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Boyhood Island: My Struggle Book 3 (Knausgaard) Hardcover – 20 Mar 2014
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"Via his visceral, immersive art, Knausgaard makes the heart visible" (Boyd Tonkin Independent)
"Knausgaard finds the sublime in the everyday... Boyhood Island reverberates with the joys and anxieties of early youth, and Knausgaard brilliantly recreates their exaggerated feel" (Thomas Meaney Times Literary Supplement)
"Compelling and addictive... One of the most grown-up works of fiction we have" (Hermione Hoby Observer)
"Knausgaard's Proustian attention to detail and scrupulous analysis of emotional nuance is almost maddening – but ultimately magnificent" (Vogue)
"Knausgaard continues masterfully" (Malcolm Forbes Literary Review)
An autobiographical story of childhood and family from the international sensation and bestseller, Karl Ove KnausgaardSee all Product description
Top customer reviews
I realise that I have thus far said nothing about the content of the book. It is about the period of his boyhood, growing up on a Norwegian island, just living through an everyday childhood. He has a severe and abusive father who certainly colours his experiences, but I cant help wondering if the large space that descriptions of his fathers brutality occupy in the book represent the actual times he was cruel; in the same way that his mother is depicted as the epitome of sweetness, despite the evidence that she stood by and watched as her children lived in terror of their father.
I dont doubt that Knausgaards father's brutality diminished his child's confidence and spawned a self hate in him; for this is what the book is really about, male shame. For all the critisism levelled against Knausgaard for exposing his family and his friends, the person who is so, painfully and rawly exposed by his writing is himself. This, I am sure, is where the fascination for these books really lies. It is also a reminder for those of us who also grew up in the 1970s and 80s of the richness that is found in a childhood where we ran wild, developed distinct personalities and had the opportunity to make and learn from our own mistakes.
I found this volume the easiest to read and it would be a good starting point for anyone who hasn't read the other books. It is a continuous narrative and there are, as I expected, long paragraphs but 'Boyhood Island' is more of a straight narrative, with very little moving around in time and only on a couple of occasions does the Karl Ove of the present make an appearance. It is hard not to become completely absorbed by the story, reading time extended as I thought 'just another page or 2 and then I will do the ironing, cook dinner, or whatever'.
As I finished 'Boyhood Island' I immediately wanted to read the next book, but as there is about a year before I will be able too I returned to 'A Death in the Family', even though I had another couple of novels on the go at the time.
For anyone who hasn't heard of 'My Struggle' before the first 2 voumes are 'A Death in the Family' and 'A Man in Love'. They read like an autobiography but are actually novels. How much is fact and how much is fiction? Only the author and those close to him really know but he did upset quite a few family members by publishing the cycle.
I bought the Kindle version as it meant I could carry it around to read but couldn't resist getting the HB as well to go with the others!