“Wästberg writes touchingly on the subject’s childhood, and also with particular assurance and transcendence about Sparrman’s African journeys – as readers would expect after the acclaim greeting the second part of Wästberg’s memoirs, Vägarna till Afrika (The Ways to Africa) published in 2007.”
-Swedish book review
"What can one say about a work of literature unlike any one has read before? In a long life of reading I have never encountered anything quite like this sweepingly original symbiosis of scientific knowledge and curiosity, sensuality, narrative of human ethos and personality, research into form and significance of nature, written with thrilling grace."
—Nadine Gordimer, Nobel Prize in Literature recipient.
"A subtle, breathtaking achievement. As historical fiction it effortlessly and magisterially prises open worlds unknown. As prose it achieves a luminosity and precision that is the true domain of poetry."
"In this absorbing fusion of biography and imagination, Per Wästberg has movingly taken us inside the head of a remarkable man . . . As a reader I'm grateful for his discovery of Anders Sparrman; as a writer, I envy it."
—Adam Hochschild, author, King Leopold's Ghost
"Fellow Swede Wästberg (chairman of the Nobel Committee for Literature) has done [Sparrman] (and us) a service by freeing this serious, lonely, conscientious, humane man from the trap of history."
"The novel is fascinating both in detail and insight on the life and times, the science and discoveries of an important Swedish naturalist and explorer."
—The Historical Novels Review