Lars Husum - My Friend Jesus Christ (4 stars)

Lars Husum - My Friend Jesus Christ

(Portobello Books)

Before authoring this, his first novel, Danish writer Lars Husum worked at filmmaker Lars von Trier’s Copenhagen production company Zentropa as a script doctor. It’s perhaps unsurprising, then, that My Friend Jesus Christ has something of the feel of one of his old boss’ Dogme films: character-driven, spare of style, occasionally shocking and often darkly funny.

It concerns the redemption of a very rotten young orphan named Niko – who drives his devoted sister to suicide – through the intervention of the saviour’s son. Breaking into his Copenhagen flat one day, JC, who looks and acts like a hippy biker, sends Niko back to his roots in rural Jutland, where the boy’s dead popstar mum comes from, to sort his useless life out. Husum’s tale would make a decent Dogme-style film. Happily, Zentropa’s cousin Nimbus, producer of Festen and Mifune, has optioned the screen rights. Mads Mikkelsen as Jesus, anybody?

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