No one knows where little Leon got his muscles from. His mother knows, worst of all, just how hard it is for him to control his strength. Especially when he wants to cuddle. And Leon loves to cuddle.
While Danica struggles to keep a handle on her son, Mirko struggles with his forbidden feelings for the woman on the farm next door. It is a love doomed from the start, not only because Mirko is still a boy when they first meet and Danica is a grown woman and mother, but also because she is married to Karl, a giant of a man.
Love and lust drive Mirko from his godly home into the secret hell that is Danica’s life. One fateful night, the price he pays will prove fatal to all those he holds dear and bind him to Leon until death them do part.
Published in Denmark on October 10th 2019 by Lindhardt and Ringhof
Original Danish title: BÆST
Set somewhere in the Balkans sometime in the middle of the 20th century, BEAST is a mystical tale of the unusual bond between Mirko, the boy next door, and Leon, too strong for his own good.
In parts of the book the author plays with references to John Steinbeck’s classic “Of Mice and Men”. However, as revealed in the postscript, the idea for BEAST originated from the world of science when Riel became fascinated by a case about a baby with a rare genetic double mutation that made him extraordinarily strong. And so both scientific and literary inspiration meet in a story that is very much its own. BEAST is an examination of strength and weakness, guilt and innocence, love, destiny, and the beast within.
- Nominated for The MARTHA AWARD 2020 aka The Readers Favourite Author Award (Denmark)
- Nominated for The THRILLZONE AWARD 2020 (The Netherlands)
This highly anticipated third novel by Ane Riel was published in Denmark in October 2019 by Lindhardt and Ringhof and rights have been sold to several countries incl. Germany, Sweden, Norway, Italy and The Netherlands.
Please note that BEAST is a work of literary fiction. It was not written nor published as a thriller or a crime novel.
Scroll down to read reviews.
The Dutch version of BEAST was released in 2020 by Prometheus. The novel was translated by Kor de Vries who also translated RESIN (called HARS in Dutch). And like it’s predecessor BEEST was received very well in The Netherlands and Belgium. For instance, the Belgian national newspaper De Standaard even had it as no. 3 on their top 5 of that summer. Below a few quotes from various reviews:
“BEEST is another masterpiece by Ane Riel”
“Ane Riel has written another gem”
“Her books are phenomenal in each their way.”
“The story is of a rare beauty. A top-class novel.”
To read reviews / see more about the Dutch reception of BEAST please click HERE (or scroll down to see reviews).
Since the Dutch release, BEAST has also been released and positively received in Sweden and Norway. The Norwegian version (BEIST) was translated by Cecilie Winger and published by Aschehoug. In Sweden the book (MONSTRET) was published by Modernista and translated by Helena Hansson.
On June 14. 2022 the book is coming out in Germany, translated by Julie Gschwilm. The German version is called BIEST.
Reviews of BEAST
“A blast of a novel… Ane Riel has once again written a fantastic, inventive novel with exceptional prose that, even at the center of great distress and misery, provokes laughter. No need to feel guilty: it’s the linguistic surprises and eccentric turns of phrase of which Riel is a master. The cast of characters is just as lively (and just as dead – literally) as in her two previous novels. The dualism in the boy Leon, whose affection, tragically, always causes pain and in the worst case death, is both lovable and abhorrent at the same time. You pity the people around him and, at the same time, root for the infantile he-man… It is incredibly well-written and the setting, probably somewhere in southern Europe some years back, comes across vividly and fully illuminated. The same is true of the characters.”
“Odd and captivating… The story builds slowly and bites deeply. The author has a special skill for writing plots and characters that get under the reader’s skin. She lulls the reader into an intoxicated state from which one can’t escape.”
De Standaard (Belgium)
“One of the best books this summer.”
Noordhollandsch Dagblad (Holland)
“Riel tells her story with a mixture of fairy tale and reality. She knows how to endear the reader to Leon while at the same time making us fear him.”
“(To be translated) Ane Riel har gjort det igen. […] Ane Riel er en fantastisk fortæller. Selvom hendes univers er fiktivt og persongalleriet mildest talt er besynderligt, formår hun også denne gang at skrive en meget stor historie om helt små ting. […] En fantastisk femstjernet fortælling. En af den slags, der bliver siddende i kroppen længe efter, at bogen er løbet tør for sider.”
The ThrillZone (The Netherlands)
“Ane Riel has written another gem with Beast. As with Resin, the story gets under your skin… The writing is phenomenal… Riel grabs you, invites you to read the most horrible things and yet still ensures that you do not put the book down. Everything has its reason; every word has its value. There is no needless beating around the bush… Exceptionally good… Riel’s books are phenomenal in their own unique way… With Beast, Riel will keep you prisoner for hours on end. A fantastic succesor after such a fabulous debut!”
Alles over boeken en schrijvers (The Netherlands)
“Ane Riel rose to fame with Resin, a unique and excellent psychological thriller that left a big impression. One always has to wait and see whether the next book can meet one’s high expectations. Fortunately, this question can be answered with a yes… Beast is a dramatic novel about solidarity, impossible love and friendship.”
“(To be translated) Fortryllet bliver man af Ane Riels roman […] BÆST er en stor fortælling, som er lykkedes umanerligt godt for Riel, der forbilledligt får samlet op på alle de tråde, der bliver spundet undervejs […] På flere måder en unik roman. Riels fortællestil er nøgtern og nytænkende, og så formår hun at sætte gang i læserens indre biograf. Det bliver ikke meget bedre!”
“(To be translated) Hun har gjort det igen, dronningen af de skæve hjerner, mesteren ud i portrætteringen af skæve eksistenser og særegne skæbner. Skulle nogen have været i tvivl efter de første to udgivelser, så hamrer Ane Riel med ”Bæst” en pæl gennem det faktum, at der ikke findes nogen over, og ingen ved siden af: Hun ER indehaver af Danmarks ubestridt mest krøllede forfatterhjerne, og hun er sublim til at formidle fra den. […] Fordybelse er der garanti for hos Riel. I ”Bæst” som i de forgående romaner, kan læseren være sikker på at komme HELT ind under huden på figurerne.”
“(To be translated). En forunderlig, stærk og universel historie med mange elementer – om kærlighed, om venskab, om hævn. Specielt forholdet mellem de to drenge/unge mænd Leon og Mirko rummer en dejlig varm historie, men der er også voldsomme begivenheder og grumme elementer. […] Fortjener fuldt ud 5 funklende stjerner.”
About RESIN – the predecessor
Nominations and awards for RESIN
- Winner of The Glass Key 2016 / Best Nordic suspense novel 2016
- Winner of The Harald Mogensen Award 2016 / Best Danish suspense novel 2016
- Winner of Den Gyllene Kofoten 2017 / Best suspence novel translated into Swedish 2017
- Winner of The Golden Bullet 2017 / Best suspense novel translated into Norwegian 2017
- Winner of The ThrillZone Award 2019 / Best suspense novel translated into Dutch 2019
- Shortlisted for The Petrona Award 2018 / Best Scandinavian Crime Novel published in the UK in 2018
- Shortlisted for The Danish Broadcasting Company’s Best Novel Award 2016
- Nominated for The Readers’ Best Novel Award 2016
- Nominated for The International Dublin Literary Award 2020