Magdalena Hai: The Smelly Hand (Haiseva Käsi)



Remember those horror stories your friends told you when you went to the elementary school? If you do, this novel will give you a flashback experience. But these stories are fantastic and have clever twists, even if those ones from the past days were not. So, despite the somewhat off-putting title, the novel is well worth reading.

Magdalena Hai: Smelly Hand/Haiseva Käsi

Author: Magdalena Hai (=Shark; this is a pen name)
Publisher: Karisto 2016, Finland
Category: MG horror fiction, collection of short stories
Original language: Finnish
Rating: 4/5

HelMet Reading Challenge 2017: number 7. A book written under a pen name.

Magdalena Hai has let her imagination run wild. The book consists of 18 short stories, which are all more or less related to an imaginary place called Uhriniituntakainen, (Behindofvictimfiild [Note! misspelling on purpose]). There are very strange things happening in this place, each worse than the other. And in one of the stories the reader finally learns why. There is also a short introduction to Uhriniituntakainen and in the end a chapter with a few jokes along the theme.

Besides making the hairs on your arm stand up from the gory details, the stories may also raise thoughts on a bit more serious issues of school bullying, parents’ divorce or loneliness. The stories are short and easy to read, but they keep your brains working a long time afterwards. Imaginative twists and interesting characters keep any reader glued to the pages. The only minus comes from the title, which gives a completely wrong image of the collection.


Chemistry teacher’s hand smells every day a bit worse. Irina and Toivo are travelling to their grandmother on the express train 214, but there’s also a slim lady with bug-like glasses in the train. The human sized doll won from the fair might not be completely ordinary…

Smelly Hand and other terrible stories from Uhriniituntakainen is simultaneously dreadful, beautiful and mischievous collection of short stories for MGs. The stories are scary and funny, but also deal with issues causing anxiety to many young people, like school bullying, parents’ divorce and loneliness.”


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