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4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  14,343 ratings  ·  934 reviews
This is a pre-1923 historical reproduction that was curated for quality. Quality assurance was conducted on each of these books in an attempt to remove books with imperfections introduced by the digitization process. Though we have made best efforts - the books may have occasional errors that do not impede the reading experience. We believe this work is culturally importan...more
Paperback, 168 pages
Published October 11th 2007 by BiblioLife (first published 1890)
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Mar 06, 2012 s.penkevich rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Anyone who can read
Recommended to s.penkevich by: The poetry of Charles Bukowski
I often catch myself staring, rather lovingly in fact, at my bookshelves. Each shelf is swelling nearly to the point of overflowing with books, each authors collection seemingly positioned at random - yet, somehow, the location of each work holds some secret form of order that is beyond even me. I'll caress each spine with my eyes, occasionally running a finger down it to feel a spark of retrospection and for a moment recall the times when I held a particular book during the course of absorbing...more

Discombobulated…frenzied…distracted…rambling…and oh so BRILLIANT.

Knut Hamsun's fevered, stream of consciousness classic is something special. Unwaveringly "in the now," this novel's every word felt as if it had fallen from the narrator's mind, unfiltered, unrestrained, and unreflected upon. Wow, was this something. The unnamed narrator, with his exaggerated and unjustified notions of his own superiority reminded me a lot of Raskolnikov from Crime and Punishment, while the disjointed style and u...more
Mar 29, 2012 Mariel rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: you dropped your books
Recommended to Mariel by: s.pen and manny
I have a confession to make. Well, it's not really a confession if I've alluded to it in the past. I'm cheap. I spend freely, I mean, and it doesn't take much convincing for me to go ahead and make some purchase (especially if it's a book) when I really shouldn't. Don't ever take me shopping in hopes that I'll convince you not to make that purchase, either. So I downloaded the free kindle version of this. I have too many books and I do that shit anyway. I think there's something wrong with the k...more
Rakhi Dalal
This powerful work of writing by Knut Hamsun, clearly lets you think what the state of ‘hunger’ can do to a human being. Yes, by ‘hunger’, the author does really refer to the state of starvation in the absence of food. This idea of ‘hunger’, which looks like just another figure when it makes its appearance in one’s view in the form of some statistics, something which the well-to do people cannot even imagine about, is the essential sketch of this extremely thought provoking work by Hamsun.

I'm pretty lucky, I guess; I've been middle-class all my life, never had to worry about where my next meal was coming from or if there would be a next meal. I've never known starvation, despite saying stuff like "I'm starving!" when it's a half-hour past lunchtime and I haven't eaten yet. So why do I identify with the undernourished protagonist of Hunger so strongly? Perhaps it's because I'm an introvert; like the protagonist, I sometimes have internal conversations with myself in the third pers...more

I can now eat without feeling guilty anymore :)
What is really fascinating in this novel is how the protagonist try to maintain his dignity until the last breath,
Although at some times his disparate need to eat make him lose dignity,gradually and cursing his fate and looking down at himself and feeling inferior because of the fact he is poor and that he can do nothing to change it…..
It explores the depths of the human soul against the bitterness of hunger
which could push someone to the borders of...more
Jul 17, 2013 Mary rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mary by: charles bukowski
Shelves: 2013, fiction, five-stars
He sure would like a meal, yes, but more so, why won’t anybody listen? What the hell is wrong with everyone? None of them are truly getting it. They don’t understand the urgency! Look at them in their warm clothes and their comfortable houses. Why do their eyes laugh at him? Is there nothing left but mockery? I wonder how he came to be in such circumstances. What led to this downward spiral? Even if I could ask him, could he even explain it? None of us can pinpoint the moment when it all started...more
mai ahmd

لم أكن أقرأ بل كنتُ ألهث هذا ما يفعله الكاتب كنوت هامبسون في رواية الجوع يجعلك تلهث كأنك تجري في سباق تسابق بطل الرواية فقط لتمسك به تود لو إنك تهزه وأنت تصرخ توقف ! هل كان هو الجوع فقط أمم إنه الذريعة لكل هذا المس الجنوني والتصرفات الخارجة عن السيطرة كل هذا الهذيان هذا التطرف في الأفكار هذا الغضب هذه السخرية وهذاالكبرياء!

