Gunnar's Book of Records

Gunnar has created his own record book. In it, he writes about both the good and the bad parts of life. Gunnar doesn’t want to show the book to anyone, but what happens if the record book falls into the wrong hands?

Gunnar owns a book. A book full of records. In it, he writes about Sivert, who is the best friend in the whole world, about Sivert’s father, who must be the world’s happiest man, about Dad, who just lies on the couch and is the saddest person Gunnar knows. And about Vilde, who has the world’s most beautiful smile.

But he doesn’t write about how a heart can just stop beating, and he doesn’t write about Mom. And he doesn’t show the book to anyone. No one gets to read Gunnar’s record book.

The Gunnar Book of Records maintains a gentle tone throughout the entire book. Even though grief over the loss of his mother is the central theme of the story, the narrative is neither sad nor heavy. Totland employs a light and mildly naive language with an eye for details that elevates the story far beyond its themes.


By showing us reality as Gunnar sees it, Totland creates a tender realism.