Monday, March 23, 2015

My Struggle by Karl Ove Knausgaard

Many readers of The New York Times and The New Yorker  magazine will recognize this Norwegian author and his six-book, 3,000+ page autobiographical series.  When I first heard about him and his unusualy intricate yet meandering writing style I wrote him off as an author I probably won't tackle. "Meandering" to me sounds more like "tangents" and if there's anything I dislike in books it's tangents. Stick with the plot and get on with the story, is what I say. But what if a book is made up of nothing but tangents? I know, right? My reading axis just shifted a bit. His writing is so seamless it's actually pretty engrossing no matter what he's writing about. My Struggle is made up of vignettes from his youth, young-adulthood and the present. He's thinking big thoughts while going about his everyday life gathering impressions and experiences just like everyone else. I've always believed every person has a story inside them regardless of how ordinary their life seems and here is an example of exactly that. Remember the recent Oscar winning movie Boyhood? The loose format of this book is somewhat like that movie. Hard to categorize, but good nonetheless.

(back cover)
My Struggle: Book One introduces American readers to the audacious, addictive, and profoundly surprising international literary sensation that is the provocative and brilliant six-volume autobiographical novel by Karl Ove Knausgaard. It has already been anointed a Pruostian masterpiece and is the rare work of dazzling literary originality that is intensely, irresistibly readable. Unafraid of the big issues -death, love, art, fear- and yet committed to the intimate details of life as it is lived, My Struggle is an essential work of contemporary literature. 

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