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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An emigrant epic of torment, hard work and persistence
How wonderful to hear the story of our ancestors through the writing of one of Swedens best writers. We follow a group of emigrating Swedes closely as they make the enormous move from Sweden to America. This emigrant epic reminds you of how things have been, and who Americans are. I emigrated from Sweden to America like they did, only more than a hundred years later...
Published on 28 Jun. 1999

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Moving but excessively grim
The Emigrant Novels are a riveting, deeply moving story but at the same time unrelentingly grim and sad. Yes, these people had very hard lives but that was normal for the 19th century. Leaving one country and going to a new one far away was terribly difficult but considering the circumstances it was the best thing to do. People are not trees; rather than having roots...
Published on 8 May 1999


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An emigrant epic of torment, hard work and persistence, 28 Jun. 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Emigrants (Emigrant Novels) (Paperback)
How wonderful to hear the story of our ancestors through the writing of one of Swedens best writers. We follow a group of emigrating Swedes closely as they make the enormous move from Sweden to America. This emigrant epic reminds you of how things have been, and who Americans are. I emigrated from Sweden to America like they did, only more than a hundred years later. Foremost, I feel that Moberg captures the torn inside of an emigrant fenomenally, many tears were shed while reading of the torment Kristina feels. It's as true today as it ever was, and the author tells exactly how I and many others feel having left one land to be part of another. The books are splendid reading, you can't put them down.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HISTORICAL FICTION ABOUT 19TH CENTURY SWEDISH EMIGRATION..., 6 Dec. 2003
By 
Lawyeraau (Balmoral Castle) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Emigrants (Emigrant Novels) (Paperback)
This is an epic work by its Swedish author. Translated from Swedish into English, this beautifully written book of historical fiction was first published in the early nineteen fifties and met with rave reviews at the time. It is part of a four part opus, the first of which is "The Emigrants". It is followed by three additional books, "Unto a Good Land", "The Settlers", and "Last Letter From Home".
In this, the first volume, the author lays the ground work for the emigration of a Swedish family, grounding it in the reasons for the exodus of so many Swedes from their mother country in the middle of the 19th century. The focus of the book is on the family, relatives, and friends of Karl Oscar Nilsson, a peasant farmer who unceasingly worked his farm, only to find that, no matter what he did, he could not progress and would continue to live on the cusp of total poverty. Gathering up his family and friends of the family, he decides to take the monumental step of making a fresh start by emigrating to the new world, specifically the United States of America.
The book focuses on the set backs the Nilsson family encounters in Sweden, as it is their travails that act as the catalyst for such journey. The book grounds the reader in the Swedish social and religious mores of the time, and the impact that such would have on this particular group of people. The author enables the reader to understand why some would risk all to begin life anew in an unknown part of the world.
This book is the story of the first leg of their journey, which takes the reader through the nature of their lives in Sweden, the decision to make such a journey, and their sea voyage to the new world. I enjoyed the first volume so much that I look forward to continuing that journey with them by reading the remaining three volumes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A powerful story, 8 Aug. 2003
By 
Kurt A. Johnson (Marseilles, IL USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Emigrants (Emigrant Novels) (Paperback)
Karl Oskar Nilsson grew up in Smaland, Sweden, determined to set his own course. Selecting his own wife, Kristina, he works his parents' farm, only to find that he simply can't get ahead (or even stay where he's at) in Sweden. Determined to emigrate to the United States, Karl Oskar soon finds himself leading a band of likeminded folk, all leaving for different reasons and with different expectations. This is the story of their experiences in Sweden, and during their dangerous crossing aboard an overcrowded schooner.
This book is the first in a quadrilogy that is now rightly considered a classic in Swedish literature. Vilhelm Moberg did considerable research into the subject, and this book certainly shows it. Also, I must say that I found his characters to be wholly lifelike and believable. If I heard that this was written from the diaries of the actual people, I would certainly believe it.
This is a wonderful book that drew me into the experience of my Swedish forebears, both informing and entertaining me. It is one of the most powerfully written books that I have ever read. If I could give it more than five stars, I would!
[For those of you with young children, I would like to recommend the Kirsten books in the American Girls series. Written for young readers (primarily girls), it tells the story of a Swedish family that emigrates to Minnesota in 1854.]
