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A Town Called Mørk

Adam Mars-Jones: Per Petterson

6 November 2014
I Refuse 
by Per Petterson, translated by Don Bartlett.
Harvill Secker, 282 pp., £16.99, October 2014, 978 1 84655 781 1
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... hit Tommy in the chest and knocked him backwards while Jim shot forwards.’ There’s no harm done, or no obvious harm. Tommy isn’t hurt, and the ice isn’t cracking anyway, merely settling as it expands at low temperature. Jim insists that he wasn’t sacrificing Tommy so as to save himself, something he hasn’t been accused of, and becomes obsessed ...

Dad’s Going to Sue

Christopher Tayler: ‘My Struggle’

5 April 2012
A Death in the Family: My Struggle: Vol. I 
by Karl Ove Knausgaard, translated by Don Bartlett.
Harvill Secker, 393 pp., £17.99, March 2012, 978 1 84655 467 4
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... and humdrum of the things we did. And it’s a disquieting thought that not even the past is done with, even that continues to change, as if in reality there is only one time, for everything … Nothing is ever finished, everything just goes on and on, there are no boundaries, not even between the living and the dead, even that zone is quivering and ...

Give me a Danish pastry!

Christopher Tayler: Nordic crime fiction

17 August 2006
The Priest of Evil 
by Matti-Yrjänä Joensuu, translated by David Hackston.
Arcadia, 352 pp., £11.99, May 2006, 1 900850 93 1
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by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö, translated by Lois Roth.
Harper Perennial, 288 pp., £6.99, August 2006, 0 00 723283 7
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Borkmann’s Point 
by Håkan Nesser, translated by Laurie Thompson.
Macmillan, 321 pp., £16.99, May 2006, 0 333 98984 8
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The Redbreast 
by Jo Nesbø, translated by Don Bartlett.
Harvill Secker, 520 pp., £11.99, September 2006, 9781843432173
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by Arnaldur Indridason, translated by Bernard Scudder.
Harvill Secker, 313 pp., £12.99, August 2006, 1 84655 033 5
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... solution to the mystery isn’t especially ingenious, the pathos and poetic gestures are expertly done; if any of these writers deserves success on Mankell’s scale, it’s probably ...

So Frank

Sheila Heti: Meeting Knausgaard

9 January 2014
My Struggle: Book 2. A Man in Love 
by Karl Ove Knausgaard, translated by Don Bartlett.
Vintage, 544 pp., £8.99, October 2013, 978 0 09 955517 9
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... of the potatoes was made up, are the books true, in the way we understand true to be? If they don’t have a faithful relationship with ‘what happened’, does it matter? Might they even in some ways be better? Book 2 of My Struggle follows the first-person protagonist, Karl Ove Knausgaard, as he falls in love with his second wife, Linda, impregnates ...

Each Cornflake

Ben Lerner: Knausgaard, Vol. 3

21 May 2014
My Struggle: Vol. 3. Boyhood Island 
by Karl Ove Knausgaard, translated by Don Bartlett.
Harvill Secker, 490 pp., £12.99, March 2014, 978 1 84655 722 4
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... attempts to establish a difference in quality between crispy and soggy flakes; finally, he abandons that distinction since both kinds of flake have their appeal. If my reading of the passage sounds ridiculous – they’re just cornflakes! – it’s a ridiculousness I think the dilation of Knausgaard’s description encourages. Regardless, I believe ...

Look at me

Raymond Fancher

28 June 1990
Rebel with a Cause 
by H.J. Eysenck.
W.H. Allen, 310 pp., £14.95, March 1990, 1 85227 162 0
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... who also founded and for years administered the Psychological Department of the University of London’s Postgraduate Medical Federation, is surely unmatched by any contemporary British psychologist. Moreover, Eysenck proves that his voluminous works have been widely read and noted, by professional and popular audiences alike. A table of citations received ...


Fredric Jameson

8 November 2018
My Struggle: Book 6. The End 
by Karl Ove Knausgaard, translated by Martin Aitken and Don Bartlett.
Harvill Secker, 1153 pp., £25, August 2018, 978 1 84655 829 0
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... here with Six, maybe you ought to read Book 1 first. Q. Is this fiction or autobiography? A. I don’t know. He uses both words, and sometimes calls it a novel. Indeed, sometimes he seems to think of each individual volume as a separate novel, which may give us a clue. As for autobiography, he does use real names, which is part of the uproar over this ...

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