** My Struggle (IV) by Karl Ove Knausgaard


Unlike some of the earlier books, My Struggle: Book Four starts like a proper story — of the author as an 18 year old taking a job in the sparsely populated north of Norway as a school teacher in a small school — but soon devolves into the usual highly refined stream of consciousness narrative, diving back into the past, especially his parents’ divorce and his father’s alcoholism. The author also drinks prodigious amounts during the book, that is, during his teenage years, so much so that one wonders about how he avoided alcohol poisoning, freezing to death during ill-timed walks in the snow wearing inappropriate clothes, or simply destroying his liver.

Much time is spent discussing his sexual frustration and mishaps, in detail, which may be appropriate given the time span covered, but yawn…

My favorite part of the book is the description of northern Norway, the insular life of the village where everyone knows everyone and the author cannot do anything without his (barely younger than him) pupils noticing and commenting, and the mere notion that a newly-minted high-school graduate can be an effective teacher. I also found very interesting the descriptions of how he started to write, self-taught and isolated, trying out different styles.

 

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2 Comments

Filed under True story

2 responses to “** My Struggle (IV) by Karl Ove Knausgaard

  1. Pingback: ** Home And Away by Karl Ove Knausgaard and Fredrik Ekeland | FT's Books

  2. Pingback: ** Autumn by Karl Ove Knausgaard | FT's Books

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