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Hunger by Knut Hamsun

Hunger (original 1890; edition 2012)

by Knut Hamsun

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,882742,005 (4.07)1 / 163
Authors:Knut Hamsun
Info:CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2012), Paperback, 130 pages
Collections:Your library

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Hunger by Knut Hamsun (1890)


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English (66)  Norwegian (2)  Swedish (1)  Danish (1)  German (1)  Catalan (1)  Portuguese (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (74)
Showing 1-5 of 66 (next | show all)
The ending was a disappointment. ( )
  ChewDigest | Sep 12, 2014 |
The ending was a disappointment. ( )
  ChewDigest | Sep 12, 2014 |
I found this to be simultaneously an easy read and a difficult one. It's a slim book, and the language is straightforward, which made it easy. But the descriptions of being hungry and hopeless were often oppressively vivid. The narrator is a writer; he occasionally gets pieces published in the local newspaper, but the money never lasts long. Almost before the euphoria from getting paid fades, he is broke and starving again. He pawns everything he owns. He becomes homeless. He tries to get a regular job, but a minor error means he isn't considered. He tries to concentrate, to write, to bring himself out of his hunger-induced confusion long enough to sell another piece, but it's hard to focus.

Hamsun does an incredible job describing the feeling of being hungry, and the results of starvation on one's mind. But more than that, he gets at the very essence of the dehumanizing feelings of being poor, of finding oneself an outcast from society. He makes the reader feel the despair and devaluation, while still keeping alive the glimmers of hope that the narrator maintains. It's a powerful look into what it is like to be on the bottom of the ladder.

Recommended for: anyone who's ever felt like they just couldn't catch a break, people not on a diet

Quote: Whatever could be the reason that things would not brighten up for me? Was I not just as much entitled to live as anyone else? ( )
  ursula | Aug 27, 2014 |
This novel is stark, emotionally evocative and on a primal level, terrifying. If you dare, enter the psyche of the narrator, a writer, who waivers between abject poverty and death. Suffer along with him as Hamsun's brilliant writing takes the reader to the brink of utter madness, sublime passion, and death by starvation. In the end, what is the hunger for in addition to food? You will have to suffer the throes of despair and humiliation of the protagonist to find out! ( )
  hemlokgang | Aug 6, 2014 |
So realistic, I thought I was starving. Very compelling. ( )
  JVioland | Jul 14, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 66 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (66 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Knut Hamsunprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Auster, PaulIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lyngstad, SverreTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marken, Amy vanAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Polet, CoraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Worster, W. W.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Hunger ( [2001]IMDb)
Sult (1966IMDb)
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It was in those days when I wandered about hungry in Kristiania, that strange city which no one leaves before it has set his mark upon him. . .
Det var i den tid jeg gikk omkring og sultet i Kristiania, denne forunderlige by som ingen forlater før han har fått merker av den ....
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Norwegian title: Sult
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0486431681, Paperback)

This powerful, autobiographical novel by a Nobel Prize-winning author made literary history when it was first published in 1890. A modern classic about a penniless, unemployed young writer, the book paints an unforgettable portrait of a man driven to the edge of self-destruction by forces beyond his control.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:51:42 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

"Originally published in 1890, this classic of modern literature follows an impoverished Norwegian writer through the streets of Christiania (now Oslo) as he struggles on the edge of starvation. Existing on what little money he makes from selling the occasional article to the local paper, and down to pawning the clothes on his back, the young writer slowly loses control of his reason and begins to slip increasingly into bouts of madness, paranoia, and despair."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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Average: (4.07)
1 4
2 25
2.5 17
3 120
3.5 40
4 206
4.5 46
5 258


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