It's an incredibly sad story, but at the same time there are a few glimpses of real, relieving happiness, when the two men, one of which a former bully victim, and the other a jehovah's witness, finally drop their disguises and are themselves only.
Gardell's writing alternates between being magnificent and very simple, but perhaps that's the perfect way to reach through to people. This isn't meant to be a big work of prose. This is meant to reach and affect people, and that it absolutely did. Reading this book is almost as being there, back in the early 80's, in the middle of all the injustice, alienation and the AIDS epidemic. This is the most important Swedish literature in a long time.