Gösta Berling's Saga
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Gösta Berling's Saga

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  1,085 ratings  ·  45 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
Hardcover, 324 pages
Published February 11th 2009 by BiblioLife (first published January 1st 94)
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How Strikingly Beautiful He Was: A Review of Gosta Berling's Saga
The Varmland of Gosta Berling's Saga made me crave a word that would be in all ways synonymous with the word "exotic" except that the word I want would replace connotations of south tinged with oriental with connotations of north tinged with occidental. I'm not sure what exact location Western Culture can be given but it seems reasonable to posit that if it could be pinpointed Varmland would fall far enough north of there to quali...more
Dec 29, 2010 Adam rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of magical realism, fables & Victorian literature
Are the new caretakers of Ekeby twelve worthless drunks or twelve worthy, heroic figures fallen on hard times? By the novel's end, both possibilities seem true, and their leader is the most complicated of all the men--a young defrocked minister and lady's man named Gosta Berling. The men have made a contract with the devil in human form and have been granted the run of the Ekeby estate for a full year. Over the course of the year, Gosta experiences epic love no less than three times, and every m...more
Я пала ниц пред Лагерлёф, которой удалось завлечь меня в сети истории об отрешенном пастыре аж на три недели. Я отчаянно петляла среди имен, родственных связей и поместий, но кто говорил, что будет просто? Религия сквозит в повествовании, а в конце у героя так вообще наступает что-то вроде катарсиса, он нашел свой путь и все такое. А ведь так все заманчиво начиналось!

Жил-был Йёста Берлинг, такой весь из себя нерадивый пастор-алкаш, которого отрешили от сана, после чего он стал кавалером при майо...more
La Légende de Gösta Berling est le premier livre de Selma Lagerlöf, lauréate du prix Nobel de littérature en 1909.
Écrite en 1891, La Légende de Gösta Berling est une épopée fantastique où se retrouve déjà tous les ingrédients qui ont fait le succès du Merveilleux Voyage de Nils Holgersson : mythes, nature, romantisme.

« Enfin, voilà le pasteur en chaire… Les paroissiens relevèrent la tête. Ah, ah, le voilà pourtant ! Il y aurait donc un service aujourd’hui : ce ne serait pas comme dimanche dernie
Andrei Turcu
I am new to this author, motivated by her Nobel prize won. I had high expectations on this novel and they were met from the first pages. I admit it was harder to understand that it is a fictional book with a fictional story (what am I talking... most books are fictional). This author really has a strong imagination! The novel can be regarded as well as a collection of short stories connected between them. It is also hard to fit this work into a certain genre, it has romance, fantasy, magic even...more
One of the most charming and intriguing books that I've read in a long time. Not exactly a novel, rather a collection of (sometimes closely, sometimes loosely) linked short stories; I've never seen anything quite like it. I loved the ambivalence of it, floating between folk tale and family anecdote, and how sometimes a later story would throw a different light on something that was said earlier. I enjoyed how various characters took centre stage in turn and appeared later as minor players in som...more
I liked Selma Lagerlof's "Gosta Berling's Saga" but I didn't exactly love it. The book has a very folk tale feel to it -- which I both liked and disliked.

The story mostly centers on Gosta Berling, a defrocked priest who has a love for brandy and the cast of cavaliers who surround him.

