A man in Love by Karl Ove Knausgaard

A man in Love

A man in Love by Karl Ove Knausgaard

Norwegian fiction

Translator –  Don Bartlett

Original title – Min Kamp Andre Bok

Source – library

Well its over a year since part one of the six  vol collection was released ,I reviewed it here and now am reviewing part two .I did a lot of bio on the first part of the collection so will get start into part two of My struggle .This book is a huge hit in his homeland they even had to make days to not talk about the book at work it was such a water cooler moment book  in his homeland .

29 July 2008

The summer has been long ,and it still isn’t over .I finished the first part of the novel on 26 June ,and since then ,for more than a month the nursery school had been closed , and we have had Vanja and Heidi at home with all the extra work that involves .I have never understood the point of holidays , never felt the need for them  and have always just wanted to do more work .

The opening lines of a man in love

Well in part two we have seemingly jumped a few years and Karl is settled and is struggling as a writer ,he is married and as the title says a man in love ,the book does start very slowly as we meet Karl at a kids party .The story does tend to drift but it has a sense of times being recalled a natural feel as we all do sort mixing or memories  into a mix tape of our life so we move back and forward but it isn’t jarring .We see a man who like most of us  (I turned forty over a year ago and this book rung true too me ) is struggling to discover who he is man .On the surface this could seem boring it is just an ordinary story of a middle class man in Norway ,living having kids ,looking after kids .But it is the brutal honest nature that Knausgaard has in his prose that lifts this from being a man in mid-life drifting towards crisis .I also love the interludes into books and music splattered through the book .

When I went back up Linda had put some music on , one of the Tom Waits CDS that had come out after I lost interest in him and with which I therefore have no associations other than that they were Tom Waits-like .Once Linda had reworked some Waits text for a performance in Stockholm ,which she said was among the most entertaining and satisfying stuff she had done and she still had an intense ,indeed intimate relationship with his music .

Got say I’m with Linda on this I still get Waits

I loved this although as I said it is a very slow starter one of those books that you have to slowly get into ,but it is his power of describing his world that kept me there ,I feel he above all writers I ve read in the last few years can make the ordinary seem extraordinary .In his hands even child care ,which to me isn’t the most appealing subject to read (sure some people will disagree with me ) appeals as we see Karl grow into a new role of being a father and of course ,trying to avoid what mistakes his own father made when bring him up . It is also feels at time like Karl is looking to admit maybe he struggled (great insight Stu as the book as a whole is called my struggle )  but it is hard to admit where we fail in life and Karl is the master of this  IMHO .I know await part three of this collection .

Have you read these two books

14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Brian Joseph
    Aug 13, 2013 @ 12:48:59

    I have not read this but it sounds really good.

    It never bothers me if a story moves slowly as long as it is well written.

    The way that you described memory being portrayed in this work is how I perceive it as I get older.


  2. the bibliomane
    Aug 13, 2013 @ 13:10:46

    I have read both books and I can’t wait for the third. It’s strange though..I can’t even describe why I liked them so much.but partly I think it was because as a forty-something person I really recognised how life takes over..marriage and children..and all that this entails..


  3. Vishy
    Aug 13, 2013 @ 14:09:15

    Nice review, Stu. Glad to know that you liked it though it was a bit slow in the beginning. Books with musical references – I love them 🙂 Hope you enjoy reading part 3 too.


  4. Tony
    Aug 14, 2013 @ 03:04:00

    Hoping to get round to this soon (from the library), but I’m sure I’ll be reading it next April, anyway 😉


  5. Melinda
    Aug 16, 2013 @ 10:00:40

    Never heard of this author, but the book sounds like a good read!


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August 2013


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