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Min kamp 3 by Karl Ove Knausgård

Min kamp 3 (original 2009; edition 2012)

by Karl Ove Knausgård

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3511331,129 (4.06)11
Title:Min kamp 3
Authors:Karl Ove Knausgård
Info:Pocketförlaget, 2012
Collections:Your library

Work details

My Struggle: Book Three: Boyhood Island by Karl Ove Knausgård (2009)

  1. 10
    I Refuse by Per Petterson (rrmmff2000)
    rrmmff2000: Utterly different in style, but both highly evocative accounts of the struggle towards adulthood in semi-rural Norway
  2. 00
    Black Swan Green by David Mitchell (petterw, julienne_preacher)
    petterw: En annen glitrende oppvekstroman

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English (8)  Norwegian (1)  Norwegian (Bokmål) (1)  Dutch (1)  Spanish (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (13)
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
For once, I think the blurb on the back gets it right. This a great book about being a boy. Many of the themes are also there is Petterson's books, and others, and I'm wondering why all this retrospctive introspectiveness seems to be the thing of the moment. At least there is at least an acknowledgement that being male doesnt equate to repressed emotions, though Kanusgaard's character's father makes it clear why we would. I haven't finished it yet, but I'll get back to this. ( )
  Mijk | Apr 22, 2016 |
It may seem strange to start with Book 3 of an autobiographical series but it didn't seem a problem as this volume apparently goes back in time from his previous ones and covers the time from his early childhood to his adolescence.
I'm still trying to figure out why I enjoyed it so much. My normal reaction would be to complain about a 500 page book about a fairly mundane middle class childhood in a not very interesting part of provincial Norway in which very little of note happens and which is overloaded with minute, often irrelevant detail and unnecessary descriptive passages. And yet, I found it quite compelling. Some of the reasons I really liked it are:
- It reminded me of my own childhood in a way that no previous evocation of childhood has done. The excitement of discovering new things. The meandering purposeless boredom. The frequent examples of self-consciousness and embarrassment. The discovery of the opposite sex and the desperate need to be liked by them.
- Central to the narrative is Karl Ove's relationship with, and fear of, his tyrannical father. However, although this fear is always present, it doesn't dominate the narrative and therefore is far more powerful and shocking when it is suddenly fore grounded. He could easily have shortened the book by concentrating on his father and turning into yet another 'misery memoir' but instead I felt that, by the end of the book, I had a far more complete picture, not just of Knausgard's childhood, but of childhood experience in general.
- It is a terrific evocation of the 1970s (particularly the music) and if you grew up then (I didn't), I'm sure you will identify with it.
- It recalls a time, now long gone, in which childhood was largely about an outdoor life (playing out with friends) whether it was in rural surroundings or on busy city streets. ( )
  stephengoldenberg | Apr 6, 2016 |
I was prepared for this to be the weakest book in the series so far, simply because it deals with the author's childhood. This is a prejudice of mine and I frankly own it. Nonetheless, it is still an excellent work. It is interesting to note that, unlike the books in the series so far (and, indeed, 'A Time for Every Purpose Under Heaven'), 'Boyhood Island' has a satisfying ending with a genuine feeling of closure. ( )
  Lirmac | Aug 18, 2015 |
Boyhood Island is the third book in the Karl Ove Knausgård’s six volume autobiographical novel, My Struggle (Min Kamp). While Knausgård talked in great length about his father in A Death in the Family (My Struggle #1) this is a more in depth look at his relationship with his parents. With the focus being on his childhood, Boyhood Island allows Karl Ove to reflect on his adolescence in a “coming of age” style novel.

I will admit that I have been enjoying the Min Kamp, but there is something about A Death in the Family that really worked for me. The way he talked about his father with lines like “Dad had got what was coming to him, it was good that he was dead,” in the midst of what felt a lot like a midlife crisis really worked for me. A Man in Love was a more tender novel, allowing Karl Ove to explore his relationship with his wife. I think the swing from a dark and bitter first novel to the tenderness of the second really allowed me to discover the range in Knausgård’s writing and I was very captivated by this.

When it came to Boyhood Island, I was disappointed that we were going back to his relationship with his father. I felt like A Death in the Family dealt with that issue; although in not great detail but enough to have the highlights. This book felt like we were going over the same material again but in far greater detail. The coming of age style worked when talking about Karl Ove’s life but I never felt like there was anything new to cover when it came to talking about his father.

There are some interesting insights in Boyhood Island that are well worth exploring, I just did not think it lived up to the other books in the series. I am keen to check out Dancing in the Dark, which covers Knausgård’s college years, I have a feeling there will be a return to form for this author. I am half way through Min Kamp so I feel like I might as well complete it. Karl Ove Knausgård is a very impressive writer and the range on display between each novel is what draws me to his novels. Although I have never read anything other than these autobiographical novels, I am interested in seeing how he writes in his other books.

