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on 9 August 2012
This is by far the strangest book I have read by Hamsun so far, and probably one of the strangest books I have ever read, for that matter. It's not so much the content or plot that's strange, but the style. Like most of his books, it actually doesn't really have much of a plot, as it is more of an excerpt from the life of a small town in Norway. And the content is all about simple-minded people with simple-minded problems, for the most part. But I can't imagine how this book was translated into another language (I read it in the original), because the style he writes in is so unusual. I doubt I can even attempt it but it's sort of like a jolly, "Look at what he's doing now! Yes, he's one of a kind. No one could tell HIM he couldn't do it. No, sir." It took me quite a while to really get into it, because I didn't care much for the main character, who is the main focus in the first part of the book, but after a while other characters are also put into focus, making it more dynamic and more interesting. The action takes place over a span of about 20 years I think, and there are all kinds of both mundane and complicated intrigues going on between the characters. Because of the style, it is sometimes difficult to tell what is truth and what is innuendo, and the behaviour of some of the characters is really quite perplexing at times. All in all however, I really ended up liking this book, and if the translation is good enough, I imagine others might like it too - if they don't mind a simple story without much of a plot, that is.
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on 9 May 2015
Knut Hamsun is best read in Norwegian. I love comparing how a book can change when translated. I have read this book in German and now want to read this English translation. Knut Hamsun has written some of the best novels I have ever read.
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