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My Struggle: Book Five: Some Rain Must Fall…
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My Struggle: Book Five: Some Rain Must Fall (2010)

by Karl Ove Knausgård

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: My struggle (5)

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4061538,893 (4.05)10

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» See also 10 mentions

English (6)  Dutch (3)  Spanish (2)  Norwegian (1)  Swedish (1)  Catalan (1)  German (1)  All languages (15)
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Still utterly mesmerizing. This penultimate volume is funny, disturbing and sad. We revisit his father's death and dredge up old infidelities which can't have been pleasant reading for those involved. Karl Ove is as narcissistic as ever but he's also generous and reverent about art and literature and his friends who are artists. Weirdly, he finishes this volume by reading a couple of Ian Rankin books, so it's possible that his literary tastes aren't quite as refined as I imagined. ( )
  asxz | Mar 13, 2019 |
The heavens were inexhaustible, it had rained every day since the beginning of September and except for a couple of hours I hadn’t seen the sun for what would soon be eight months.


Today was Norwegian in that respect. Yesterday was drizzle but today was rain. Our house was full of jet lagged family and I found myself reading 400 pages. Punctuating my reading of this volume was a series of correspondence with people I went to Uni some 27 years ago. Mnemonic specificity over such a time shocks me. Especially with respect to the newspaper staff, which is hardly a molding or poignant event of my character. Most memory is brittle paper. I retain more Nietzsche and Orwell than I do the quotidian.


Karl Ove is admitted to the prestigious writing program at the age of 19. He still drinks too much, has issues with fidelity and is teeming with self-loathing. As Hitchens once said about the Queen Mother, two out of three ain't bad. I admit I am starting to tire of this endeavor. There were ugly sections in this, some which strike close to home: Karl Ove works one summer with the developmentally disabled and appears to be the least equipped soul on record for the job.


The sections on the drudgery of daily writing were eloquent as was the inexplicable nature of inspiration. I am not sure we need to know any further per Dad and I don't really care about the blood. ( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
Sometimes I feel daunted by the task of explaining why a novel works for me, knowing that for many others the novel might not only NOT work, but be tedious or incomprehensible or just seem beyond arrogant in the focus on the self--in this case the self that happens to be Karl Ove Knausgaard. Not to mention that for many readers grasping that Knausgaard really is writing fiction is difficult. And indeed one could make a case for all of the above being justifiable criticisms. In a certain way all four objections are true but that is why the book (and the four previous ones) work so well for me. Because to these critics I would counter: What else is there? From moment to moment living, precious as it is, is strangely tedious in the details (I mean, cutting your nails? Picking cat poop out of litter? Filling your gas tank>) (and don't tell me you LOVE doing any of those things, they are examples, merely, there are plenty of things you don't like doing). Next, much, if not most, of what we think about is a jumble, unsorted, straight from the bin of the unconscious and which we shove right back down out of sight. Finally the person we are stuck with and know the most (and least) about and are, frankly, obsessed with is ourself. Finally, all narratives--and that includes your math textbook--are fictions. History? Pah! We interpret our experiences after the fact. We make things up. We can't tell the truth ever because we don't really know what the truth is. What we can do is reach some kind of emotional truth. And that is what Knausgaard does. Brilliantly, in my view. In this volume Knausgaard now in his young adulthood reveals his raw ambition to be a writer. He is also falling into more serious and frightening bouts of drinking. For me it was occasionally overwhelming, the ambition part, because I did not overcome my diffidence and, for lack of a more graceful phrase, 'will to fail' in my young or middle years, and am only coming to grips with the issue when, in some ways, it is too late. So I am daunted by the sheer energy he poured into this part of his youth, attracted and repelled and, yeah, humbled by his energy and passion. Here Knausgaard grapples with what it means not just to be a writer, but to become a writer. Here, his world opens as he begins to read widely, not only in fiction but philosophy and art. There is much more reflection here than in the earlier books, very welcome as evidence of maturation. Many things go on in his family and personal life, but to mention those would be spoiling. They really are, in a way, incidental or part of, the deeper story of his struggle to become a "real" writer.

One more to go, coming out in September. *****

My copy bristles with post-its:

"Actually there were only two forms of existence, I reflected: one that was tied to a place and one that wasn't. Both had always existed. Neither could be chosen."

Having read some very imaginative stories:
"I liked these short stories so much, but I couldn't write like this, I didn't have the imagination. I didn't have any imagination at all. Everything I wrote was connected to reality and my own experiences."

I've been here:
"Deep down, I was decent and proper, a goody-goody, and, I thought, perhaps that was also why I couldn't write. I wasn't wild enough, not artistic enough, in short, much too normal for my writing to take off. Why had made me believe anything else? Oh, but this was the life-lie."

"Such was my experience of reading Naipaul, like reading almost all the other good writers, enjoyment and jealousy, happiness and despair, in equal portions."

"For hospitals all hearts are the same."

On writing, being a writer:
"What was this feeling?
I didn't know. It was beyond investigation, beyond explanation, or justification, there was no rationality in it at all, yet it was self-evident, all-eclipsing: anything other than writing was meaningless for me. Nothing else would be enough, would quench my thirst.
But thirst for what?"

On his parents:
"My God, they had been twenty when they got married. If they had been as immature when I was when I was twenty, it was quite a feat they had pulled off." ( )
2 vote sibyx | Jun 20, 2018 |
Book five! Another long volume in Knausgaard world. I find myself living for these books and another chance to immerse myself in his writing. The last volume wasn't that strong, but this only pales in relation to the fresh and near perfect book one. Now, I'll have to wait another year for the final volume of this 3,600 page work to be published. I can only hope that some of his other work will get translated in the near future.
I find myself unable to explain to myself, or anyone else, why I'm so captivated by these long, massively detailed accounts of Knausgaard's life, but I also find myself rereading previously released volumes of this huge story, while I await the next release. This has all been a wonderful experience in my reading life. ( )
  jphamilton | Jul 18, 2016 |
I just find his writing so hypnotic, so calming. This was a more linear story than the other books, about his time in Bergen, falling in love (twice), getting married, betraying his wife (twice), and leaving her. Can't wait for the sixth and last book, but I will be so sad to finish. ( )
  bobbieharv | Jul 15, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Knausgård, Karl Oveprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bartlett, DonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Huttunen, KatriinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Molenaar, MarianneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Die vierzehn Jahre, die ich in Bergen lebte, von 1988 bis 2002, sind längst vorbei, geblieben sind von ihnen lediglich einige Episoden, an die sich manche Menschen eventuell erinnern, ein Geistesblitz hier, ein Geistesblitz da, und natürlich alles, was mir selbst aus jener Zeit im Gedächtnis geblieben ist.
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‘...as horny as a billy goat,...’ (p.512)
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"The fifth book of Knausgaard's powerful My Struggle series is written with tremendous force and sincerity. As a nineteen-year-old, Karl Ove moves to Bergen and invests all of himself in his writing. But his efforts get the opposite effect - he wants it so much that he gets writer's block. At the same time, he sees his friends, one-by-one, publish their debuts. He suspects that he will never get anything published. Book Five is also a book about strong new friendships and a shattering love affair. Then one day Karl Ove reaches two crucial points in his life: his father dies, and shortly thereafter, he completes his first novel"--… (more)

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