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Forførenen (Jonas Wergeland trilogy #1)

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  418 ratings  ·  52 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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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,881)
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karen
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
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Manny
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
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Weinz
Feb 17, 2010 Weinz rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
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Greg
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
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M. Sarki
http://msarki.tumblr.com/post/8911403...

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
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notgettingenough
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
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C.
Jan 24, 2011 C. rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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,
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Jordan
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
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Alan
Oct 13, 2009 Alan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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.
Jasmine
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.
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Donna
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
Zoe
Sep 10, 2011 Zoe rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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 .
Des
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.
Suhrob
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
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Jason
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
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Anna
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
Andy
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
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Harriet M.
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
Book Wormy
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
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Erin
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
Jessica
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...
Adi
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
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.
John W.
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
Brook
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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Sverre
This is a difficult book to review. Narratively, descriptively and prosaically, it is a very well written book and the translator deserves the highest of praise. For anyone wanting to immerse him/herself into the personae of accomplished Norwegians and the historicity of Norwegian institutions and culture, it can offer an a la carte menu of trivia. For those attracted to passive male, active female sexuality it could be a collector's item. For those beguiled by exotic adventures in alien environ ...more
Henrik
(Review in Danish:-) )

En rigtig interessant roman. Det tog mig et stykke tid rigtig at komme ind i den, men især sidste halvdel fængede og fascinerede mig.

Bogen er meget fragmentarisk bygget op, den har sin egen særegne stream-of-consciousness stil, hvilket man lige skal vænne sig til. Den er meget bygget op på associationer, hvoraf mange intet har med selve handlingen, selve plottet, om du vil, at gøre. Men da bogen i endnu højere grad handler om, hvad der skaber en persons identitet, så passer
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Elaine
I love The Discoverer so much that I immediately bought the other two books in the trilogy. In anticipation of another long and deeply satisfying read, I started this one. At first, I was rewarded, but, about 1/3 of the way in, it became evident why it was entitled The Seducer. It's about the hero's amazing penis. So amazing is his penis that women somehow sense it and with little ado mount him. Even a polar bear shows his penis respect.

Although this is well-written and brilliant in parts, the a
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Larissa
I'm reading all three volumes of Kjærstad's 'Wergeland' trilogy this summer (The Seducer, The Conqueror, and The Discoverer) and will be reviewing them as a whole in August or September after the publication of the last book. It's an epic task--perhaps more epic than I realized when I started--but even as I was getting a bit exhausted by the end of The Seducer, it ends on such an expansive note that I suddenly feel like I have this new burst of momentum.

So 1 down, 1200 pages to go...


(Update, 9
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175058
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
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More about Jan Kjærstad...

Other Books in the Series

Jonas Wergeland trilogy (3 books)
  • The Conqueror
  • The Discoverer
The Conqueror The Discoverer Forføreren; Erobreren; Oppdageren Tegn til kjærlighet Rand

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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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