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I Was Here. The First Arrest

Sass Henno

  • Language: Estonian
  • Eesti Päevaleht
  • 2008, 318 pp
  • ISBN: 9789949431502
  • fiction, young adult novel
  • Age: 16+
Rights sold: Hungarian, Latvian, Macedonian, Russian

The story tells of 17-year-old Rass' development into a drug dealer, which he recorded three years later in police custody. The main character lives apart from his parents, and supports himself with casual work and petty theft. The environment where he grows up, in a dormitory suburb on the outskirts of town, is characterized by violence, crime, suicide, dysfunctional family relations, and alcoholic parents. Unlike his friends, Rass studies at high school, and dreams of a normal family life and a job as a doctor. Getting involved in the drug business almost by chance, he starts using methamphetamine, and commits the wildest acts imaginable while he is high on it. Events lead him into involvement with the mafia, and the lives of Rass and his pals are in serious danger. To pay off his mafia debts, he becomes involved in more crimes.

The book is energetic, tense, full of prison slang and obscenities, and at the same time very painful and raw. Even young people that are hardly likely to pick up a book will read it with interest.

Film: I Was Here, 2008
1st edition 2005, 200 pp, ISBN 9985956524
3rd edition 2022, 200 pp, ISBN 9789916140758
2004 Writers' Union Novel Competition, winner