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Yours Until Death

Varg Veum
Written by: Gunnar Staalesen
Narrated by: Colin Mace
Length: 8 hrs and 35 mins

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Publisher's Summary

An unbearably tense novel of revenge, murder, bereavement and the destructive force of passion. First published in Norwegian in 1979, it was described by the critic Nils Nordberg as 'one of the finest, most serious, most ambitious books in post-war Norwegian crime writing'.

The single-mother families of the isolated community under the shadow of the Pyderhorn, Bergen's greatest mountain, are being terrorised by a teenage gang. But teenage violence is nothing compared to what awaits detective Varg Veum when he gets to know the blue-eyed Wenche Andersen.

©2010 Gunnar Staalesen (P)2017 Audible, Ltd

What members say

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Peoko
  • 12-07-17

Great Scandinavian Mystery!

I've been listening to this series since "Where Roses Never Die" was a daily deal. Since Audible has been releasing these out of order, that's how I've been listening to them. Starting with ones set in the late nineties/early aughts, and moving to this one written in 1977 was very interesting. Still, the characters and plot were just as compelling as the more recent installments.

Varg Veum is a subtle character, but his light sense of humor is well portrayed. The stories are a little dark in general, though this one was less so. I wouldn't say that I was on the edge of my seat, but I certainly never lost interest. This was the second book in the series, and I think as they go on the mysteries become more complex, but I was still surprised by the ending.

In short, I would absolutely recommend this to a friend, and hope that Audible puts out more from this series soon!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Debbie
  • 20-07-19

Likeable Varg . . . The Rest Not So Much

This just happens to be the second Varg Veum mystery I’ve listened to . . . and I’m glad. Where Roses Never Die was a FIVE STAR listen. This one was not. But as other reviewers have noted, I am going to trust that the author gets better and better. The redeeming quality for Yours Until Death is this: Varg Veum is a good guy. Honest, still trusting in a society where nothing is as it seems, and everyone is out to rip you off. In this book he is 36 years old, divorced and not yet ready to give up on love. I like that about him. And I like that he is always for the underdog . . . that is until they lie to him. What I did not like about this book is that there were few likeable characters other than Varg. It was a sad story about people who continuously make poor decisions based on selfish motives. I will probably try some more in the series, only because I loved Where Roses Never Die . . . oh, and I want to see what Varg will do to right things in a screwed up world.

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  • Zenjen
  • 11-05-18

Hammett meets Greene meets Rilke

Atmosphere like Maltese Falcon, Greene’s emotional characters and Rilke’s imagery. Not sure I’m moving forward with this series but if you love dark, moody and destitute - you’ll enjoy this.

Narrator is awesome.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • SerenitySue
  • 19-02-18

Another fine book by Gunnar Staalesen

This is the second book I've read featuring private detective Varg Veum. I don't know how I missed this outstanding writer in my search for Scandanavian writers. But I am hooked by his prose, skillful character development, and the ability to make me care and understand even the most minor characters.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Diane
  • 07-09-17

Excellent Writer

Truly a literary pleasure. I did have some trouble keeping the many characters straight in my mind, likely because the foreign names were long and unfamiliar, but aside from that, I really enjoyed the book

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Terry
  • 12-10-17

Unnecessary Hyperbole

Full of unnecessary hyperbole, a weak story and ending, Varg Veum is no Harry Hole.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Keith
  • 05-06-19

a good story...<br />

that was over embellished with 'smart remarks or quips ', but the killer was illusive to the end

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  • Silver Fox
  • 28-05-19

If it wasn't for Colin Mace's....

....excellent narration this book would barely rate a 2 from me. I found the story weak, and it took far too long for the unfolding of the core story to begin. Personally I found the female characters one dimensional. This writer not for me. Only Colin Mace's performance kept me listening.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 24-07-19

Good start to an improving series

This is an interesting scandi noir novel. Gunna gives his protaganist an authentic voice, a sense of purpose and an appropriate number of flaws to keep things interesting.

Varg is quick witted and gritty and Gunnar Staalesen has him reflecting on his circumstances and the environment in which he inhabits enough to make it worth the read. Varg also has a Marlowe mouth which works for me. The book gives a great sense of place and its had me on google earth to check out the lay of the land.

For what its worth, for me, the plot in this one is a little so so, but it was still interesting enough to keep me engaged. This audiobook got me interested in the series and the subsequent audiobooks have built on Varg's story and I have really enjoyed the plot lines. Varg is not the brilliant holmes detective but he has contacts, he follows through, he understands the lay of the land and he has handy intuition.

This audiobook, like all the audio books in this series is brilliantly read, I cant see how it couldn't be done better, the label says by Colin Mace (I might look up what else he has read).

Varg is Marlowe-esk, Gunnar Staalesen isn't Chandler, but he doesn't need to be, he has his own unique voice and i am stoked that I came across this series of books and thoroughly recommend them.



Gunnar Staale