The folk tales were fairly interesting and had good, solid stories to them, However, the characters felt sort of cardboard to me, so it made the book a slow read since I really didn't connect with me.
Thom Swennes
I started this book with high expectations. Maybe I set the bar a little too high as it seems like I was missing things and was continually re-reading passages to clear away the fog of confusion. The Swedish novel The Story of Gösta Berling’s Saga was first published in 1891 and its author Selma Langerlöf was the first female winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1909. I thought Margarita Samzelius was a bit naïve and too good for her husband. I felt sorry for Marienne Sinclaire and Countes...more
I found this a very hard book to form an opinion of. Lagerlöf's novel reminds me in no way of any other book I've ever read other than the old Icelandic sagas (hence the title, I suppose), but because it's written many centuries after that, its style also involves some lyrical elements and the story is set in another age.
I could appreciate Lagerlöf's courage and originality to publish a work like this in her day and age, but neither her writing style, nor the story by itself impressed me all tha...more
I have to be honest, I would've never read this book had it not been for book club. With that being said, I gave it two stars because I had such a hard time the first 100 pages or so to even get into the book. The main character, Gosta Berling, was not really likeable or relatable. I had a hard time identifying with him so I really didn't give a hoot what he did with his life. After the first 100 pages or so though, there were some plot developments and some love stories that caught my attention...more
Barbro Kinnunen
What a wonderful story about the cavaliers at Ekeby, the suspended priest Gösta Berling, and all the other amazing characters in this magnificent saga. Selma has a greatness in describing the nature, people and animals, she paints the story with a passion for the language and creates an experience for the reader that is over whelming. You can actually see and hear what the characters do, you feel with their anxieties and their love. You can smell and taste the wet deep forest or the drieness of...more
This book sat on my bookshelf for over twenty years, I began it several times but, somehow, never got further than the introduction.
The book is more about the people around Löfven, sketched in vignettes, with Gösta being the most central character. We follow the events in a year of these peoples' lives, and the book ties up many of the subplots.
It is extremely well written, with many vivid descriptions of nature and keen observations on human nature and religion. Some of the insights are as vali...more
Miti nordici

Parlare di romanzo è sviante. La scrittrice rielabora del materiale spurio e disomogeneo, fatto di racconti e miti dei popoli finnici che ruotano attorno alla figura di Gosta Berling e i cavalieri. Tutti i racconti insieme contribuiscono a creare la figura di un personaggio ambiguo, contraddittorio, non certo un eroe senza macchia. Un ciarlatano romantico, un furbo don giovanni nordico, un prete spretato che gozzoviglia coi compagni d'avventura.
Quello che mi piace di questa scrittric...more
The first read from my Summer 2011 series of Reading from Female Nobel Prize Winning Authoresses. I have to say that it was one of the strangest books I've ever pressed through. It was very dark, which, actually I enjoyed. Still, the hyper-dramatic self-loathing got to be a bit much at times. Fortunately it was tempered with some chuckle-inducing humor. I suppose I'll go back and read the scholarly introduction to it - in case I missed what was so amazing about it entirely. But, if I had to gues...more
Oh my God: I finally managed to finish it!
Let me be clear: Selma Lagerlof is a talented writer (I do not say it: she won the Nobel Prize for literature) but this novel is far, far too long and insists on the same topic from the biginning to the end.
According to Lagerlof all of humanity is characterized by having, in itself, the well and the evil (the white and the black). We are not just gray but quite both white and black. We can do anything, and often do so because we are stupid or because lov...more
I was a little disappointed somehow with the way the story was wrapped up, but the novel is really wonderful nonetheless. Written by the very famous Selma Lagerlof, "The Saga Of Gosta Berling" is beautifully written. It's like reading magnificent poetry, the scenery is breathtakingly described (and magnificent besides as in many popular Scandinavian novels of the time period), and each episode in what could really be called a miniseries perhaps is told like a magical fireside story suspending di...more
Hareton Linton
სკანდინავიური საგები ძალიან საინტერესოა და ზოგადად მოთოლოგია [ვიკინგებზე თუნდაც], მაგრამ სელმას შემთხვევაში, რომელმაც შეეცადა ეს ისტორიები ლიტერატურულად დაემუშავებინა და შეეკრა, ცოტა მშრალი და დაუხვეწავი მეჩვენა. აი, ვჯაყჯაყებდი კითხვისას. გმირების მიმართ ვერ ვიგრძენი ვერაფერი და იოსტას ხომ ვერაფერი ვერ გავუგე...
გმირებმა ვერც თანაგრძნობა გამოიწვიეს და ვერც სხვა რამ ემოცია, ზოგიერთი თავი ძალიან ლამაზად იყო დაწერილი, ზოგიც უინტერესოდ...
ცოტა იმედგაცრუებული ვარ, სელმას სხვა ნაწარმოებები გაცილებით სა...more
The problem with the great classics is that you expect too much, but nevertheless, this turned out to be a fantastic book. Naturally.

