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My Struggle, Book Four
by Karl Ove Knausgaard and Don Bartlett


Overview - At eighteen years, old Karl Ove moves to a tiny fisherman's village in the far north of the arctic circle to work as a school teacher. No interest in the job itself, his intention is to save up enough money to travel while finding the space and time to start his writing career.  Read more...

 
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More About My Struggle, Book Four by Karl Ove Knausgaard; Don Bartlett
 
 
 
Overview
At eighteen years, old Karl Ove moves to a tiny fisherman's village in the far north of the arctic circle to work as a school teacher. No interest in the job itself, his intention is to save up enough money to travel while finding the space and time to start his writing career. Initially everything looks fine. He writes his first few short stories, finds himself accepted by the hospitable locals, and receives flattering attention from several beautiful local girls. But as the darkness of the long arctic nights start to consume the landscape, Karl Ove's life takes a darker turn. His writing repeats itself, his drinking escalates to some disturbing blackouts, his attempts at losing his virginity end in humiliation and shame, and to his distress, he also develops romantic feelings towards one of his students. Along the way, there are flashbacks to his high school years and the roots of his current problems. Ever present is the long shadow cast by his father, whose own sharply increasing alcohol consumption serves as an ominous backdrop to the author's lifestlye.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780914671176
  • ISBN-10: 0914671170
  • Publisher: Archipelago Books
  • Publish Date: April 2015
  • Page Count: 350
  • Dimensions: 7.6 x 6.5 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Literary
Books > Fiction > Biographical

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2015-02-23
  • Reviewer: Staff

Part four of Knausgaard’s sprawling autobiographical novel gives a clear picture of narrator Karl Ove’s late teenage years and his transition from the reckless abandon of youth to the responsibilities and demands of adulthood. The book centers on the year he spends teaching children—some not much younger than he is—in a provincial town in northern Norway. Though his primary aim is to earn money to finance his writing career, he learns a bit about the quirks of smalltown living, making a few friends and enemies along the way. A large chunk of the book is devoted to the year or so leading up to Karl Ove’s decision to take the job, as he begrudgingly finishes high school. These sections give readers a clearer understanding of Karl Ove’s life after his parents’ divorce, and of his father’s downward spiral into alcoholism that ultimately led to his death (as described in book one). Meanwhile, Karl Ove drinks heavily, experiments with drugs, and gets into a bit of trouble. But he also matures and develops his own artistic sensibilities. The internal battle between his carnal urges and his ambitions and morals is an ongoing theme. Unapologetically crude, this entry is the funniest and least self-conscious in the series to date; there’s a humorous momentum propelling the narrative as Karl Ove attempts to lose his virginity. Unfortunately, the casual breeziness of the prose can make it hard to keep track of Karl Ove’s countless love interests and acquaintances, as many are only briefly mentioned. The book is strongest when Karl Ove is figuring out who he is as a writer, and when he begins to take his craft seriously, hinting at the success that will come in the author’s own life. (Apr.)

 
BAM Customer Reviews