اللعبة في الرواية إن جاز لي تسميتها بذلك كانت تكمن في الحالة النفسية التي خلفها الجوع أو لعله العكس تماما كما بدا لي أحيانا .. هذاالرجل جائع لحد الموت ومغررو أيضا بصفاقة ولا أد...more
K.D. Absolutely
Mar 07, 2010 K.D. Absolutely rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 501 Must Read Books, 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die
Shelves: 1001-core, 501
By Jove! This novel is beautifully depressing! It is beautiful because of the way it is written: magical stream-of-consciousness style with the meager plot and with no misplaced or excess words at all! It is depressing because of the theme: hunger. It is not hunger for love or something. It is the hunger that most Filipinos know: hunger for food.

The novel, originally written in German and first published in 1890, revolves around a struggling writer in Christiana (now Oslo). Herr Hamsun did not n...more
Started reading the original Norwegian edition today. I'm fluent in Swedish but don't really know Norwegian, though I have read maybe half a dozen Norwegian books. Comparing with English, it's rather like reading something in broad Scots dialect that's been written down phonetically. Iain Banks fans will be able to relate.

So far, it's pretty good, but I'm only 15 pages into it.


I come down the main staircase of the hotel. At reception, Zenit,...more
Ian [Paganus de] Graye
Hunger Eats the Soul

This is not so much the story of the rise and fall of a young man (published in 1890), as one of his relentless physical and spiritual decline.

He never seems to have risen in the first place, and his fall seems to be unimpeded, even though momentarily it seemed that love might redeem him.

In the absence of consummation, hope or redemption, the novel eschews any dramatic tension that an Aristotelian three act structure might offer, and simply plummets downwards.

Early, the prota...more
A wiser man than me (read: Chris Rock) once said, "If a homeless person has a funny sign, he hasn't been homeless that long. A real homeless person is too hungry to be funny." But what happens when you've just become homeless, when you tell yourself you'll spend just one or two nights outside, before your clothes have become tattered, and before hunger has completely set in?

Knut Hamsun's first novel, Hunger, published in 1890, reads like a play-by-play of one man's descent into poverty and insa...more
Very reminiscent of a couple of books I have already read, including Orwell's "Down and Out in Paris and London." Very dire account of a starving writer trying to find work and food at the same time.

Especially interesting to me was the fact that the protagonist still valued maintaining his dignity over everything else.

His interior dialogue was definitely reminiscent of Job speaking to God in the Old Testament.

I liked the archaic style the book was written in. Case in point was the word "zound...more
Like apparently so many others, my love of Bukowski led me to Knut Hamsun, particularly this short but harrowing piece. In Buk's poem "you might as well kiss your ass goodbye," my literary hero asks one of his own, "Sir.... that first novel, did you really eat your own / flesh as a young writer? were you that / hungry?," leaving me to ask how can one NOT give in to curiosity when presented with bait that's so temptingly flavored with desperation and meat of the scribe? Besides, reading the very...more
Dato che la situazione è una matassa più ingarbugliata del solito, comincio da lontano; mi dispiace ma non posso fare altrimenti.

Mio padre aveva venti anni e studiava a Roma. Leggeva un sacco. Un libro a notte, da quanto mi racconta, anche se dubito che sia vero. Comunque, racconta che un giorno aveva voglia di qualcosa di diverso, che non fosse un Classico, che fosse qualcosa di potente e di eccitante; allora il commesso gli diede Bukowski.