36 short stories, sort of stand-alone but not quite as they are all tied together with Gösta Berling as the central figure. Gösta is the leader of kavaljererna på Ekeby (cavalliers of Ekeby?), a group of elderly has-beens, or possibly the last romantic heroes of the old Värmland. Who knows?

The language is beautiful and I like when you can tell the author loves the...more
Nanci Svensson
Job's book set in the North of Sweden, with many elements of folk tales as well as Lutheran genuine faith of gentry and peasants of the abandoned landscape, and the ever present Satan is as real as the Drunkards of the pivotal mansion of Ekeby. I love this book. Selma lagerlof was awarded the Nobel prize in literature - rumor has it that she -being unmarried - nonetheless wasn't allowed to get her Nobel dinner plate until the married women had been served... Probably a myth, but it cracks me up...more
It was not what I had expected, I wanted classic knights and heroic deeds and battles and what I got was a very modern novel with internal battles for the main characters. I found it praised poverty a little too much. The characters also weren't really likeable, but they were human to the core and well crafted.
I really liked the book, especially the chaper Amor vincit omnia, I think it can be read separately and still make a strong impression on anyone.
Full of Swedish landscapes and traditions, not to mention the fun loving cavaliers (Gosta is one of them). If you want to immerse yourself into the land of Sweden and some of their “folktales” this is a fun book to read. One thing I liked about the book was how the good prevailed over evil in the end and while the cavaliers did cause some fiascos they learned to behave themselves and all turned out well in the end.
Aingheal Apryll
I wish my Swedish was better so I could appreciate the language more. The plot is very entertaining (but all over the place, or that could be my non-existent attention span).
Too sentimentalistic for my taste though.

*Read in Swedish
Nicholas Whyte
http://nhw.livejournal.com/1037614.html[return][return]This seemed to me a fairly painless way of dipping my toe in the lake of great Swedish writing, Lagerl
Mette Kowalski
Again; not a favourite, but very likable. This was my first Lagerlöf book, although I loved Nils Holgersson as a kid... well, she was of a darker nature than I had thought. Love her way of writing anyhow.
c.vance c.vance
redemptive endings ruin things for me...
the fractured story telling and tales thrown in for no reason save for fantastical entertainment were a delight.

glad i read it; couldn't recommend it.

Larger-than-life Swedish epic, with some great images. Not sure how well her beautiful poetic Swedish translates though - maybe this is why the book is virtually unknown in English.
Toredad hoogsad lood, mida hea lugeda. Looduse kirjeldused olid nii haaravad, et tekkis tahtmine ise kohale sõita. Ning nagu lubatud - kohati seguneb müstilisus reaalsusega.
Swedish Gothic! In many ways, an absolutely marvelous book, if one can abide melodrama and rambling descriptions of... well, everything, but particularly nature.
Joe Hunt
Think it's a perfect book. (More later.)

First woman--or first Swedish person--to win the Nobel Prize.

One of her characters is on their 50 dollar bill.
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Selma Ottilia Lovisa Lagerlöf was a Swedish author. In 1909 she became the first woman to ever receive the Nobel Prize in Literature, "in appreciation of the lofty idealism, vivid imagination and spiritual perception that characterize her writings". She later also became the first female member of the Swedish Academy.

Born in the forested countryside of Sweden she was told many of the classic Swed...more
More about Selma Lagerlöf...
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“Have you ever seen a child sitting on its mother’s knee listening to fairy stories? As long as the child is told of cruel giants and of the terrible suffering of beautiful princesses, it holds its head up and its eyes open; but if the mother begins to speak of happiness and sunshine, the little one closes its eyes and falls asleep with its head against her breast. . . . I am a child like that, too. Others may like stories of flowers and sunshine; but I choose the dark nights and sad destinies.” 25 likes
“... I see the green earth covered with the works of man or with the ruins of men’s work. The pyramids weigh down the earth, the tower of Babel has pierced the sky, the lovely temples and the gray castles have fallen into ruins. But of all those things which hands have built, what hasn’t fallen nor ever will fall? Dear friends, throw away the trowel and mortarboard! Throw your masons’ aprons over your heads and lie down to build dreams! What are temples of stone and clay to the soul? Learn to build eternal mansions of dreams and visions!” 6 likes
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