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Tales Of Protection
 
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Erik Fosnes Hansen
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Tales Of Protection

4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  204 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Tales of Protection is a novel about people in different places in different epochs - contemporary Norway, nineteenth-century Sweden, and Renaissance Italy - whose stories are bound together by the author's original and searching enquiry into why things happen the way they do. As the book opens, a dead man lies in his coffin reflecting on the past. Bolt was an eccentric sc...more
Paperback, 512 pages
Published August 15th 2002 by Secker (first published 1998)
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Peter H. Fogtdal
This novel is on my top 5 of best books I ever read. Norwegian writer Erik Fosnes Hansen is a huge name in Scandinavia for a good reason: He's a master storyteller and a very original one as well. Here he tells four stories that are interwoven and connected - not in an obvious way, but I think it's fair to say that the key word here is ... you guessed it, protection. Read it, dammit.
Rawley
This novel is an intriguing meditation on the nature of coincidence. Hansen suggests that there might exist "an underlying something, an active universal principle for life's coincidences, that manifests itself more often in some people." Even the most skeptic scientist, at some point, has undoubtedly had the hunch that maybe certain things in our lives happen for a reason and not just pure chance. Hansen takes this idea, calls it "serialization," attempts to provide logical proof for it, and cr...more
Katja Gottschewski
Feb 16, 2008 Katja Gottschewski rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mark Fearghus Hagen
A pleasure to read; the language is beautiful. The central theme that permeates the whole book is how seemingly random events or actions fit together and create a non-coincidental whole. I also learned a lot about bees, lighthouses and baroque painting techniques! My only regret is that the second part has not been written yet.

I have read the book in Norwegian; I don't know how good the English translation is. Beautiful language is always difficult to translate in an equally beautiful way.
Anna Matilda
This book was the catalyst for a 3am (remarkably accurate) palm-reading by a middle-aged Serbian taxi-driver.

After experiencing a particularly murky emotional patch, my Scandinavian mother passed this book to me, saying she thought I might like it.

I was so enlivened by the mystery and poetry of the first tale that I spoke to everyone I met about it. This included the cab driver who drove me home from a night out.

The place I had been to was only 20 minutes or so from my house, but as I told this...more
Tim
picked up when desperate for a read in italy... absolutely loved the atmosphere, writing, and linked stories. i feel like i could & should read it again, and find more in it.
Ros
I read the first 'tale' in this book but I'm afraid this writer is not for me. Just when I was beginning to warm to the main character the tale ended!
The story also has some bizarre features, such as being told from the perspective of two swifts circling above a church for a couple of pages, and then from the perspective of a dead man in a coffin for a little while before getting to the main character. I can't see the point of that - especially the swifts, they have nothing to do with the story....more
Shauna
I chose this book from the library shelf on pure instinct, and was rewarded with the true pleasure of a transporting read. I was completely engrossed by the first tale of Lea and Engineer Bolt--a story infused with humor, tenderness and overtones of losses hinted at yet undescribed. These themes--especially that of loss--carry through the three other stories in the book and loosely unite them; although I think the book is overall closer to a collection of novellas than a novel. When I let go of...more
Juliet Wilson
Parts of this book are wonderful but i found it difficult to get into overall. There are three main stories here - one about a girl and her grandfather who keeps bees and researches bizarre co-incidences, the second about the community living and working around a lighthouse and the third about artists in Renaissance Italy. There are fascinating historic and factual details about beekeeping, lighthouses and art. The characters are well drawn and their relationships are really well portrayed. Some...more
Una
Sep 13, 2012 Una rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: cilvēkiem, ar kuriem mēdz notikt dīvainas sakritības
Recommended to Una by: O. (netieši)
Shelves: m-sdienu-rzemju
Ļoti dzīvi un krāsaini uzrakstīta grāmata, kuras centrā ideja par to, kā cilvēku dzīves cauri laikmetiem satuvina nejaušības, sauktas arī par likteni.
Vēstījums ārkārtīgi kolorīts. Viņam ir Sātana skatupunkts, intervija ar putniem, fantastiskās detaļās izzīmēta, piemēram, biškopība, renesanses laika mākslinieku ikdiena un dzīve 19. gs. bākas sarga ģimenē uz sīkas saliņas.
Interesanti pretstatījumi, par ko domāt: pienākums/jūtas, arī tas, ko nozīmē liela māksla - vai to rada ar tehniku un prātu, va...more
Nona
I adore peter Hoeg, and this guy seemed to be his successor. All the traditional elements are there: the wild characters who evoke the Boer war, greenhouses in northern countries populated with talking apes and plants never before seen and a mystical pattern to life as revealed through old fashioned personalities and a stiff kind of rebellion.