Una decina di anni fa ero imbambolata davanti alla libr...more
Emilian Kasemi
Sep 12, 2012 Emilian Kasemi rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: fans of Dostoevsky, Kafka, Fante, Bukowski, Celine
Shelves: reviews
Hunger was immediately added to my favorite shelf! With other precious books I love the most!
As the title may suggest, this is a book about hunger. But not the collective hunger as we are used to know. But rather the individual hunger, told in the first person. Hunger is the description of the loss of the human being against the absurdity of the modern world in its cold and real ruthlessness.
The protagonist, weakened and exasperated, has increased in its extreme his sensitivity and the ability t...more
Wow. That was powerful. I have to write a lot of reviews this weekend - this will be one of them.

I find it ironic that I read this while the RNC circus is going on in FL. I wish I could force everyone there to read this book and live it. just for a short while.
Jan 14, 2014 Kyle rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kyle by: s.penkevich
Shelves: favorites
Relentless, is probably the adjective that best describes this book. A relentless descent into madness and starvation; not only the driving physical starvation, but a starvation of the mind and the soul. A starvation for purpose and self-worth, a starvation that overtakes everything and bursts through the barriers of rationality. There is no break from our hero's destitution, and the pathetically small slices of relief he receives are like quick gasps of air that merely prolong the drowning proc...more
Dec 05, 2012 Gloria rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Gloria by: Rod

Admittedly, not my favorite style when it's time to be engrossed in a story. Hamsun, however, managed not only to keep my attention, but to physically feel each and every one of his character's pangs of hunger.
I once fasted for 21 days. The gnawing emptiness one feels is incomparable. However, unlike Hamsun's character (and Hamsun himself, as we're led to believe this is largely an autobiographical tale), I had at my disposal clean water, juice, tea ... and, of course, th...more
Mohit  Parikh
Dec 04, 2011 Mohit Parikh rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Mohit by: Tanuj Solank
I would rate Hunger as the second greatest novel I have read, the greatest being Joyce's Portrait. This is how novels Ought to be written - describing, in Hamsun's own words, "the whisper of the blood, and the pleading of the bone marrow".

In Hunger, he embodies an unnamed young protagonist, most likely an immediate version of himself (he was 28 when the book was published), and comes out with a haunting sketch of life which shakes reader to his/her core - even a callous reader reading solely for...more
Emir Never
CHRISTIANIA(Oslo), Norway-- Knut Hamsun, 31, has published his first novel called Hunger, about a young man who starves himself. Hunger met with surprisingly wide acclaim, despite veering from traditional novelistic route.

"It is a work devoid of plot, action, and--but for the narrator--character. By nineteenth century standards, it is a work in which nothing happens. The radical subjectivity of the narrator effectively eliminates the basic concerns of the traditional novel," said Paul Auster, a...more
A Kafka theme told in a Dostoevsky voice.

This novel reminds me again how thankful I am that I've never had to go to bed hungry once in my life. In the whole of human history, what small percentage of people are able to make that claim?
Hamsun doesn't offer the contemporary reader an example of poverty. We can go to Zola for that. Naturalism thrive on those dehumanizing conditions. Hunger, instead, offers a poetic interpretation of poverty. This is starvation as resistance. But only so. I found the motivations necessarily complex, bound and retreating. Many can probably relate to that arc swing between defiance and humiliation. Such expository work is often difficult to enjoy, empathy prevents actual pleasure. That isn't the ca...more
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
"But, great God, surely this is madness! And yet I kept on just as before...."

I take this to be the story, not so much of the writer who is perpetually hungry, but of Hunger itself. His hunger, our hunger (if we are hungry), and the myriad possible ways of hunger.

