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Silence in October
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Silence in October

3.71  ·  Rating Details ·  382 Ratings  ·  59 Reviews
After eighteen years of marriage, an art historian wakes up one morning to find his wife standing in the bedroom doorway with her bags packed, leaving him with no explanation. Alone in his Copenhagen apartment, he tries to make sense of his enigmatic marriage and life. Memories of driving a cab, quiet walks in the snow, and intense sojourns in Paris and New York pass throu ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published October 1st 2002 by Mariner Books (first published January 1st 1996)
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Jan 12, 2015 Rowena rated it it was amazing
A lovely, introspective, quietly beautiful novel. A man wakes to find that his wife of 18 years is leaving him. At first, you sympathize with him in his bewilderedness, then as the narrative of his life unfolds, you start to understand the reason behind the separation. Memory, the man finds, is a tricky thing. You can go your whole life believing that something that happened to you was "right" and "good." But when faced with an alternative path that becomes very viable, your whole life falls und ...more
Tsvetelina Mareva
Jun 07, 2016 Tsvetelina Mareva rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Много, много ми хареса! Поетична, философска изповед за любовта, търсенията и самотата, предадена чрез богато нюансиран и чувствен език. Изящен превод на Ева Кънева!
Kimberly Miller
Oct 10, 2007 Kimberly Miller rated it really liked it
Having lived in Scandinavia, I've developed a taste, evidently, for cultures that are hard to crack; I'm always seeking out the work of new Scandinavian authors to fall in love with. I return to Peter Hoeg's Smilla's Sense of Snow over and over (I've even begun shopping around an essay I wrote on that one); no other contemporary Nordic prose writer has moved me nearly so much.

Until now...perhaps. I'm re-reading Jens Christian Grondahl's Silence in October; I read it for the first time about a ye
Dolf Patijn
Dec 12, 2014 Dolf Patijn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
They say that something is always lost in translation. Unfortunately I can't read in Danish so I read this book in the Dutch translation. The translated version is so beautiful that I really wonder what it must be like in the original language. Of course, this is also meant as a compliment to the translator. I highly recommend this book and Jens Christian Grøndahl's work in general.

Er wordt gezegd dat er altijd wat in een vertaling verloren gaat. Jammergenoeg kan ik niet in het Deens lezen dus m
Jennie May
Sep 07, 2015 Jennie May rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A melancholy exploration of the innermost thoughts on life, decisions, how we see ourselves, love, dreams, desires, change and marriage. Slow and meandering it almost felt as though I were reading a diary. Really quite wonderful.
Mar 12, 2016 Myra rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Šią ir kitas mano apžvalgas galima rasti čia:

Jenso Christiano Grondahlio romanas "Spalio tylėjimas" - toks gražus, kad vėliau net pasidaro nuobodu.

Tai intelektualus romanas apie vienatvę dviesę. Pagrindinį veikėją netikėtai palieka žmona, o tai puiki proga jam apmąstyti savo gyvenimą, santuoką, ryšius su kitomis moterimis ir šeima.

"Visus tuos metus, kai buvome šeima, ir dabar, vaikams pradėjus veržtis iš jos rato, judėjome kartais pagal nervingą, kartais
Jul 12, 2016 Bookmaniac70 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Обичам тихите книги, които оставят пространство за мислите да се разгръщат. Книгите, в които чуваш тишината около думите. Тишината на отсъствието, на настъпилата празнота, в която сякаш въздухът е запазил очертанията на любимия, но него самия го няма.

“Тишина през октомври” (изд. „Colibri“) е от онези романи, с които се “разбирам” още от самото начало. На 336 страници тече монолог, който нито за миг не доскучава. Вътрешен глас, оставил се на “потока на съзнанието”, ни води със забележително изяще
Nick Schroeder
Jul 30, 2010 Nick Schroeder rated it it was amazing
I came to this book by way of "Out Stealing Horses" because that was so well translated that I looked for other books by the translator, Anne Born. This is an excellent book in which the main character, a man, examines his life in light of his wife leaving him unexpectedly. Anne Born's rewriting of Grondahl's novel is excellent in the extreme. I've only read this once but intend to reread it.
Jun 20, 2016 metaphor rated it it was amazing
I mused that time is not only a river, but a river that constantly breaks its banks so you must flee from it as it covers everything behind your back, flee into the future, empty-handed, dispossessed, as the river obliterates your footsteps with each stride you take, each time you pass from one moment to the next.
Oct 26, 2009 Mew rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2009
Life changing... beautiful in parts, ugly in parts.
Мария Шикова
Много, много ми хареса! Въпреки привкуса на тъга и меланхолия, голямо удоволствие ми доставяше бавното четене, усещането ми всеки път бе едно и също - все едно сядах, завита в дебело и топло одеяло на стар фотьойл пред прозорец, дъждът вали тихо, вадичките от дъждовните капки баавно се стичат, светът зад прозореца е размазан, а аз ясно виждах и съзерцавах мислите на един мъж...
Книга за онези тихи моменти в които разговаряш със себе си, опознавайки се, връщайки се в миналото, правиш равносметк
Douglas Cosby
Oct 29, 2016 Douglas Cosby rated it really liked it
Story about a husband/dad whose wife causally leaves after their kids are out of the house. Very slow, no real plot; however, some brilliant insight and descriptions of mundanity -- the real essence of day-to-day life. Even though I ended up really liking this book, it would be hard to recommend. I think I was in the right place to appreciate it, but if I was 10 years younger or didn't have kids, it would not have worked.
Sep 30, 2016 Eileen rated it really liked it
Shelves: northern-europe
An art historian wakes up one morning to find Astrid, his wife of eighteen years, with a coat on and a suitcase in her hand. She turns and leaves without saying a word. Melancholy and meditative by nature, the narrator looks back on his life and ponders his relationships with his children, parents, friends, and old lovers. His memories form a series of stories, meandering back and forth in time as he tries to attend to his book on the New York School of painting. But his past haunts him, especia ...more
Sep 26, 2016 Tibbe rated it it was amazing
Prachtig geschreven, langzame vertelling van een man die terugdenkt aan zijn leven en de ontwikkeling van zijn relatie met zijn vrouw. Geen makkelijk boek, zeker niet omdat het soms pagina's lange stortvloeden aan (levens)vragen zijn die de hoofdstukken vormen. Sommige stukken lijken erg op andere boeken van Grøndahl, zoals 'Portret van een man'. Zijn stijl bevalt mij wel, zijn beschrijvingen roepen vaak herkenbaarheid bij mij op. Voor wie het contempleren niet schuwt is dit een erg fijn, mooi b ...more
Jacqueline Wagenstein
Романът „Тишина през октомври“ получава изключително висока оценка както от страна на читателите, така и от критиката. Преводът на българското издание е в актива на Ева Кънева.

„Тишина през октомври“ е въздействащ интроспективен разказ за любовта, изолацията и надеждата, за преоценката на миналото и опитите за самоидентификация, за сложните отношения в рамките на двойката и различните схващания за предаността. Авторът следва и разширява традиционния за скандинавската литература дискурс за брака,
Jun 02, 2012 Erin rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
I just finished reading The Pilot's Wife, by Anita Shreve, and I think had I not read it first, I would've enjoyed this book much more. Although the specific events leading to the main characters' situations are different, the end result is the same: they are alone.

In The Pilot's Wife, Kathryn's husband dies in a plane crash, leaving her with many unanswered questions, the most important of which is how well did she really know her husband? In Silence in October, the main character wakes up one
Jim Fonseca
Sep 06, 2015 Jim Fonseca rated it it was amazing
An author's wife leaves him and his grown-up children just as he is getting ready to leave for New York on business. (The book is mainly set in Denmark and is translated from the Danish.) The author tracks his wife's movements by watching her credit card transactions on his computer and he discovers that she is re-tracing a trip to Portugal they took together years ago. That's basically the plot. The rest of the book is a wonderful introspection of the author's life as he reflects upon his life ...more
Apr 23, 2009 Milan/zzz rated it really liked it
Jens Christian Grondahl's stunning Silence in October could easily have been an embarrassingly mawkish trawl through the psyche of an artistic man in midlife crisis.
In fact, it is a hugely moving investigation into the nature of conversation, art and relationships.

The unnamed narrator is a Danish art critic who wakes one day to find his wife on her way out of the door; she looks at him as he rouses, tells him that she will be away for a while, and then leaves. His children have also only recentl
Oct 25, 2014 Shari rated it really liked it
Grondahl has a masterful way with words and an insightful talent for telling the story that happens between the mind and the emotions.

What is love? How do you know when you have it? When you feel? How do you know when you've lost it? This is the story of one man's attempts to discover these answers and his several failures to recognize love and hold onto it; his failure to understand when to let it go. This is also a story that displays intuitive and profound insights into the vast differences b
Jul 21, 2014 Crystal rated it it was amazing
I love grown up love stories and this one is written by someone with a deep understanding of love's vicissitudes. Grondahl pulls no punches - this is a novel about flawed people. For all that the narrator appears intelligent and thoughtful, he knows (as we do) that 'love loves without a reason', that even those we love and live with may retain a mysterious core, that we may never truly fathom their motivations. What the novel illuminates so beautifully is one man's attempt to honestly describe l ...more
Nancy Jurss
Mar 29, 2013 Nancy Jurss rated it really liked it
This is one of those books that I found difficult to read at first as I could not relate to the main character. His passivity was not something I had sympathy for. But as I continued to read I found myself drawn in more and more, reminding me that I don't have to like every character to like the book. It's hard to say "enjoy the book" when I found it mildly depressing to see this man just living his life instead of LIVING his life. I got the impression that his early childhood experiences caused ...more
Sep 15, 2007 Martine rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people who don't mind if little actually happens in a book.
Silence in October tells the story of a forty-something art historian whose wife suddenly goes on a long holiday without him, unannounced. Unsure of whether she has actually left him, and if so, why, the man starts sifting through his memories, remembering their life together and away from each other and meditating on the meaning of, well, pretty much everything. Very little actually happens in the book; it's mostly a stroll down Memory Lane. Introspective, meditative and more than a little self ...more
Oct 31, 2011 sisterimapoet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to sisterimapoet by: Mew
Shelves: fiction-2011
I wasn't sure what to expect from this, especially when I opened it and saw how nearly every page was packed with dense unbroken prose, little conversation. But the reading experience did not feel dense. The narrator moved me skillfully through time and space to escort me through his ponderings. Grondahl has perfectly captured the ways our minds work, how we go over and over things to try to make sense of them, how one memory inevitably has hooks into another. I felt like I could have read this ...more
Karan Singh
Whole sections of this work are interminably tedious, a point recognised by the narrator towards the end. Grondahl (sorry this software won't allow me the Danish o with the diagonal) uses style to mimic the suffocation of a long, bourgeois relationship. A lot of words are pressed into service to illustrate their worthlessness.

I couldn't help feeling it's all been done before; and, sparing Grondahl's blushes, done much better. No one beats Kierkegaard for true Danish soul-searching.
Feb 28, 2013 Suzanne rated it really liked it
Not a light read, this introspective of an abandoned spouse trying to find meaning in his life is heavy without being ponderous. Are we who we decide to be or are we who others think we are? Does the negative space in our lives mean as much as the positive? Full of interesting artistic references, and intelligent, lyrical writing, I wish I had given myself more than 2 days to read this for discussion. This is one to savor.
Intriguing premise was pulled under by what felt like an awkward translation, and a narrator who is both confused, shallow, vapid and thoroughly unlikeable throughout much of this book. Let's just say it's not so much a mystery why the main character's wife left--except to him. While I enjoyed the spare and austere prose, one of the things I've found most enjoyable about Danish novels, there isn't a lot of depth here.
Sep 25, 2014 Karen rated it really liked it
I read this book several years ago, and it reminds of the place we vacation every year, because I bought it and read it there. An unnamed Art Critic's wife, Astrid tells him that she is going away for a while. He doesn't any questions, and doesn't try to stop her from going. He finds himself going over every detail of his life and how it lead up to the moment of her leaving. This is a translated work, and it is still beautifully written.
Mar 18, 2014 Steven rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
een vierenveertigjarige kunsthistoricus raakt in een geestelijke crisis als zijn vrouw hem verlaat. langsheen zijn herinneringen tracht hij het kluwen van het verleden te ontwarren, en raakt hij vast aan zichzelf: wie was hij toen hij zijn vrouw ontmoette, en wie was hij nadien, toen hij een andere vrouw ontmoette? prachtige, introspectieve roman die de noodzakelijke vragen over het leven stelt. Een topper wat mij betreft.
Meg Tyler
Jan 20, 2012 Meg Tyler rated it it was ok
it was thoughtful and thought provoking, but I just couldn't deal with the total lack of forward action and the main characters unrelenting self-absorption. if I actually knew this guy, I don't think I'd be Able to stomach him. didn't finish, which is rare for me.
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Jens Christian Grøndahl is one of the most celebrated and widely read authors in Europe today. He has written plays, essays, and eleven novels. The publication of Silence in October marks Grøndahl's U.S. debut. His novel Lucca was awarded the prestigious Golden Laurels Prize in 1999. He lives in Copenhagen.


Kvinden i midten - 1985
Syd for floden - 1986
Rejsens bevægelser - 1988
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“I mused that time is not only a river, but a river that constantly breaks its banks so you must flee from it as it covers everything behind your back, flee into the future, empty-handed, dispossessed, as the river obliterates your footsteps with each stride you take, each time you pass from one moment to the next.” 3 likes
“Sometimes I think you take photographs instead of seeing, you forget to look in your eagerness to grasp what is seen, to capture it in time's flight. You are absent from your own pictures, not only because you took them yourself, but also because you betray the moments you want to save from oblivion.” 3 likes
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