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"Time never goes as fast as in your childhood; an hour is never as short as it was then. Everything is open, you fun here, you run there, do one thing, then another, and suddenly the sun has gone down and you find yourself standing in the twilight with time like a barrier that has suddenly gone down in front of you:"
-- Karl Ove Knausgård, My Struggle: Book Three: Boyhood Island
descriptionThere is something mundane and otherworldly about Knausgård's third book. It exists on the island of Tromøy, a large island (relatively) on the South Eastern tip of Norway. His hard-ass father teaches and his distracted mother works in a sanitarium. He is surrounded by friends, family, an older brother, and anxiety and curiosity. In many ways it is an honest look at middle childhood, those awkward years that start just before puberty and end a couple years after puberty. The magic of Knausgård's quasi-fictional memoir is his brutal openness. He isn't afraid to write down his most awkward sexual experiences as a boy or young man. He spends a lot of time discussing his weaknesses and his idiosyncrasies, but while Knausgård himself might be the primary character and narrator, he is haunted by the shadow of his father. You can see how the fear and anxiety created by his father impacts both Karl Ove and his brother. His father is both a storm that blows his boys, or a maelström that constantly threatens to suck them in. I think this characterization fits, because so many times, as the boys sat in the house alone waiting for their father to arrive the tension felt like a ship anticipating a storm; darkness would defend and a hard madness would hit and then, just as fast, disappear. The prose was beautiful, and in parts, seemed heavy enough to bleed the heavy, dark prose straight through the thick pages of the archipelago book.
16 of 20 people found this review helpful
Have read (and/or listened) to all four available now. This was the best so far.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
This book is the most depressing of them all so far because it focuses so much on the relationship with his father.
Would you consider the audio edition of My Struggle, Book 3 to be better than the print version?
I haven't read the print version, but the narrator is just perfect, so much so, that I think it can only be Karl Ove Knausgaard's voice!
What was one of the most memorable moments of My Struggle, Book 3?
Memorable moment! I'd rather not say, but it could be to do with the boys discussion on bowel movements! These books are just remarkable in their simple, honest and truthful storytelling, and yet they are addictively fascinating. The most memorable thing is the man and in this case the formative years of Knausgaard.
Have you listened to any of Edoardo Ballerini’s other performances? How does this one compare?
Yes, he has narrated all the other books in the series. he is excellent.
Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
Any additional comments?
I have downloaded Book four of My Struggle, cant wait to listen to it and the others to come.