This book is great. I will try in my humble not-at-all-rigorous lit crit way to write something worthy of its greatness in these few paragraphs.
So onThis book is great. I will try in my humble not-at-all-rigorous lit crit way to write something worthy of its greatness in these few paragraphs.
So on the surface, having watched the Bela Tarr movie a few years ago that shares its name, I was prepared for some of the incidents. The girl with the cat (the scene that my dear wife-cat lover-happened to watch with me....ah jeez...)...the two mysterious, shady characters who come into town. The doctor. And of course the drunken bar scene in the endless rain.
What I wasn't prepared for was the humor. The black Beckettian humor. I often ask myself, as a lifelong sunny-disposition born-and-bred Californian why I find myself constantly drawn to the dark, the bleak, the post-apocalyptic no-hope of stories such as this (I read a lot of Beckett at the impressionable ages between 17-25)...and why oh why do I find a long tracking shot of cows muddily tramping through a farm or Eastern European con men seemingly endlessly making their way through piles of street debris more watchable than even the best-directed Marvel franchise p.o.s.? But I digress. Reading this whole series of movements (it seems not quite right to call it a "novel"-such a paltry word) Krasznahorkai lays before us will send you into reveries such as mine. I am glad I watched the Tarr movie beforehand...while I don't need the "visuals" to help, they do complement the text. And what a text!
I think you will know the minute you crack this one open if this is your thing. In fact, in this day and age I can't imagine the unsuspecting "cracking this open" on a bookshelf (virtual or In Real Life). This review of mine is preaching to the converted. Difficult, (not in a tedious homeworky way like say...anything that assumes some knowledge of a fictional "universe"...trust me, this one contains worlds and backstories that while perhaps worthy of some other treatments, you probably wouldn't want to relive) bleak, funny, meta, and satisfying...like a good meal in a darkened tavern on a relentlessly sopping wet Winter daynightwhathaveyou.
Recommended to fans of: Bela Tarr, Samuel Beckett, Proust, Eastern Europe, the Post-Apocalyptic, Cormac McCarthy, Winesburg, Ohio, and that rambling story some guy at some bar once told you on a very dark wet night....more
While this might be my favorite chapter so far, I have to admit being awfully distracted by the "English" translation. Does Don Bartlett actually creaWhile this might be my favorite chapter so far, I have to admit being awfully distracted by the "English" translation. Does Don Bartlett actually create two versions when he translates: one for us Americans, and one for the Brits? Because just when I'm rolling along with what I regard as Karl Ove's voice (ie my own inner monologue with a Nordic lilt) in comes crashing some bloke talkin' bout Wellies, Nappies, "Kerbs", and Bedsits. WTF. And this goes on. and on. and on.
Granted I am just THAT needy for a next volume to unwittingly pick up "Karl Ove UK" but seriously? Maybe it's the editor's fault, and not poor Don's. Ah well. There are worse things to complain about I suppose..like growing up as a weepy over-sensitive Mama's Boy with classmates who call you a Jessie.
Maybe I just need to learn Norwegian.
Finished this after fitful sleep. Painful; brilliant. I'm actually glad vol 6 hasn't arrived on these shores...I need a rest....more
Best chapter yet in this sprawling life-as-novel. This is becoming something akin to The Wire where right when I think I'm getting bored or tired of tBest chapter yet in this sprawling life-as-novel. This is becoming something akin to The Wire where right when I think I'm getting bored or tired of the journey he'll come and smack me upside the head with a volume of such raw power that I am reeling.
And he makes it look so easy! Therein lies Karl Ove's true talent....more