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3.5  ·  Rating Details ·  28 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
From the 1966 dust jacket:

The novel tells of seven delinquent boys, ranging in age from fifteen to seventeen, who have either been condemned by the Criminal Court or taken in off the street. The boys agree - in return for room, board, and a little pocket money - to act as guinea pigs for a psychological testing project. The hostel in which they live, in a condemned buildin
Hardcover, 271 pages
Published 1964 by Albert Bonniers Förlag (first published 1962)
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Eric Obenauf
Nov 07, 2011 Eric Obenauf rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is A Clockwork Orange on steroids. And where Orange features that goofy dialect that makes it read absurd/comic, 491 is delivered with a brutal, clinical precision.
Anna Prejanò
Jun 16, 2012 Anna Prejanò rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Un romanzo notevolissimo, praticamente sconosciuto, penso, perché fastidioso, scomodo, duro nello svolgimento e nell'esito. Il numero del titolo risulta dall'ammonimento evangelico secondo il quale bisognerebbe perdonare fino a settanta volte sette (= 490). In questo libro si tratta della quattrocentonovantunesima volta. Di un atto di superbia, addirittura di hybris, dunque, perché chi si crede di essere il giovane sociologo Krister per arrogarsi il diritto di perdonare più di quanto Cristo ...more
May 28, 2014 Ian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes the underbelly of society and controversy
I enjoyed this book because of it crass and realistic view of the disenfranchised youth of the 20th Century. It delves into every touchy subject except drugs. Religion and God are chastised, the status quo is shat upon and the sexual impulses and desires of man, woman, child and animal are detailed. The dialogue is tough to follow and at times mind-boggling. Instead of using quotation marks, the author just uses a double hyphen to indicate speech. It gets difficult to understand who said what ...more
Jun 12, 2012 Chris rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-edition
This was apparently quite a controversial and shocking novel when originially published in the early 1960's, and was heavily censored at the time, but it is tame by modern standards and expectations. Of course many groundbreaking older novels were treated the same way and yet survived to become classics. 491 is not one of these and should be read as a historical curiosity only.
This book is an amazing and brutal portrait of troubled youth in Sweden and reminds you of the Stanford Prison Experiment! It was even banned for a time and was made into a controversial film that I can't find ANYWHERE! This was a random book sale purchase of a 1967 paperback!
John Hatley
Jul 23, 2014 John Hatley rated it really liked it
A remarkable book and - considering the year in which it was originally published (1962) - almost certainly a trend setter for subsequent generations of authors writing about the violence of a troubled, disoriented younger generation.
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Goodreads Librari...: Combine editions 6 17 Sep 29, 2016 08:49AM  
Lars Görling was born in Stockholm in 1931. Hos first novel, Triptyk, published in 1961, brought him considerable acclaim. The publication of 491 created a literary storm, and the book sold over 25,000 copies in both cloth and paperbound editions in his native Sweeden alone. He has subsequently written a third volume of shorter prose pieces, Hela Apparaten, as well as many pieces for radio and tel ...more
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