My Struggle: Book One introduces American readers to the audacious, addictive, and profoundly surprising international literary sensation that is the provocative and brilliant six-volume autobiographical novel by Karl Ove Knausgaard. It has already been anointed a Proustian masterpiece and is the rare work of dazzling literary originality that is intensely, irresistibly readable. Unafraid of the big issues—death, love, art, fear—and yet committed to the intimate details of life as it is lived, My Struggle is an essential work of contemporary literature.
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A Unique Voice
The author is wonderful in the way that Per Petterson &
Orhan Pamuk are wonderful. The story became part of my memory, my experience. The narrative is unique to Knausgaard, but it put me in touch with buried parts of my own past thus achieving for me, a universality. I really couldn't put the book down; & only two of the six volumes have been translated.
A Unique Literary Experience
It seems so simple but My Struggle redefines what writing can be. One word, one description follows another in a trickle, then a stream, then a river, and you want more and more. And Knausguard provides.
A strange, unnerving, engrossing experience
I cannot explain why I loved this so much. It wasn’t a terribly interesting read, for all that. However, it is something that I could not stop reading. The attention to detail in everyday life is as exacting as it is unnerving; mostly, however, I think that Knausgaard captures something of the experience of modern humanity that no one else has, something at once entirely universal and completely personal. I’ve never read anything like it, and something in me, perhaps something slightly demented or sadistic, insists that I keep reading until I have read all six books.
Knausgaard’s writing carries the day. Every sentence gleams. Everything seems to matter, yet all he talks about are the banal, the everyday. There is nothing spiritual in here. And yet, there is something absolutely transcendental in the style and the breakdown of all expected conventions. This isn’t for everyone, but those who open it most likely will find themselves unable to stop until they’ve reached whatever conclusion awaits.