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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 23 September 2010
Quite simply, I was speechless after reading this book. It was very touching and portrays the inner workings of a man in severe physcological distress. Every word is perfectly chosen, even from the translation and it is free from any author self-serving motives; its a completely honest work. In many ways the book is disturbing for the reader since it gives you explicit access to raw mental unhingement. I found the way the protaganist rationalises his irrational behaviour incredible and unforgetable.
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on 11 March 2010
This is a book about a starving writer and his psychological struggles. Brilliant read, very funny and disturbing at the same time. Like a less middle class version of Down and Out in Paris and London.

Highly recomended.
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on 13 April 2007
It is hard to believe that this book was written in 1890. It is a fascinating read, and the style is timeless. In fact, I would say that this book is a breakthrough into the modern world of literature: internal monologue and tragic circumstances give an insight into the human struggle. A classic which simply HAS to be read.
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on 30 November 2012
Hamsun's masterwork, which inspired generations of up and coming authors, and in his own words was the reason Charles Bukowski took up writing, still resonates in the modern day. The version I recieved arrived on time and in pristine condition. I would strongly recommend both the author who is undoubtably one of the 20th century's most gifted writers and the seller.
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on 25 May 2010
'Hunger' is loosely based on Hamsun's poverty-stricken existence before he became successful as an author. The novel is set in Kristiania (now called Oslo) at the end of the nineteenth century. The story is narrated in the first person by an unnamed man who tries to raise money by writing articles to sell to newspapers. He is constantly strapped for cash and has to endure vagrancy and starvation which leads to the steady decline in his social, physical and mental well-being. His behaviour becomes so irrational he starts to play strange tricks on passers-by in the streets of the Norwegian capital. Although he is in a state of mental degeneration, he always tries to maintain an outward appearance of respectability. At one of his low points he asks to spend the night in a police cell. He tells the police he is a journalist, and he has forgotten his keys so cannot get into his apartment. If he had told the police he was a vagrant he would have received breakfast. He prefers to go hungry than admit to his desperate situation.

The novel is set in four parts. In each part when the hero reaches a low point he is saved by the bell: on one occasion by the acceptance of an article by a newspaper editor, and on the last occasion by securing a job that will take him away from Kristiania.
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VINE VOICEon 22 October 2011
Our narrator is destitute and bordering on starving in Oslo. He spends his time desperately trying to write articles, upholding curiously fleeting philosophical values, and acting generally strangely.

The character is polar, chaotic, contradictory, self-destructive and verging on delusional. Down-and-out artists have been portrayed in more entertaining ways by other novelists, but here there are more critical and disturbing transgressions from rationality. It seems to me almost a case study of a pervading mental illness.

I found the protagonist a little annoying. But there is an intensity which comes with vividly describing a man always on the edge of annihilation.
Although it is quite compulsive, and plenty of extrapolation is possible, I felt disappointed that the story lacked substance.

Style: 7/10
Structure: 7/10
Depth: 5/10
Originality: 6/10
Unputdownability: 6/10
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on 11 August 2012
Hamsun displays an incredible grasp of the nuances of human psychology: the lies we tell ourselves and the desires, however unhealthy, that we cannot live without. A wonderful survey of the interior life of a down on his luck vagrant/writer.
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on 14 November 2000
Knut Hamsun was a precursor of the existentialist writers, and also authors like Kafka. "Hunger" is a disturbing, fierce, blackly humorous portrait of one young man's battle against poverty, loneliness and depression. The narrator is a struggling writer, and Hamsun captures with true power the twisting emotions he goes through as he attempts to come to terms with his existence. A crucial novel in the path towards modernism, and an essential read for anyone interested in the likes of Joyce, Camus, Miller or modern fiction in general.
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on 10 March 2001
Hamsun's tale of a frustated young writer certain of his own genius is both bleak and captivating. The portrayal of the writer's struggle against poverty is masterly, and Hamsun does well to keep the reader engrossed in the plight of just one character. Its a good idea to read the foreword after reading the novel, so you do not judge the author on his personality but on his work.
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on 18 September 2012
Read this book over 30 years ago and still makes me shudder whenever i think about it,feel hungry at the thought of it ,one of the truly great books of my life .a must .
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