The Snake Trial Stone

1988, Tammi

A mysterious stone has appeared on the floor of a cottage. A green, moist stone. No one knows where it had come from. No one knows who had brought it. Is it a sign? The family does not know, but the stone will change the life for them all. No one will be the same. Not Karlo or Manu, not Johanna or Sigrid, not Alalaita or the beautiful Saara. Not even the silent Hemmi.

“Baltzar carries the tale forward in brief, visual flashes. He has full control and his expression is dense. The novel is the delight of the Autumn.”

Matti Rinne, Ilta-Sanomat 29/10/88

“The way that Baltzar approaches his topic does not relate to any other Finnish author. As closest examples, one may think of Erskine Caldwell and John Steinbeck. It all comes down to bringing forth the underlying current. The inner biological self of man is bare, unprotected; the fight over prestige and authority is bold, cunning and aware at the same time. The battle and fight is accepted, plotting, attacking and evasion are frank."

Erkki Kiviniemi, Uusi-Suomi 26/10/88

“Baltzar is truly unique author in Finland. Similar capacity to strip down human being, and depicting primeval biological forces, has not been demonstrated by anyone. In the hands of Baltzar, the family members fight over power arrogantly and consciously.The battle, bullying and humiliation are approved of and all is being labelled by topical gesticulation, movements and glances that are long forgotten in the fights of the majority; they have been buried under so called ‘cultivation’. In all its mystery, The Snake Trial Stone is one of the most fascinating books of this season.”

Marita Pere, Lšnsi-Suomi 30/10/88

“Baltzar has created a frontier novel for the Roma."

Jorma Heinonen, Keski-Suomalainen 10/11/88

“For some reason, award committees have neglected this sharp pen: a Roma, who writes about the Roma. The Snake Trial Stone is a book of most extraordinary nature: hopefully it will be acknowledged and valued accordingly."

Ilari Kopsala, Etelš-Saimaa 9/12/88