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5.0 out of 5 stars HISTORICAL FICTION ABOUT 19th CENTURY SWEDISH EMIGRATION..., 14 Feb. 2005
By 
Lawyeraau (Balmoral Castle) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Emigrants (Paperback)
This is an epic work by its Swedish author. Translated from Swedish into English, this beautifully written book of historical fiction was first published in the early nineteen fifties and met with rave reviews at the time. It is part of a four part opus, the first of which is "The Emigrants". It is followed by three additional books, "Unto a Good Land", "The Settlers", and "Last Letter From Home".
In this, the first volume, the author lays the ground work for the emigration of a Swedish family, grounding it in the reasons for the exodus of so many Swedes from their mother country in the middle of the 19th century. The focus of the book is on the family, relatives, and friends of Karl Oscar Nilsson, a peasant farmer who unceasingly worked his farm, only to find that, no matter what he did, he could not progress and would continue to live on the cusp of total poverty. Gathering up his family and friends of the family, he decides to take the monumental step of making a fresh start by emigrating to the new world, specifically the United States of America.
The book focuses on the set backs the Nilsson family encounters in Sweden, as it is their travails that act as the catalyst for such journey. The book grounds the reader in the Swedish social and religious mores of the time, and the impact that such would have on this particular group of people. The author enables the reader to understand why some would risk all to begin life anew in an unknown part of the world.
This book is the story of the first leg of their journey, which takes the reader through the nature of their lives in Sweden, the decision to make such a journey, and their sea voyage to the new world. I enjoyed the first volume so much that I look forward to continuing that journey with them by reading the remaining three volumes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing story, disappointing translation..., 2 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: The Emigrants (Emigrant Novels) (Paperback)
The Emigrants paints an absolutely fascinating story, especially when you consider it's all based on real events and real people's lives. If you have any interest in Scandinavia or Scandinavian culture, this is definitely required reading.
However, I've had the fortune to read the book in Swedish as well as in English and it is shockingly clear that the English language translation has not aged gracefully and is in dire need of an update...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most moving, authentic and interesting book ever, 18 May 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Emigrants (Emigrant Novels) (Paperback)
I read all four books in Swedish language and just couldn't put them down, although I am Austrian...my only connection to Sweden is that I lived there for one year. After having read this book I could understand much better the American society and how it developed, but also got a deeper insight into Swedish history. I am dying to see the musical "Kristina fran Duvemala"!!!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How could anybody not love it?, 22 Feb. 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Emigrants (Emigrant Novels) (Paperback)
I first read the Emigrants in the 7th grade, as part of the curriculum in my Swedish school. I then watched the TV series again. I didn't quite appreciate it fully. Now I'm more than twice the age I was then and I have emigrated myself and all of a sudden the 4 books about the emigrants have turned into my favourite books, I have read each of them twice since I moved to England 2 years ago. I don't live as far away from my family as Kristina, I do get to see them a few times every year, and unlike Kristina I chose to move, but I feel such a strong connection with her. I have thought most of her thoughts at some point and I have felt her feelings at some point. The insight of Moberg into a woman's mind is incredible and quite unlike any of his generation. I fully recommend all 4 books about the emigrants and I also recommend you to go out and get the music from Kristina fraan Duvemaala (the Andersson&Ulvaeus musical inspired by these books).
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5.0 out of 5 stars part of the group, 1 Sept. 2011
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This review is from: The Emigrants (Emigrant Novels) (Paperback)
Just love these books by Vilhelm Moberg. Have all four, but currently half-way through 'Unto a Good Land'.
I better now understand how things were in Smaland - my husband is Swedish (from Smaland) and we lived there a while. Now I understand why the 'Smalanningars' are so tight!! Am disturbed about the cruelty and suffering of animals which comes up from time to time. Owing to time constraints, I'm reading these books slowly and they have consequently 'become part of my life'. I am on the journey with these folk. A wonderful experience.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Emigrants, 26 Feb. 2009
This review is from: The Emigrants (Emigrant Novels) (Paperback)
A superb account of the journey under taken by Karl-Oskar and his wife Kristina along with others from the county of Småland in Sweden. Read all four books for a journey filled with emotions. If possible, then visit Småland and follow the emigrant`s route.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I couldn't put it down. I felt like I was in the story., 30 Nov. 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The Emigrants (Emigrant Novels) (Paperback)
This book gave me a little perspective on what my Swedish ancestors went through to come here in the 1800's. I also know a little bit more of the culture of my Swedish fiance. I would recommend this to a reader of any level!!
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The Emigrants (Emigrant Novels)
The Emigrants (Emigrant Novels) by Vilhelm Moberg (Paperback - 1 Dec. 1995)
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