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My Struggle: Book One by Karl Ove Knausgaard

My Struggle: Book One

Best Seller
My Struggle: Book One by Karl Ove Knausgaard
Hardcover
Feb 04, 2014 | 430 Pages
  • Hardcover $27.00

    Feb 04, 2014 | 430 Pages

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Praise

“Knausgaard broke the sound barrier of the autobiographical novel.”  — Jeffrey Eugenides

“What’s notable is Karl Ove’s ability, rare these days, to be fully present in and mindful of his own existence. Every detail is put down without apparent vanity or decoration, as if the writing and the living are happening simultaneously. There shouldn’t be anything remarkable about any of it except for the fact that it immerses you totally. You live his life with him. . . . The overweening absurdity of Ove’s title is a bad joke that keeps coming back to you as you try to construct a life worthy of an adult. How to be more present, more mindful? Of ourselves, of others? For others?” — Zadie Smith, The New York Review of Books

“…reading My Struggle, you have the sense that Knausgaard has made a wonderful discovery, an almost scientific innovation. My Struggle is something new, something brave…” — n + 1

“…It sounds like straightforward autobiography, but such is the power of its relentless comprehensiveness that it acquires an almost otherworldly quality…” – The Guardian (A “Ten Best Long Read”, alongside the likes of Middlemarch, Infinite Jest and 2666)

“The book investigates the bottomless accumulation of mysteries everyday life imposes. . . Knausgaard’s approach is plain and scrupulous, sometimes casual, yet he never writes down. His subject is the beauty and terror of the fact that all life coexists with itself. A living hero who landed on greatness by abandoning every typical literary feint, an emperor whose nakedness surpasses royal finery.” — Jonathan Lethem, The Guardian


“Knausgaard is emotionally clumsy to be sure, but remarkably, almost miraculously, his novel never comes off as a plea for sympathy, as so many memoirs (or memoir-novels) are. He means to strip experiences and emotional responses to their bare essences, and over time, the book evokes a feeling of fully inhabiting a character that typical rhetorical somersaulting often doesn’t. . . A simple and surprising effort to capture everyday life that rewards the time given to it.” Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

“It would not be an exaggeration to say that Karl Ove Knausgaard’s six-volume memoir “My Struggle” (Archipelago Books) — of which three volumes have been translated into English — has catapulted the Norwegian writer into the rarefied company of such authors as James Joyce, Marcel Proust and Henry Miller. These writers burst forth with a new consciousness and in so doing became the voice of their generation. Years hence we will be talking about Knausgaard’s incredibly detailed memoir cycle doing the same for the late 20th century.” — The Providence Journal

“Perhaps the most significant literary enterprise of our time.” The Guardian (UK)

“Why would you read a six-volume, 3,600-page Norwegian novel about a man writing a six-volume, 3,600-page Norwegian novel? The short answer is that it is breathtakingly good, and so you cannot stop yourself, and would not want to…Arrestingly beautiful.” The New York Times Book Review

“Knausgaard has written one of those books so aesthetically forceful as to be revolutionary. Before, there was no My Struggle; now there is, and things are different. The digressiveness of Sebald or Proust is transposed into direct, unmetaphorical language.”  The Paris Review

“A six-volume literary experiment in which a contemporary Norwegian author describes his own life may sound dull. But Knausgaard’s literary experiment is both brutally honest and far from dull. Trust me, it’ll be worth waiting for volumes three through six to appear in English translation.” — Jo Nesbo, in The Week (one of Jo Nesbo’s six favorite books)

“The way in which Knausgaard seeks to expose the dark, regressive aspects of his own character within the context of a life that is, in most respects, quite ordinary is precisely what allows these books to transcend their narrowly personal foundations.”— Sydney Review of Books

“Volumes 1 and 2 of Karl Ove Knausgård’s epic novel/memoir My Struggle (Harvill Secker) blew me away: totally immersive, collapsing the wall between author and reader as you live his life alongside him. It’s somehow triumphant and redemptive – and powerfully addictive – even as it recounts the most apparently mundane aspects of life. He’s a genius.”— Simon Prosser, Publisher, Hamish Hamilton, in The Guardian
 
“Both Knausgaard’s Proustian style and the fact that his work is one long book stretched out into many volumes, just like In Search of Lost Time, should signal that it’s a literary event the likes of which we probably will not see again in our lifetimes. . . . Unlike almost every other work of art released in the 21st century, Knausgaard’s massive book is an ongoing cultural event that we’re being afforded the opportunity to savor.” — Jason Diamond, Flavorwire
 
“The translation and worldwide distribution of Karl Ove Knausgaard’s exquisite six-volume autobiographical novel My Struggle will be remembered as a landmark literary event. The work is unquestionably a contemporary classic…” — About.com

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