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Vader by Karl Ove Knausgård

Vader (original 2009; edition 2012)

by Karl Ove Knausgård, Marianne Molenaar

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500None20,284 (4.05)57
Authors:Karl Ove Knausgård
Other authors:Marianne Molenaar
Info:Breda De Geus 2012

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My Struggle: Book One by Karl Ove Knausgård (2009)


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» See also 57 mentions

English (12)  Dutch (5)  Swedish (3)  Danish (2)  Norwegian (1)  Norwegian (Bokmål) (1)  German (1)  All languages (25)
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
Strange. I wanted to like this, because it is so well written. Echoes of Proust, Hemingway and Virginia Woolf. But it's a rambling affair. Partly this is its charm. It reads like streams of consciousness, and these are insightful and rewarding. And the streams divert into charming plot developments as we proceed from youth towards adulthood and the death in the family without ever reaching the funeral, which may have provided a natural denouement. All credit to the translator, Don Bartlett, who makes the book read like it was written first in English, apart from Norwegian place names and the occasional replacement, such as 'gymnas' for school, which remind the reader that we are in Norway, not Kansas.
The book requires no effort to read, but it does ask for patience. ( )
  PhilipJHunt | Dec 31, 2013 |
Benieuwd wat Knausgard over zijn vader heeft te vertellen in dit gehypete boek.

Erg mooi. Biografische vertelling van de periode totaan de dood van de vader. Mooie beschrijvingen, vaak erg herkenbaar. Bv. over het muziekmaken zonder enig talent te heben :-).

Ik ga zeker door met het 2e boek van de trilogie. ( )
  pjotrb | Sep 20, 2013 |
There's something brilliant about this book, but I don't know what it is. ( )
  KatrinkaV | Jul 13, 2013 |

The Norwegian title of the six-volume novel, of which this is Book One, is 'Min Kamp' – a similarity to Hitler's 'Mein Kampf' that could hardly be accidental. I couldn't see any hint in this book of what the connection might be.

In the movie business shoe leather is the term for precious screen time wasted on actors walking from place to place. Knausgaard has elevated its written equivalent to a high art. It seems no one ever just gets in a car and drives somewhere: they always turn on the indicator, check the rear-vision mirror and pull out into the traffic, then follow a series of carefully named streets until they arrive at their destination.

I read the narrative’s wealth of undifferentiated detail as an attempt to reverse the process of distancing and abstraction from experience that the narrator describes early in the book as part of growing up. He sets out to give priority to specific observations and experiences over any abstraction, to go for immediately apprehended ‘meaning’ over calm, generalisable ‘knowledge’, to avoid our habitual exclusion of some things from consideration. As well as tiny acts, brand names, hyper-specifics, we are given the narrator’s play of mind, apparently unfiltered – memories and meditations that are jogged by the brand names on cleaning products, say, his adolescent worries about the shape of his penis when erect, or the strange feeling he had as a boy about the gravel on the floor of the family garage. And, because nothing is being left out, he tells us things that are just not talked about: how he shakes his little girl when she irritates him, the extraordinarily squalid circumstances of his father’s death, his grandmother’s incontinence. These last things don’t feel deliberately shocking – more like the inevitable result of a decision made at the beginning to put everything in. ( )
2 vote shawjonathan | Jun 19, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
My Struggle, Book One. by Karl Knausgaard is an ebook novel translated from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett. Paragraph 2 starts us out poetically; "The moment life departs the body, it belongs to death.", and thus the story's tone is set. "My Struggle" is the autobiography of Karl Ove Knausgaard, begins in his youth and is written in a very open, engaging and descriptive first person voice. That the story is private, dark, frustrating because we share this struggle but not in a way we want to participate in it, and ultimately intriguing makes me read on and on. Written from the viewpoint of a man of 39, married with 3 children and so totally dissatisfied with life that his thoughts constantly turn to death, as he easily considers his possible epitaphs, such as: "Here lies a man who grinned and bore it. And in the end he perished for it.", obviously not without some humor. The author's strained and uncomfortable kin relationships color every step in his life, they are familiar and yet distant as regards my own relationships with my kin which brings the story home even though the settings are foreign to my experience. It is also a coming of age story going through his school years poor relationships, musical aspiration failure, and sexual happenstances. All this helped him justify his choice of getting drunk and passing out as a good way of life. Ultimately this is the story of the death of Karl Ove's father, his recollections of his father's and his own life and their difficult relationship. That sad stressful story is surrounded by gorgeous descriptions of the world he lives in, the homes, people and places he's visited and interacted with. A well written book.
1 vote rlb727 | Jun 13, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Karl Ove Knausgårdprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bartlett, DonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For hjertet er livet enkelt: det slår så lenge det kan. Så stopper det.
Å skrive er å trekke det som finnes ut av skyggene av det vi vet. Det er det skriving handler om. Ikke hva som skjer der, ikke hva slags handlinger som utspiller seg der, men der i seg selv. Der, det er skrivingens sted og mål.
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This is the first of six books comprising the author's "My Struggle" ("Min Kamp" in Norwegian) cycle.

In the US the title was literally translated as "My Struggle Book One", whereas in the UK and Canada it has been issued under the title "A Death in the Family".
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The provocative, audacious, brilliant six-volume autobiographical novel that has unquestionably been the main event of contemporary European literature. It has earned favorable comparisons to its obvious literary forebears "A la recherche du temps perdu" and "Mein Kampf" but has been celebrated as the rare magnum opus that is intensely, addictively readable.… (more)

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Archipelago Books

Two editions of this book were published by Archipelago Books.

Editions: 1935744186, 1935744526

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