Arne Svingen
The Only Thing I Owe You is a Beating

«If I’m being perfectly honest, there’s nothing more cathartic than feeling the strike of Your own fist against the chin of an idiot. Not because I enjoy hurting others. And not even because I love a brawl. But because someone has to fight back.»

Herman has knocked down a boy who turns out to be a friend of the family. When Herman refuses to apologise, he gets reported for assault. But why should he take all the blame? Herman never fights people who aren’t asking for trouble.

Then up pops Silje, who has heard that Herman is a badass, and who has a list of names of people who deserve a smack in the mouth.

The Only Thing I Owe You is a Beating presents violence in a way we have not seen before in youth literature, and has something to say about what’s behind news headlines about violence and beefs between boys and young men.

The evidence that Arne Svingen is getting tough this time arrives as early as the first sentence. The Only Thing I Owe You is a Beating is not his first book about frustrated youth, but it’s one of his best.


An important book, not simply because it is tremendously well written ... If you want to try understanding what’s going on inside the mind of one of those musclemen who turn the night-time unsafe, Arne Svingen’s new book is a good place to start.

Vårt Land

Arne Svingen strikes a blow for vulnerable and aggressive youths.
5 out of 6 stars

Bergens Tidene

Arne Svingen shifts his gaze from victim to perpetrator in what must be one of his strongest youth novels yet.


Arne Svingen

Arne Svingen
Sigbjørn Sigbjørnsen

Arne Svingen (b. 1967) is one of our foremost writers for children and young adults. His production spans from easy reads for children, to novels for children and young adults.

He is deeply committed to encouraging children and adolescents to read, and he is a true wizard at using humor and suspense to ensnare his readers. Thematically, his books span from pure entertainment to novels on difficult topics. He has written several novels for adults, radio plays for NRK and graphic novels.

A number of Arne Svingens's books have been sold abroad, and he has been translated into fourteen languages. His breakthrough as a writer of thrillers came with Silent Screams (2001). He was awarded the Brage Prize for his novel Black Ivory in 2005 and was nomiated for the Brage Prize for his novel A Sky Full of Clouds in 2018.

Foreign rights

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Edited November 23, 2020 by Gyldendal Agency