In Denmark, A Fugitive Crosses His Tracks was regarded a roman à clef in literature where real people and events are depicted in fictional guise.
Aksel Sandemose was without a doubt inspired by the city where he grew up, but the content of the book is, however, so true to life, that any place with the same conditions could be Jante, Denmark.
The novel doesn’t point to a specific region or place and the circumstances therein. Rather, the book is about all societies where the Law of Jante is prevalent - societies where merciless narrow-mindedness chokes the individual and extinguishes progress, development and growth. The types of people this book brings into the light are those who take pleasure in gossip, slander and malicious behaviour – the very things that characterize a society where there is discord and an inability to cooperate.
Slanderers, people who have their eyes fixed on others and are constantly caught up in the affairs of others, are everywhere. A monotonous and dreary everyday life gives them a reason to threaten their fellow citizens with scandalous exposures and push them down into hurtful holes when need be. This is a way of keeping the entire society in suspenders.
Jante is thereby able to keep Jante down through the Law of Jante.
Sandemose knew that it wasn’t exactly evil that lived beneath this, but rather angst and perplexity. Fear and distress can make a weak person attack others and hurt those who see them suffering and dying in an attempt to free themselves of their own flaws.