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3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  391 ratings  ·  22 reviews
The midnight sun illumines more than fishing and fjords in this remote northern Norwegian village. In fact, half-baked schemes and hilarity abound. Big Ove Rolandsen, telegraph operator, mad scientist, and local Casanova, trades wits, fists, and kisses with a host of quirky neighbors. He serenades the curate's wife and fights a drunken giant, but taking on Trader Mack, the ...more
Paperback, 132 pages
Published May 1st 1996 by New Directions Publishing Corporation (first published 1904)
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Feb 26, 2013 s.penkevich rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Hamsunites
Recommended to s.penkevich by: The warmth of spring creeping in
Summer is the time for dreaming, and then you have to stop. But some people go on dreaming all their lives, and cannot change.

Hamsun has always favored the eccentrics. Those set apart from society by their volatile nature, the mysterious strangers whose behavior and whims set an entire village upside down, and those who become a force of nature all themselves. Hamsun’s 1904 novella, Dreamers, is no exception in its depiction of an eccentric man whose womanizing, drinking, and clever schemes pi
I first encountered Knut Hamsun while checking out the Munch exhibit gift shop at Chicago’s Art Institute. Apparently the show organizers decided to include some books along with bookbags and erasers featuring “The Scream” and my friend Paul, an English professor, pointed at Hamsun’s “Mysteries and said, “Have you read that? You’d like it.” Now, I have to admit, my ego took a hit that afternoon. I love these depressing, northern European writers. How in the hell have I not heard of a guy who fit ...more
Paul Hufton
I’ll make my excuses right now - Dreamers is a tough book to review. An easy book to write a dissertation about, but a hard one to sum up in a few paragraphs (especially without too many spoilers). One thing should be pointed out at the start though - whilst a translated work written in 1904 by a Norwegian winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature might sound fusty or off-putting, this couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s a light, charming, feel-good book, and could be quickly and easily be r ...more
Pete Ames
I shall begin my review, somewhat controversially, with my conclusion: Dreamers is a good book. The story holds the reader’s attention and is well paced throughout and contains resonating, interesting characters. Meanwhile the style of writing never intrudes upon the story, though it never stands out either.

Primarily Dreamers is a character piece, introducing early on all the characters of a small Norwegian village with a somewhat shallow or public version of themselves before exploring, to var
Gertrude & Victoria
Knut Hamsun's Dreamers is like a strange dream rendered into a stranger reality, as one man, Ove Rolandsen, takes on a whole village to satisfy his needs of love and recognition. His actions are not guided exclusively by selfishness, but from some incomprehensible inclination to act. Of course, the village people are not in on some plan to destroy him, but rather, he brings his misfortunes upon himself.

This work is a penetrating analysis of man's unpredictable and inexplicable nature, where late
Gaston Prereth
It took me a long time to formulate a review for this book, and I’m still not sure I have much to say. From an exceptionally promising start, the characters and plot seemed to thin and disappear like sunburnt sea spray the further I read. In fact, the only thing which seemed to remain was the setting which remained as beautiful and isolating as it was in the first chapter.

Throughout the book you get invited into a small community on an isolated island and are given a real sense of their daily l
"Dreamers" is a delightful, comedic tale full of colorful characters. At first, I thought that the book was just a sweet little story and the perfect snack for a summer's evening. However, after letting the book marinate in my mind for a few days, it occurs to me that the sudden switches in point of view make the quality of the story more dreamlike.

Near the end of the book, oafish and endearing Ove Rolandsen says: "Summer is the time for dreaming, and then you have to stop. But some people go on
Dublin James

Reading this novel can perhaps best be described as how you might feel after waking up midway through a wet dream. You're left confused, though this confusion soon passes and is replaced by an awareness that you've experienced something pretty extraordinary in spite of your ultimate feeling of unfulfillment.

It tells the story of Ove Rolandsen (a charming, contradictory, drunken, dreaming lothario much like myself) and the people of the little coastal village he inhabits, all of whom are introdu
David Ball
I was a bit bogged down with Vidal's Lincoln, so I picked this up to re-ignite my enthusiasm for reading. And it worked. This is a brilliant little book: very well observed, very funny, with a number of clever plot lines, and in Ove Rolandsen the book contains one of fiction's most original characters. He's a lazy, boozy, schemingly ambitious telegram operator/amateur inventor, an irrepressible flirt, and occasional romantic. I don't know many Norwegians, but reading this book makes me wish I kn ...more
Danny Daley
Norwegian novelist Knut Hamsun is one the greatest writers you've never heard of. Winner of the 1920 Nobel Prize for literature, he was a huge influence on Mann, Kafka, and Hemingway; Bukowski called him the greatest novelist in history. Dreamers is a short book, a character study about an unlikable man presented in only a slightly sympathetic light. Little happens in the story and yet the prose is so good I tore through the book in a couple of sittings.
The back cover calls this a semi-precious gem, and I think that is exactly right. This has a lot of similarities to other Hamsun stories - small Norwegian village, slightly dysfunctional but relatable lead, seemingly fruitless love interests - but is overall so much different. And has a very empowering and uplifting... Dare I say, happy, ending. Delightful.
A friend suggested Hamsun - I'd never read him or, in fact, heard of him - so I borrowed Dreamers from the library and read it almost in one fell swoop. It's funny, poetic, sad, full of oddball characters, a distant cold landscape that provides a folkloric setting ... overall very enchanting.
A bit of a trifle, and a sketch for Victoria. But still quite good, for the Hamsun lover.
David Dooling
Great book; also has the different translation
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Wow! Great book!
I'm speechless!
Jun 20, 2010 B rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: hamsun

Tight if inconsequential, the character-panoramas he went for in Mysteries and Victoria are much more effective - and in astonishinhly economical ways - here, but there isn't any of the former's depth to the main protagonists, nor the latter's richness in tone and/or theme (the love story, i guess?) - but this one has this great little plot which clips along and great humor and cool little variations on some Hamsun-ian tropes (bipolar inner monologues; arrival of The Stranger; respite to nature;
May 02, 2008 will added it
I was shocked to see Hamsun working in a very different milieu from Hunger, which, to me, felt very urban and very modern. Dreamers is rural and simple in a fairy-tale sort of way. While it certainly does not carry the weight of the other book, it is a good short read nonetheless. It is funny and strange and starkly pretty.
Caleb Liu
A rather short novella length offering from the writer famous for "Hunger". Lovable rouge tries to make good in this tale which was surprising light reading considering - or maybe I'm just missing something.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
minor hamsun novella. not as great as his prime works, but still a worthwhile and pleasurable read.
Dec 06, 2011 Tammy marked it as to-read
Recommended in the book Tolstoy and the Purple Chair.
Robert Hyman
Sværmere på norsk
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Awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1920 "for his monumental work, Growth of the Soil." He insisted that the intricacies of the human mind ought to be the main object of modern literature, to describe the "whisper of the blood, and the pleading of the bone marrow". Hamsun pursued his literary program, debuting in 1890 with the psychological novel Hunger.
More about Knut Hamsun...
Hunger Growth of the Soil Pan: From Lieutenant Thomas Glahn's Papers Mysteries Victoria

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“But now it was spring again, and spring was almost unbearable for sensitive hearts. It drove creation to its utmost limits, it wafted its spice-laden breath even into the nostrils of the innocent.” 18 likes
“Man sværmer om sommeren, så holder man op for den gang. Men nogen sværmer hele sitt liv og står ikke til å forandre.” 5 likes
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