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Dancing in the Dark: My Struggle Book 4 (Knausgaard) Hardcover – 5 Mar 2015

4.5 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Harvill Secker (5 Mar. 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846557240
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846557248
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 4.9 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 43,890 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"A living hero" (Jonathan Lethem Guardian)

"A work of genius" (Ben Lerner London Review of Books)

"Fires every nerve ending while summoning in the reader the sheer sense of how amazing it is to be alive" (Jeffrey Eugenides New York Times)

"Beautifully human... Being drawn into his world is an ineluctable pleasure" (Melissa Katsoulis The Times)

"It has strong claim to be the great literary event of the twenty-first century" (Guardian)

"Why would you read a six-volume, 3,600 page Norwegian novel about a man writing a six-volume, 3,600 page novel? The short answer is that it is breathtakingly good and so you cannot stop yourself, and would not want to" (New York Times Book Review)

"It's unbelievable...I need the next volume like crack. It's completely blown my mind" (Zadie Smith)

"Perhaps the most significant literary enterprise of our times" (Rachel Cusk Guardian)

"Knausgaard perfectly captures the heady mixture of elation and confusion to be found in late adolescence... My Struggle remains addictive, intensely funny and intensely serious. Like the young man here portrayed, it is "full to the brim with energy and life"" (Times Literary Supplement)

"At the end of this bittersweet stint in the far north, translated again with both dynamism and delicacy by Don Bartlett, the last track invoked happens to be that talisman of the late John Peel: “Teenage Kicks” by The Undertones. For all its manic overdub of detail, Dancing in the Dark delivers a knockout kick" (Boyd Tonkin Independent)

"The narrator may be intellectually earnest, an aesthete who mediates on the sublime, but he is also a hapless fool, prone to Chaplinesque pratfalls. In exposing himself as a bundle of contradictions, Knausgaard allows us to see ourselves...it works wonderfully well" (Blake Morrison Guardian)

"If the function of literature is to take you out of your own life and involve you in someone else’s then My Struggle is literature…gripping" (John Carey Sunday Times)

"The most appealing in the series so far" (Daily Express)

"Irresistible" (Financial Times)

"If you have read the first one, you will need to read on – and you shouldn’t stop reading until the end" (Toby Lichtig Literary Review)

"So intense, so passionate and so compulsively readable" (Malcolm Forbes Glasgow Sunday Herald)

"An elegiac kind of comic novel, and it is pure Karl Ove Knausgaard" (Dwight Garner New York Times)

"Addictive" (Moira Hodgson Wall Street Journal (Europe))

"His work is transformative: to read it is to experience his life alongside him…. To read it is also to feel more human, more certain of what is means to be alive… It’s a brilliant depiction of an intense, philosophical and provocative young man" (Joanne Hayden Sunday Business Post)

"[Knausgaard] writes a clear prose that transforms ordinary events, detailing the span of his life with such directness that everything seems to be happening in real time" (Rodney Welch Washington Post)

Book Description

The fourth part of a sensational literary cycle that has been hailed as ‘perhaps the most important literary enterprise of our times’ (Guardian)

