tongue?

All references to the parents are over the top stereotypes and don't add anything to move the story forward.

Any additional comments?

I can't tell WHEN this is supposed to take place. There are references to flat panel TV's and cellphones, but the teenagers are all listening to 80s metal music, using Walkmans, playing VHS and cassette tapes. Yet Julia carries a camcorder everywhere. Maybe this is the norm in Finland, but it really takes you out of the story here in the US.

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- Kevin R. Smith

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-22-2015
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio