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very unusual and highly memorable
on 17 September 2014
it is very unusual for me to finish reading a book of 430 pages and not be quite sure what I think about it.
This is certainly different and is like a very long drawn out diary mixed together from different periods of the author's life. The two parts, between them, cover events early in the life of Karl Ove, including his attempt to get to a New Year's party and get drunk as a teenager, his first encounters with girls, and in the second part, his life as a writer in Sweden with his heavily pregnant wife and his intention to write a new kind of book, and then most memorably the death of his father, returning to his grandparents' home with his brother Yngve, and putting it to rights after his alcoholic father has filled it with bottles, clothes filled with excerement and urine and so forth, and living for a few days with his grandmother whose mind has started to 'unravel' in family terminology. But at each step along the line, there are lengthy digressions, as in Part Two an account of Karl Ove's relations with his brother, and of a couple of interviews he conducted (one with his brother) as a teenager….
Much of this is very memorable, somehow. So I suspect I will be making my way forward to volume 2, despite the sense that I can't make head or tail of it.
This US hardback edition is an attractive physical object, by the way, and the layout makes it easy to read the long paragraphs of free association.