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A Death in the Family: My Struggle Book 1 Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Why should readers care about the story of Karl Ove's life? It's not that it's in any way remarkable, though it certainly has its personal dramas. No, it's the almost guileless realism that drew me in--all the small details that make up our everyday lives that rarely get acknowledged in books, but which completely resonates at some deep inner level. And while there are passages where the writing is plain--no other word for it--often Knausgaard is employing the careful wordcraft of a skilled writer more concerned with telling his story than showing off his chops. In doing so, he gets to the heart of being in all its everyday ordinariness.
Knausgaard spares no one in his family in this portrayal, least of all himself. We see family scenes from his childhood, a long section from his teenage years that's blissfully free of moralizing or wallowing in self pity: it's simply life itself.
But ultimately the book is about death, and what that means for the living. My Struggle opens with a meditation on life's end, and the heart of the book recounts Karl Ove's week after learning of his father's death, most of it spent at his grandmother's fetid home in Kristiansand, a town on the southern coast of Norway.Read more ›
You have to admit he has guts: writing a six - part autobiography and calling it "My struggle" (in German translated as "Mein Kampf") is a daring enterprise. But Knausgard succeeds with brio: he is a brilliant story teller and explores the human condition with such honesty and candour that it just leaves you gasping for breath (and wanting to read more and more).
The scenes at the end of the book (his father, his grandmother, the house, the bottles, ....) still haunt my mind.
Apparently Knausgard has achieved a kind of rock star status in Scandinavia: as far as I am concerned he deserves it.
The second book of the series "A man in love" has already appeared in the Dutch translation and is a little bit disappointing after the sheer brilliance of the first, but that is only to be expected. This book is to be released in April in English. By that time I will have read part three of "My Struggle" and it is already marked on my calendar that I have to get the moment it comes out.
Seriously, this is a reading experience not to be missed!
This book definitely is not as good as the praise at the front of the book suggests. But at the same time, I did want to read it. Although not likeable, the author's character is intriguing; his observations of human nature are fascinating, his descriptions of the things he sees brings them alive. And yet he appears to have no ability to interpret his own behaviour. It has bee suggested that the author may be somewhere on the autism spectrum; he is highly intelligent, but seems unable to truly relate to others.
I can't say I enjoyed the book. I can't say I would recommend it to others to read. But I am glad I took the time to read it.
The central figure is his father, an ordinary school teacher who became an alcoholic and drank himself to death. There is no plot or formal structure and Knausgaard moves around freely in time as a particular event reminds him of something that happened in the past. It is about his struggle to write great literature while having to contend with the banality of everyday life including looking after his children, he loves them but is brutally honest about the fact he also resents the time they take up in his life. At times it can be almost uncomfortable learning about one man's life in such detail, but it is fascinating. Although it is a personal narrative about the struggles of a writers life it also explores the struggles universal to us all.
There are no chapters and frequently a single paragraph can take up several pages which may sound daunting but the compelling narrative kept me going. Memories and events in his life are described in minute detail, for example, the time that he and his brother clean their grandmother's house after their father died there; having wrecked the place. In spite of the detail of the mundane `A Death in the Family' is not boring, although Part 1 is the hardest to get through but it really takes off in Part 2 leaving me wanting to read the second volume.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There's a lot of hype about this guy, which swayed my decision in buying this book. As I started to read the first chapters I was left wondering if the hype was justified. Read morePublished 22 days ago by TPLP
I don't really hate it. I've read all five books that have been translated. But either the translation is appalling, or the original Norwegian is very wooden. Read morePublished 27 days ago by T. Atkins
I got to the end but read only half of this book, skimming through page after page of Norwegian scenery or interiors and details like, 'I stood up, sat down, turned on the tap,... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Pauline Butcher Bird
Fascinating read about the background to a man's family and particularly about his father 's death. Wonderfully detailed. Not much lightness though.Published 2 months ago by vicki
I found this book quite difficult to read. Maybe something was lost in the translation. Parts I found very banal. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Lin Davidson
Could not get into it...tons of detail and most of it a bit mundane actually. I had to stop reading, which I don't like doing!Published 3 months ago by Elizabeth Knowles
I loved this book. His observations and voice just fascinated me. Huge talent. Straight on to book two! Read morePublished 3 months ago by OS
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