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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple and beautiful, 1 Mar. 2012
This review is from: The Wanderer (Condor Books) (Paperback)
It didn't mention who the translators of this book were on this page, but the copy I have is from The Noonday Press (1975) and is translated by Oliver and Gunnvor Stallybras. There are two books here, called Under the Autumn Star & On Muted Strings, but they are intimately related, so it's appropriate that they have been put together into one book.
The story follows Knut Pedersen (Hamsun) as he wanders around the Norwegian countryside, finding work doing anything available. His character is mysterious and deep, and it seems that all his wandering and working is only a whim - a chance to observe life in different situations. He partners up with different characters who are far below his intellectual level, but he tolerates them as if he doesn't have any choice in the matter. He also falls for the women in the manors where he finds work, but he never even hints to them that he may be something more than his station suggests, and generally behaves in a delightfully unpredictable manner. He is constantly drawn to the Norwegian nature (which is not surprising if one has ever been there), and to solitude, but he also seems to enjoy the company of those both "above" and "below" him. The first story feels a lot like Hemingway, who I love and admire, and now I finally know where he got perhaps his greatest influence. The second does as well, but it also feels different, and is not what I was expecting. The prose is truthful and beautiful, and simply exudes greatness in both these respects. It gives a good picture of what life must have been like in the Norwegian countryside in this period, which is not entirely unlike the Russian landowner environment of the classical era. It also brings one closer to the strange (for lack of a better word) mindset of the Norwegians, which I have often reflected upon, and to which I find singular in nature. I would recommend this to anyone who likes realistic fiction at its best.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Captain's Wife, Swanbridge., 11 April 2011
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My favourite Hamsun book. I read it so long ago but it remains a formative literary experience. The story is a simple one. A marriage breaks down in front of the servants. Doesn't sound much but the different perspectives make for a fractured narrative that dances before your eyes like sunlight on the forest floor.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 11 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: The Wanderer (Condor Books) (Paperback)
This is the third book of his I have read. All were great this one stands out though. You are there with the characters, wholly believable, an engrossing story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good insight to Scandinavia, 20 Dec. 2014
This review is from: The Wanderer (Condor Books) (Paperback)
Enjoyable read. Good insight to Scandinavia.
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The Wanderer (Condor Books)
The Wanderer (Condor Books) by Knut Hamsun (Paperback - 30 April 2001)
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