Mengele Zoo


Published in Norway by Cappelen Damm, 379 pp.
Rights sold to: France (J’Ai Lu, 2016), Austria/Germany (Folio Verlag, 2017), Czech Republic (Prah, 2017), Denmark (Hovedland, 2017), Sweden (Oktoberforlaget, 2017), Colombia (Poklonka, 2017)

400,000 copies sold in Norway
30,000 copies sold in France
10-episodes tv series in production

*Awarded best Norwegian novel of all time at the Lillehammer International Literature festival
*first of a trilogy of independent titles



Mino was born in the South American rainforest. He loves the scents, the sounds, the green, the diversity of life. To make a living, the young boy preys on the rarest of the beautiful butterflies together with his father. Their small community is disturbed by the major petrol companies wanting to exploit the rainforest. One day when returning from his daily hunt, Mino finds his family and friends massacred by the military which are in the pocket of the petrol companies.
He flees into the unknown parts of the rainforest alone. Isidoro; a travelling magician finds him and adopts him; training him to become a young «mago». They form a spectacular show they take to small villages on the Latin American continent for years.
 Mino will become a student years later, emphasizing on biology and eco-philosophy. At the university he finds allies and together they create the dangerous Mariposa movement which aims to direct the world’s attention to the destruction of nature caused by international companies. They begin systematically assassinating the leaders of the companies who commit crimes against the environment and people in the poor world.
Gert Nygårdshaug masterfully combines lush narrative capacity and imagination with a high voltage drama describing Latin American reality. The book deals with themes such as environmental concerns and imperialism; and based on Nygårdshaug’s experiences when living in the Latin American rainforest.

“Unsettling eco thriller-page turner seen through the eyes of a terrorist.”
Le Monde

“Beautiful, poetic and cruel thriller.”
Marie Claire

“A prophet!”
Paris Match

“A powerful and disturbing book; the best I have read this year.”
RTL radio

“A beautiful, thrilling, wise, insightful and adventurous novel. Keeping the reader on the edge util the very last page.”
Artemias World

Gert Hermod Nygårdshaug was born on March 22, 1946, in Tynset, in the mountains of Norway. Since his literary debut in 1966, he has been the author of 40 books, novels for children, poetry and fairytales, thrillers and detective novels.
The trilogy of Mino (Mengele Zoo, The Heaven’s Flower Tree and The Basin of Aphrodite) earned him immense recognition from critics and the public. Nearly 400,000 copies sold in Norway, and elected Norway’s favourite novel in the Norwegian international literature festival in Lillehammer.
A 12 volume of stand alone crime novels, where the main character is the chef and cryptologist Fredric Drum, also make Nygårdshaug appear regularly on the bestseller lists in Norway. Very concerned about the environmental cause, Gert Nygårdshaug fights for the preservation of rainforests, especially the Amazon, where he has spent much time.