Why is the unnamed writer here hungry? From some snippets and clues of his past life we know that once he was not impoverished. That he freely gave, and was much capable of doing so. In fact, in the midst of his present debilitating and...more
Ladies and Gentlemen, tonight’s contest is a tag team wrestling match between, in the blue corner, reigning champions The Backstabbing Haystacks, and in the red corner the fearsome Intestines R Us – ladies and gentlemen let me introduce you to the members of the teams, in the Backstabbing haystacks we have from Norway the unnamed protagonist of Knut Hamsen’s much-praised novel of terminal anomie Hunger, so I give you Mr Anonymous Hunger (applause, hoots, burgers thrown into the ring); and his te...more
Mark Desrosiers
This seems like a grim novel, perfect for 2010, but lemme tell you, that wordslinger Robert Bly just gives us a cold turd on the doorstep in his ubiquitous translation. I know the novel's supposed to be humorless, but there's something about how Bly just goes sentence-by-sentence and clearly doesn't get some idioms (odd descriptions of necks and heads lolling to the shoulder strike me as, y'know "shrugs" and "nods" -- it's like Bly is just going literal and we shouldn't care either way). I'm hun...more
Hunger by Knut Hamsun is a startling narrative told by a young journalist who is literally starving throughout the novel. Hamsun's technique, achieved in this first novel of his published in 1888, is to present a first person narrative that demonstrates a man subject to delusions and psychological stress that almost reaches the breaking point. This is not unusual for a contemporary author, but in the late nineteenth century it was very unusual.

Written after Hamsun's return from an ill-fated tour...more
This is a classic, that I had been looking forward to reading. I thoroughly enjoyed Victoria, one of Hamsun's other novels. Alleged to be the first 20th century novel, employing stream of consciousness; compared to Dostoevsky (the protagonist has been compared to Raskolnikov). It is an account of a starving writer/journalist set in Kristiana (Oslo) at the end of the 19th century. It is pretty much a book of one idea; the aspiring writer who suffers for his art to the point of almost starving to...more
Marco Tamborrino
"L'unica cosa che mi torturava un poco, nonostante il disgusto del cibo, era la fame. Avevo di nuovo un appetito formidabile, una voglia di divorare avidamente che diventava sempre più acuta e cattiva. Mi sentivo rodere lo stomaco senza misericordia: pareva vi si svolgesse un lavorio strano e silenzioso, che ci fossero alcune dozzine di animaletti graziosi: essi posavano la testina da una parte e rosicchiavano un poco, la posavano dall'altra e rosicchiavano un altro poco, poi stavano fermi un m...more
Knut (my 2nd favorite 4-letter male name in northern Europe besides Otto) wrote a four-part story that makes you want to Krav-Maga the main character. But be hesitant before awarding 1-star. When an author creates such emotion in a reader, perhaps the author has made easy what is actually very difficult, made convincing what is hard to establish, made notable what is mundane.

Before I start, think bi-polar, and I'll get back to that thought.

Knut Hamsun in Hunger tells a story about a homeless ch...more
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  • The Birds
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  • Berlin Alexanderplatz
  • Gösta Berling's Saga
  • Journey to the End of the Night
  • Independent People
  • Diary of a Madman and Other Stories
  • The Man Without Qualities
  • Jacques the Fatalist
  • The Sound of the Mountain
  • Moment of Freedom: The Heiligenberg Manuscript
  • History
  • Grande Sertão: Veredas
  • Röda rummet
  • For a New Novel: Essays on Fiction
  • Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable
  • بوستان سعدی
  • Zeno's Conscience
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...
Growth of the Soil Pan Mysteries Victoria The Wanderer

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“...I will exile my thoughts if they think of you again, and I will rip my lips out if they say your name once more. Now if you do exist, I will tell you my final word in life or in death, I tell you goodbye.” 148 likes
“I suffered no pain, my hunger had taken the edge off; instead I felt pleasantly empty, untouched by everything around me and happy to be unseen by all. I put my legs up on the bench and leaned back, the best way to feel the true well-being of seclusion. There wasn't a cloud in my mind, nor did I feel any discomfort, and I hadn't a single unfulfilled desire or craving as far as my thought could reach. I lay with open eyes in a state of utter absence from myself and felt deliciously out of it.” 82 likes
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