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This simply is a MUST READ! Don't expect much of a plot but then this is not the point of this amazing work. The fourth in the six part opus. Finally!! I've been waiting ages for it in English. I urge everyone to give it a go.....I love it!!
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Format: Paperback
I loved this book, couldn't put it down and yet I'm not sure I understand why not. It feels as if it is written at a furious pace, and if it has been edited, then many errors, including typos (eg page 298 'There are was a tension in the air') have been left incorrected. It's often sloppy, inelegant and sometimes clunky, banal and cliche ridden. Who cares? I don't. If you've read the first three in the series, this will not disappoint: his descriptions of desperate teenage years, of drunkeness and irresponsibility, are incredibly exact, yet without sentimentality or one flowery word. Knausgaard reveals everything, what he eats, wears, what he fantasizes about. He rarely speculates, or scratches beneath the surface of things, and he doesn't need to, because he makes the surfaces of things say so much. And yet it is often quite brutal, and Karl Ove, as much as any one else, is the subject of the brutality. What gives this book its power is its raw honesty and its accuracy. Here is life as it really is, in its numbingly dull, sometimes hilariously awful ordinariness. I want book 5 now.
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Format: Kindle Edition
If you’re a fan of Knausgaard’s six volume My Struggle, then you know what to expect and this won’t disappoint. But even if you’re not a particular fan, this fourth volume has a lot to offer. Karl Ove has just finished high school and moves to a tiny fishing village in the far north of Norway to work as a teacher. He chronicles – in the minute detail we’ve come to expect – that whole academic year, and I found it compelling and absorbing. The atmosphere of the village is brilliantly evoked. I felt I was there. Karl Ove is a typical self-obsessed young man, experimenting with relationships and sex and writing, not always likeable but certainly honest. Another very enjoyable volume.
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Format: Hardcover
In this fourth volume of his epic autobiographical novel, Knausgaard tells us about the time he worked as a teacher in northern Norway, which, because of the unusual circumstances regarding this remote spot, he was able to do at the tender age of eighteen. This means that this episode of his life is particularly focussed on his desire to lose his virginity, and also to drink as much as possible. Girls, booze and music, and a small matter of premature ejaculation. As the author would say: Ha ha ha!

But as in other volumes we flit about in time a lot, and in fact the middle third of the book is set two years earlier, when Karl Ove was sixteen. Same themes, though, interspersed with memories of childhood, more about his tyrannical father, plus a section from twenty years later, after his father has died, including comments from the adult Knausgaard, aged 40, who is writing the first of these books: all rather confusing, chronologically speaking, though it doesn't really disrupt the plot, because there isn't one.

So if these installments don't seem to be written in any particular order, does it matter which order we read them in? No, I don't think it does, though logically, it would be 3,4,1,2 (so far, anyway. I'm not sure what comes next).

The writing itself, as with the other volumes, varies from mediocre to occasional brilliance, but I suspect that some of the poor stuff is a fault of the translation, which includes a lot of rather quaint terms like `bits and bobs' and, even more frequently, `hither and thither', both totally out of character with the spirit of the book. Who talks like that nowadays? Not boys or young men, I don't think.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Some parts of this book were odd.....it did not have the same structure as the other books, and the ending was a little abrupt and crude ;-) still enjoy reading these books but this one was my least favourite....it seemed rushed in places.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
brilliant, original anď unusual. I feel like a voyeur at times, at least uncomfortable, reading about these real people. Knausgaard exposes not only himself But his whole family and his friends. It's honest and obviously prejudiced but one MUST read on.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
'Slowly my two suitcases glided round on the carousel in the arrivals hall. They were old from the end of the 1960s, I had found them among mum’s things in the barn when we were about to move house, the day before the removal van came, and I immediately commandeered them, they suited me and my style, the not-quite-contemporary, the not-quite-streamlined, which was what I favoured.'

The fourth instalment of Knaugaard's opus opens with him seeing his suitcases arrive in the northern Norwegian airport where he's travelled to become a teacher, when he's only eighteen and straight out of school himself. The suitcases then become a symbol of a link with his mother and his own self image. This is typical of Knausgaard's writing which both moves the story along and has moments of reflection.

I'm late to the party with this piece of fiction/autobiography, which has won widespread acclaim - Zadie Smith famously said that it was like 'crack' in terms of how hooked she was and how much she looked forward to the next instalment. This volume can be read without having read the first three but I will be going back to the first three having now become hooked myself. “I wasn’t much good at dealing with trivialities,” Knausgaard tells us at one point, but actually it's by exploring the details of his life and by being so honest about what it is to be eighteen and obsessed with sex and racked with 'doubt and torment' that makes his writing engaging. In terms of the quality of the writing itself Knausgaard is excellent at the interior monologue and the translation is very good to my mood, with no jarring notes.
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