In this utterly remarkable novel Karl Ove Knausgaard writes with painful honesty about his childhood and teenage years, his infatuation with rock music, his relationship with his loving yet almost invisible mother and his distant and unpredictable father, and his bewilderment and grief on his father's death. When he becomes a father himself, he must balance the demands of caring for a young family with his determination to write great literature.
A Death in the Family is a Proustian exploration of his past, in which Knausgaard creates a universal story of the struggles, great and small, that we all face in our lives. A Death in the Family is a profoundly serious, gripping and hugely readable work written as if the author's very life were at stake.
A Death in the Family
Ok. I will come clean. This is the best book I have read in the last year, possibly ever. Now there is not much action, or pace, or plot, but this Norwegian writer has caused a sensation around the world with this six book memoir cum novel called My Struggle. A Death in the Family is the first, and only the first 3 are available in English. This is a classic bildungsroman, slow moving and occasionally dull. It is the life of the writer Karl Ove Knausgaard told at various times in his life. It begins with his teenage years at home with his Mother, brother and dominant father. It is detailed in the extreme, it is funny and is true. It has the most amazing honesty of any book I have read. This book is not easy reading, but every time I have to put it down, I am desperate to know when I can start again. He is a modern everyman. His story is our story. Try it. Novelist Zadie Smith says his books are like crack. Strong stuff.