This review originally appeared on my blog; http://www.knowledgelost.org/literature/book-reviews/genre/contemporary/boyhood-... ( )
  knowledge_lost | Jul 21, 2015 |
The third book in the Knausgaard saga explores Karl Ove’s boyhood. The family moves to the largest island in southern Norway, Tromøy, where Karl Ove's father teaches Norwegian in high school and his mother works with families experiencing trauma. Finally we learn why Karl Ove was so terrified of his father. The older brother Yngve now becomes the shadowy enigma we only glimpse but cannot see. Yngve is the essence of the older brother—a little dismissive of his younger sibling, but generally supportive and friendly enough. I yearn to see more of him, but suspect Karl Ove’s penchant for self-revelation did not extend to his brother.

This is a remarkable piece of work. The more I read the more I want to read. Fiction or nonfiction? Of course it is both. In a series this long and detailed one cannot have but used elements of both. In order to ring true it must have recognizable motivations and actions, yet the detail feels new rather than remembered. I found myself mesmerized by the thirteen-year-old Karl Ove. The scene in which he takes “the prettiest girl” he’s met to the forest by bicycle to kiss is positively painful—and classic.

The difference between the personalities of Karl Ove’s parents is spelled out in a paragraph about driving styles:”Speed and anger went hand in hand. Mom drove carefully, was considerate, never minded if the car in front was slow, she was patient and followed. That was how she was at home as well. She never got angry, always had time to help, didn’t mind if things got broken, accidents happened, she liked to chat with us, she was interested in what we said, she often served food that was not absolutely necessary, such as waffles, buns, cocoa, and bread fresh out of the oven, while Dad on the other hand tried to purge our lives of anything that had no direct relevance to the situation in which we found ourselves: we ate food because it was a necessity, and the time we spent eating had no value in itself; when we watched TV we watched TV and were not allowed to talk or do anything else; when we were in the garden we had to stay on the flagstones, they had been laid for precisely that purpose, while the lawn, big and inviting though it was, was not for walking, running, or lying on...[Dad always drove much too fast.]”
This revealing paragraph shows us two critical portraitures and Knausgaard’s run-on style which impels the reader forward. We know immediately the difference in the two personalities, and in Karl Ove’s as well. On the day Karl Ove was reprimanded for embarrassing another boy, Edmund, for not being able to read, Karl Ove tells us “I both understood and I didn’t”—why his family was mean to him and kind to Edmund, whom they hardly knew. He was learning two sets of behaviors and being confused by which to adopt. By including this incident in his record we know that it became clearer to him at some later point.

There is no mention of Knausgaard’s overall direction with this third of the six books, though in the very last pages Karl Ove comes across a photograph in a history book of a naked woman starving to death. The next page of the history book contains images of a mass grave with many strewn corpses. Immediately readers' minds go to the Holocaust with no further prompting. The juxtaposition of the sunny warmth of impending summer and the stark brutality of the images jerks us from our reverie and places Karl Ove's boyhood in a larger context. The years are passing but there are a few holes in the picture of a forty-year old life. We’ve now had the beginning and the end, but early adulthood and a first marriage are still missing.

Is it literature? I think so. We have already “gone somewhere” though each volume leads only to another at this point. A person with contradiction and depth is given life in these pages. The detail is lush and ample and oh-so-readable, the story instructs us, and the context haunts us. I look forward to seeing what Knausgaard wants us to understand, but he has already given us something very special indeed.

( )
1 vote bowedbookshelf | Apr 17, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
We might wonder why, right now, we as readers are able to see Knausgaard pretty well. If “My Struggle” — which is arguably most engrossing when it describes the care of children in what feels like minute-to-minute detail — were written from the point of view of a woman, would it be the literary sensation it is? I don’t think it would be. But this points to blindnesses outside the book, not in it. That cultural norms are obtuse about men and women in such different ways is an essential part of Knausgaard’s predicament; he changes diapers, he cooks dinner, he is said to be pretty good-looking, he doesn’t talk about sex all that much — he often feels perceived as too feminine. This runs deep. One of his very few childhood memories of his mother involves her buying him a swim cap with flowers on it, and one of the most hilarious moments in the novel so far comes at a party when Knausgaard realizes no one expects him to be the guy to break down the door behind which his own pregnant wife is trapped. The female mirror of “My Struggle” would arguably not be a woman’s detailed domestic diary — we are all too comfortable seeing that situation as wholly normal, and therefore not seeing it at all — but instead a kind of virago story. Perhaps the vardoger that preceded “My Struggle” is that work by another Norwegian great, Henrik Ibsen — “A Doll’s House.”

» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Knausgård, Karl Oveprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bartlett, DonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Huttunen, KatriinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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En mild och mulen dag i augusti 1969, på en smal väg längs ut på en sörlandsö, mellan hagar och bergknallar, ängar och skogsdungar uppför och nerför små backar och skarpa kurvor, ibland med träd på ömse sidor, som i en tunnel, ibland med havet rakt fram, kom en buss körande.
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"A family of four--mother, father and two boys--move to the South Coast of Norway to a new house on a newly developed site. It is the early 1970s and the family's trajectory, upwardly mobile: the future seems limitless. In painstaking, sometimes self-lacerating detail, Knausgaard paints a world familiar to anyone who can recall the intensity and novelty of childhood experience, one in which children and adults lead parallel lives that never meet. Perhaps the most Proustian in the series, Book Three gives us Knausgaard's vivid, technicolor recollections of childhood, his emerging self-understanding, and the multilayered nature of time's passing, memory, and existence."--Amazon.com… (more)

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