I don’t think Fredrik Backman and his translators can do wrong. I’ve read all but one of his published works and at least liked all of them . . . and most of them I loved. Published just in time for Christmas, The Deal of a Lifetime is a short story (though it is being marketed as a novella, with an $18 price tag to boot) about a successful father and his estranged son. The story is a letter written on Christmas Eve from the father to his son, in which he reveals all about himself: his triumphs and failures, both as a businessman and a parent.
Like most other Backman stories, this is a beautiful, heart-wrenching, and honest look at humanity and relationships. Written in sterling prose, this whole damn book is quotable. I found myself gasping in shock at least once a page at just how spot-on Backman’s writing is, and how real his characters feel. Though this story clocks in at a scant 66 pages, it has the depth and pay-off of a long novella, at least.
I am usually skeptical of purchasing such little books for hefty prices, but I feel I got my ten bucks’ worth and then some out of this. Backman never disappoints, and this has moved me to read Britt-Marie Was Here before the end of the year. A delightful and melancholy Christmas fairy tale, I suspect I will be reading The Deal of a Lifetime annually. My highest recommendation.