Friday, 15 April 2011


by Knut Hamsun

Just thinking about this book makes me feel hungry.

Just learnt that it is set in Norway as well, and not Hungary as I originally thought. That would have been a quite clever title, although whether it would work in translation is doubtful...

...the front cover is quite nice too...

Ok, I've put off talking about the actual book as much as is possible. It's about a man who is driven crazy, or is already crazy, depending on how you look at it. I think the author must have been crazy personally. Every time he makes any money he does something stupid, like give it away, or buy something idiotic rather than sensible food to keep himself alive. This is why I disliked him, he is not down and out on luck, facing hard times or even a victim. Every thing that is wrong with his life is his own god damn fault and yet he continues to blame everyone else.


Unfortunately, unlike 75% of the books on this European Novel course, he doesn't commit suicide or die at the end. Isn't even gravely injured. If ever there was a character I wanted dead, apart from Werther, who was waaaaaaay too whiney, it was this guy. And he tempted me... wandering by the docks in the early light of dawn, I was willing him to go all Virginia Woolf. Unfortunately he got on a boat and that was the end.

This is pretty much all I have to say about this book. He was hungry, miserable and crazy. That sums up over two hundred pages of rambling prose about walking through the streets with cold feet (which is about the only thing I can sympathise with, having chronically cold feet myself).

Unmemorable to say the least.

So Catrin Says

1 comment: