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Forførenen (Jonas Wergeland trilogy #1)

3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  518 Ratings  ·  59 Reviews
Romanen åpner med at Jonas Wergeland kommer hjem fra utlandet og finner sin kone død på stuegulvet. Fra han oppdager henne til han tar av telefonen for å ringe politiet, følger vi Jonas, ikke kronologisk, gjennom barndom, ungdom og til det han er i dag, en stor kunstner.
Paperback, 531 pages
Published 2006 by Aschehoug (first published January 1st 1993)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,245)
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Aug 20, 2015 karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: table, distant-lands
i have decided.

all of you booknerds who like discovering and championing forgotten authors like MacDonald Harris and are all holding hands reading proust together, this should be your next read. because he is too under-read, and your energies should be used for good, and he is actually very similar to proust, in a lot of ways, but just more fun overall. a lot more action, but the same spirally, drifting writing.

i am floating this review FOR NO OTHER REASON than as a call-to-arms. come on, bookn
I wrote the careful, analytical review below, and then I thought: this is all wrong. I am willfully misunderstanding the book. What makes it unusual, almost unique, is the very personal relationship it establishes with the reader. It is like a teacher, or a lover; it is about how imagination and art and love can change your life. Also, it is about how you can't reduce life to abstract schemas. You have to use fantasy and intuition to find the special detail which illuminates the whole.

Writing a
Feb 17, 2010 Weinz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Weinz by: Manny Rayner
Shelves: favorites
Only a man would write a book where the main character has a magic penis and includes a female character that spends her life obsessed with all things phallic. You boys really think you hold the key to the universe between your legs don't you.

With that aside this was a wonderful story. I will leave the dissection of its qualities to others more articulate than myself. We've all heard it before so I will spare you the deep analysis.

This Norwegian (I'm 5/8) was part of the original conversion th
Jun 22, 2009 Greg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I don't know what to say about this book. I don't know if I should even be rating it yet. I feel like I'm only a third of the way through a novel having finished this, that the next two novels not so much being a trilogy are going to comprise a finished work. Sort of like a piece of classical music, sure you can listen to just a part of a Wagner opera and enjoy or not enjoy it, but you can't see the whole genius of what is going on by just listening to one movement of the entire work.

I don't wa
M. Sarki
Jun 18, 2014 M. Sarki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-star-wonders

This is a very long book and it is quite amazing to me that any one writer can have this much life experience and still be capable of telling about it. And keep it interesting. Even if research offered the many historical facts adjusted as fiction and presented as anecdotes I would still find it remarkable that Jan Kjærstad could actually pull it off as well as he did. It is a long life story of Norwegian TV celebrity Jonas Wergeland told in circles and re
Oct 31, 2014 notgettingenough rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: modern-lit
Additional thoughts towards the end.

I wish I could give this six stars.

Before I start The Conqueror...

One of the aspects of current literary fashion which has me somewhat confounded is the pejorative way in which sentimentality is viewed. If only I had a dollar for every discussion of literature which compliments a writer or a book for not being sentimental. Listen to the average critic talk about sentimentality in literature and it doesn't sound much different from Bush talking about The Axis o
Jan 24, 2011 C. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to C. by: Manny Rayner
Shelves: fantasy, 2009
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"They jotted down ideas that had come to them between their discussions on the streets, thoughts generated by something one of the others had said, or by the graffitti on a statue, or quite simply churned out by brains that were running at top gear. And naturally, at that moment, sitting in the Magnet, scribbling down these thoughts as quickly as their pencils could shed their carbon fragments, they honestly believed that what they were writing, at any rate after a bit of polishing,
Jul 04, 2009 Jordan marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jordan by: Manny
Manny said I must, so I guess I must! : )
Ruby  Tombstone [With A Vengeance]
"How do the pieces of a life fit together?"
This is the central question posed by Kjærstad throughout this book, and answered in full. By using a mysterious third person narrator to tell stories about the life of the central character, Jonas Wergeland, Kjærstad not only tells us how the pieces of a life fit together, he shows us over and over again.

A number of recurring images and themes are used to great effect, including: the circle/spokes/tangent, the turtle with a world on the back of his sh
Oct 13, 2009 Alan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Alan by: Manny
Shelves: novels, read-in-2009
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 12, 2010 Jasmine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: norwegian
First I would like to apologize to my copy of this book, greg and kjaerstad for destroying my copy. I know that you have given me advice before on how not to destroy books, but I wanted to go for a walk and I wanted to read and it happened to be raining so... yeah. Not that it affects the quality of the book.

This book doesn't seem to have any defining plot points. It isn't even that it lacks a story but that like the name of the rose the "plot" doesn't seem to actually be relevant to the story.
Sep 27, 2014 Donna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't wait to read the second one but have resisted. This one stirred up so much glittering snow I need to let it settle and drift for a while. It has everything I like about Norwegian books except brevity. It also left me with an aching desire to watch a fictional TV show. What Kjarstad does with that show to tease out plot and character is breathtaking. Anything that feels that real must exist. It must. But CBC would never carry it because subtitles would be over budget. Yet it's such a CBC ...more

A book like a fugue from Bach in which every note is important and leads to the next and echoes later on, and brings the whole back to the starting point. A book like a skilfully woven tapestry in which each thread tells a story and the stories depends on each other. A fantastic, a magical book. And a book about Norway in the world and the world in Norway. And this is only part one of a trilogy.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported Lic
Sep 10, 2011 Zoe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Zoe by: Manny
Prepare to be seduced ,not by Jonas, but by the author himself , wonderful prose and very unique writing style.Its been called from other people a Sexual Comedy and I couldn't agree more.
A must read .Loved it so much .
Dec 27, 2009 Des rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, read it on Manny's recommendation and can only say it was worth the effort. Am now on the second. I like the concept, I like the style, the telling of all the many yarns ismaking my mind spin in a wonderful way.
Jan 25, 2013 Suhrob rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I came to this book with very high expectations mainly due to Manny's excellent review and the incredible ordeal of getting the trilogy (took about 4 months, many emails, several phone calls and a credit card fraud).

All the more it pains me that I am giving up roughly halfway through the first book. When I reread Manny's review I almost want to begin to read again, but I have to stop myself... a sunk cost is a sunk cost.

If you are thinking about embarking on this book here are a few notes to may
Jul 22, 2012 Jason rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure if this is really abandoned or just on pause. Maybe I'll come back to it, but the narrator's voice and the writing in general are really awful. I'm sure he was going for a certain style, but I can't take it for 550+ more pages.

Things that suck about this book:

1) It feels like 50% of the clauses I've read so far have been disclaimers. This gives me little confidence.
He was making a quick sketch in his notebook, concentrating mainly on capturing the sweet of the cascade –not an easy
Mar 07, 2010 Anna rated it really liked it
I really liked this novel a lot - though I have to admit that it was quite a hard read for me - not only because I read it in its original version, but because of its quite different structure. The novel, being a biography of the fictional character Jonas Wergeland, tells the story of his life - but not in chronologial order, like one might expect, but in about 80 little stories which are linked only through assosiations. That can be really confusing from time to time, but over all it really is ...more
Jun 30, 2009 Andy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
After all the very positive reviews, I was surprised by Kjaerstad's ridiculously inflated and unsubtle writing. This is the kind of language which keeps me away from pop fiction bestsellers. The intermittent attempts at witticsm invariably fell flat and I only finished the book because I found myself learning a lot about what I don't like about this kind of writing.

The reason the book is so big is because of Kjaerstad's complete lack of restraint: every point hammered at over and over throughou
Harriet M.
Jan 11, 2008 Harriet M. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I don't even know how to review this book. It is so unlike anything I've ever read. Masterful, serious, epic but also totally irreverent and hilarious (I mean come on, the main character has a magic penis!). I particularly love how the author plays around with time working back and forth in a slow reveal, leaving it to the reader to put things together, drawing connections across years rather than in the ordinary cause and effect kind of way. In the end, he writes about the process of story tell ...more

Se suele relacionar El seductor con la novela picaresca, con el Tom Jones de Fielding o con otros famosos relatos de seductores, pero hay que tener cuidado con las comparaciones porque pueden confundir al posible lector. Hay que dejar bien claro que ésta no es una novela frívola ni mucho menos galante o picaresca en el sentido en que solemos entender estos conceptos el común de los mortales. Muy al contrario, estam
Book Wormy
May 08, 2015 Book Wormy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Seducer Jan Kjaerstad

The Seducer opens with Jonas Wergeland returning home to discover his wife's dead body on the floor of their home, from that moment on we are taken on a journey through Jonas' life by an omniscient narrator who wishes to remain anonymous.

Jonas Wergeland is a Norwegian national treasure a TV star and darling of the people the narrator takes us back through his history in a non chronological order to show how he arrived at the point the book opens. The narrative moves for
Dec 08, 2011 Erin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have just declared this book number one in my top five fiction of 2011.

So many people have such thoughtful comments about this book and the other two in the series, but I devoured these books whole and can no longer remember more than ten scenes between the three. I do, however, remember how it made me feel.

Like anything was possible!

Read about in The Believer
This had a really interesting, completely tangential style of story development. I would call it a "stream of consciousness" structure, except it was much more controlled than a stream. I enjoyed it. But I sometimes forgot where it was going, it had been so many places...
Aug 24, 2007 Adi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
600 pages of dreamy scandinavian greatness. completely original and mind-blowing. yes, not exactly a review, but that's b/c i actually have a question. does anybody know if the 2 sequels have been translated into english?
David Edmonds
Feb 03, 2010 David Edmonds rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2010
A murder, unsolved at the end (there are two more volumes following this one) and an exploration of how many stories it takes to make up a life. Enjoyable and discursive.
Mads Holm
Oct 20, 2015 Mads Holm rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Så hvordan hænger et liv sammen? Eller sagt på en anden måde: Hænger det i det hele taget sammen?"
John W.
Apr 05, 2015 John W. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A modern Norwegian novel which I picked up as the one book recommended in a guide we are using to plan our trip to Norway. In addition, to the picture of aspects of Norwegian life a few years ago, a enthralling story of the seducer who finds his wife dead in their apartment and then relates his life including his adventures as a seducer. A Tom Jones like existence in which the women always initiate the sex. But also the many other things in his life which illustrate aspects of life in Norway. It ...more
Victor Szepessy
Feb 15, 2016 Victor Szepessy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
I really enjoyed this book and I've gone on to start the next one in the trilogy right away. To begin with I wasn't sure I could get into it, but then all of a sudden it really grabbed me. Kjærstad's characterisation of Norwegian society is brilliant, and the way he writes as a non-Norwegian in Norwegian is spot on. I've grown up as a multicultural person in Norway and even though Kjærstad isn't, he has managed to reflect this reality right down to the sentence structures. It's a book about stor ...more
May 06, 2009 Brook rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
this book was at times fun, frustrating, and bizarre. i often had trouble following the progression of events, as up to 6 or so storylines were separated by 50 pages or more of other storylines. i feel like this could have been a much better book with the same subject matter. often i found myself wondering why so much detail was given to very unexciting things.

i can't help but compare this to murakami or dfw, and their handling of multiple storylines in very long books... and the seducer just d
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Jan Kjærstad is a Norwegian author. Kjærstad is a theology graduate from MF Norwegian School of Theology and the University of Oslo.
He has written a string of novels, short stories and essays and was editor of the literary magazine Vinduet ("The Window"). He has received a number of prizes, the most important being the Nordic Council Literature Prize, which he received for the perspectivist trilo
More about Jan Kjærstad...

Other Books in the Series

Jonas Wergeland trilogy (3 books)
  • The Conqueror
  • The Discoverer

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“..he was 'nuts about her', as the parlance of the day had it, as if it were generally recognised that love and madness are adjoining rooms with extremely porous walls.” 7 likes
“Jonas Wergeland's first stroke of genius, albeit unbeknownst to himself, was to choose a girl as his best friend. It was Nefertiti who taught him that women are, first and foremost, teachers then mistresses - and above all that when you come right down to it, the female is a very different and, more o the point, a much more fascinating creature than the male. ” 3 likes
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