It's compelling and thoughrally entertaining. But when a book sets it's premise as delivering the answer to coincidences, tragedy and life itself... well....more
Roberto
Beautifully beautifully written but , in my opinion, here there was fodder for 4 different books instead of each one of the tales being ended abruptly. The writing style of Erik Hansen deserves more than 5 stars but the way he choosed to present his stories was a little bit disappointing (at the moment you were engrossed by one of the tales, he abruptly, at the middle of a sentence, changed to another tale. I especially liked the data about bees and lighthouses being the second tale my favourite...more
Katrina
One of those books I picked up at a $5 sale just because the cover looked intriguing. I'm so glad I did! The book was well-written and fascinating. The author reminds me of David Mitchell, and the book is vaguely like Cloud Atlas (vaguely). Three main plots lines are in the forefront, and each one completely sweeps you up. The only frustration is that you feel such a connection to the characters, and then that section ends!
A fascinating exposition on the nature of coincedences.
Kim Grant
Like a sonata or perhaps nothern light. Moving, intellectual, and subtly layered in the way that Scandinavian writers and artists have mastered over time. The book was long and at times intense. It required time and patience to digest, to recognize the emerging pattern and see the relationships between stories...but was in every way worth it. This one will stick with me like poetry, in a way that novels often don't.
Leanne
Wonderful book, one of the best books I've read in 2013. The structure of the book very much reminded me of Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. All four stories were interesting, and I though it especially craftily that every story had their own distinct voice.
Marie
Leste Fosnes Hansens 3 første: Falketårnet, Salme ved reisens slutt og Beretninger om beskyttelse under særemne i tredje gym. Etter å ha sett han snakke på TV som 17 åring var jeg solgt, mannen kan jo snakke om å kjøpe brød og allikevel få det til å høre som noe stort og heroisk. Beretninger... står sterkest av hans bøker for meg, og er en av de bøker jeg kan lese mange ganger.
David Jones
Impressive in its thoroughness, and sometimes dragged down because of it, the only thing more deft than Hansen's prose is his sense of meaning and optimism. Must read for anyone who thinks things matter.
Micquelle
This book is the most beautiful book on the strength of serendipity and coincidence. It is three stories, really, all woven seamlessly together. The language is lyrical and soothing.
Ēna
This book was simply amazing. Complicated stories, made me look inside of many different personalities, which were smartened till last edge. Brilliant.
Jennifer
This is a book of 4 stories that are suppose to intertwine. I didn't see it. I liked one, maybe two of the stories but didn't care for the others.
Lisa D.
Read it years ago after finding it by chance in Half Price. Picked it up again while home sick with the flu. Excellent storytelling....great read!
Lind0463
Den er gennemført sær, men for mig også fantastisk. Den giver arbejde til hjernen. Hvor er det en skam at det aldrig blev til en toer...
Cindy
Dec 10, 2010 Cindy marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Cindy by: Oscar
Thanks, Oscar for the recommendation! He says it reads like David Mitchell - looks like a fascinating book out of Scandinavia.
Sam
one of those incredible books. i'll always remember this one. "life is a bird. and you are the branch that sways back and forth."
Lily
A book club selection, don't recall it at all.
Lalala
It's just wonderful:)
Elisabeth
Elisabeth marked it as to-read
Sep 29, 2014
Krista
Krista marked it as to-read
Sep 27, 2014
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Erik Fosnes Hansen is a Norwegian author who made his debut at age twenty with the novel Falketårnet. His most famous work is his second novel, Psalm at Journey's End, which in separate but steadily more interwoven stories follows the individual musicians that end their careers and lives at Titanic. The book has been translated into more than twenty languages. A Part II follow-up to Beretninger om...more
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Psalm at Journey's End: A Novel Løvekvinnen Falketårnet De dagelijkse redding van de wereld Irregularities in Modern English

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“How can all the small insects simultaneously know, without a brain, without knowing anything, that today they should visit this meadow, tomorrow that one? It's a question of knowing without knowing, and wanting without wanting. If you want something too intensely, things fall apart in your hands. You start to doubt everything. As soon as you let go, everything comes to you. Then you know, without knowing.” 10 likes
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