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Giants in the Earth by O. E. Rølvaag

Giants in the Earth (1927)

by O. E. Rølvaag

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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» See also 69 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
A Norwegian classic about settling the land that was translated into English.
  yellerreads | Aug 8, 2018 |
A book about Norwegians settling the vast open prairies of early America. This is a much darker version of the same subject as the Little House books. I didn't care for it, it had little action, but I found myself reading it compulsively until the end, at which point I wanted to throw the whole book out the window. This is a classic in Norway where I am led to understand, such a gloomy drama was popular. ( )
  KarenMonsen | Jun 24, 2018 |
Four families from Norway settle in Minnesota--this book focuses mostly on the family of Per Hansa, but the other 3 families who came with them also play prominent parts. It reminded me a little of "Little House on the Prairie". The first part of the book was slow going, but the story got more interesting just before the end of the first section.

I kept expecting Native Americans to come and tell Per Hansa that he'd settled on one of their burial grounds and force him away, but that never happened. I could understand some of Beret's condition, but other parts didn't make sense to me.

The ending was unsatisfying and didn't seem to resolve many of the themes of the book. ( )
  JenniferRobb | Jan 20, 2018 |
This was beautifully evocative of the 1870's prairie life of Norwegian-American immigrants in the Dakota Territories in the 1870's. Although there are lots of hardships to overcome and there is an ever increasing tension between the depressed inner life of the wife Beret and the can-do exuberance of her husband Per Hansa there wasn't enough real drama and suspense until the final "The Great Plain Drinks the Blood of Christian Men and is Satisfied." Previously each crisis seemed to be bypassed relatively easily and several years of locust plagues pass by in only a few pages. But in the last section the life and death stakes are more nakedly on display. ( )
  alanteder | Apr 11, 2017 |
5 ★ 💕

1873–1881 (our time line)

" Homestead Act of 1862 provided the major catalyst for the settling of the American West.
The United States government encouraged the country's westward expansion by turning over vast amounts of unsettled, public land to private citizens.
Many European immigrants also took advantage of the opportunity to at last own land for themselves."

Our story takes place in Spring Creek, Dakota Territory (now South Dakota)

Per Hansa is physically strong , plain, and optimistic.... with a wife and four children.
Beret his wife is frail, introspective and his antithesis in "personality and outlook".
They are the two protagonists.
There are a small group of other immigrants.

Rölvaag gives us a very realistic portrayal of "prairie living."
Myths of the American frontier are dispelled as we realize the isolation and desolation of prairie living is responsible for major developments in the novel.
We see a true portrayal of what immigration cost these Norwegians.
The struggle of man vs nature is intense and very believable.

I have been deliberately vague, so as not to destroy the novel's development., for those who may read this after me.

This is intense 19th century American-Norwegian literature.

I was pleasantly surprised at the "flow" of the translation.
It increased my enjoyment and understanding of the novel.

Highly recommended ....5 ★

Rölvaag dedicated his novel to the spirit of these immigrant pioneers, "To those of my people who took part in the great settling, to them and their generations I dedicate this narrative. ( )
  pennsylady | Feb 11, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rølvaag, O. E.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Colcord, LincolnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Bright, clear sky over a plain so wide that the rim of the heavens cut down on it around the entire horizon. . . . Bright, clear sky, to-day, to-morrow, and for all time to come.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060931930, Paperback)

The classic story of a Norwegian pioneer family's struggles with the land and the elements of the Dakota Territory as they try to make a new life in America.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:43 -0400)

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"The classic story of a Norwegian pioneer family's struggles with the land and the elements of the Dakota Territory as they try to make a new life in America."--Cover.

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