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Gentlemen

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  963 ratings  ·  45 reviews
Beaten up, bruised, and scared, a young writer hides in a Stockholm apartment, writing the story of its disappeared inhabitants: the flamboyant and charismatic Morgan brothers.

It all began a year earlier, when he was rooming with Henry Morgan, a boxer, piano player, composer, bartender, and old-fashioned gentleman with a Gatsby-like capacity for turning life into a feast a
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Paperback, 423 pages
Published 1982 by Månpocket (first published 1980)
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3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  963 ratings  ·  45 reviews


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Manny
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bettie
Dec 12, 2014 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Bettie by: Laura
Translated by Tiina Nunnally

Description: Beaten up, bruised, and scared, a young writer hides in a Stockholm apartment, writing the story of its disappeared inhabitants: the flamboyant and charismatic Morgan brothers.

It all began a year earlier, when he was rooming with Henry Morgan, a boxer, piano player, composer, bartender, and old-fashioned gentleman with a Gatsby-like capacity for turning life into a feast and absolutely no talent for keeping secrets.

The two friends led the high-life in Sto
...more
Kimmo Sinivuori
Jan 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a winter fable of two very talented but very doomed brothers, Henry and Leo Morgan, as told by the fire over several bottles of good claret and numerous Camels in a grand but derelict apartment in Stockholm during the last months of the 1970s.
Klas Östergren tells a wonderful, nostalgic and sentimental story of Henry Morgan's doomed love for the beautiful Maud, a kept woman. Henry Morgan, gentleman boxer, cosmopolite, libertarian, last of the aristocratic Morgonstjärns and a mythomane is
...more
Neil Powell
Aug 11, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
About halfway through this, I was convinced I was going to hate it. The fact that I rated it so highly, shows how beautifully all the strands came together at the end.

It started by introducing us to the narrator (who is also the author), who is locked away in an apartment frightened for his life. It then cuts to 12 years in the past where the narrator meets Henry Morgan, a charming, outgoing musician/bit part actor/boxer, who the narrator has an immediate connection with. Klas (the author) moves
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Jim
May 18, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who have a lot of time on their hands
Recommended to Jim by: Canongate Books
The core of the book is a universal one, the younger man enthralled by an older one. In this case it's the twenty-five year-old narrator/author who is taken under the wing of Henry Morgan, a “pianist, boxer and charmer”, who although only ten years older than the writer has packed an awful lot into his life. And in the first section of the book we really see the relationship between these two develop. Klas quickly moves into the large flat that Henry shares with his brother Leo who, according to ...more
Helen
Sep 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Didn't think I was going to like this at first (and it took a while to get into it) but in the end the story was compelling. Klas Ostergren features as himself, which is a bit confusing, but it is mainly the story of the Morgan brothers and various secrets past and present which you slowly work out through hints until all becomes relatively clear. The depiction of Stockholm and some of the Swedish background is very good. (It first appeared in 1980, and the main events cover a year in which Klas ...more
Joakim Silverdal
Aug 03, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Half way through this book I was furious and on the verge of putting it back in it's spot amongst the yellow (yes, i know...) books in the bookcase. I found the endless introduction of new characters and plotpoints tedious. But turning the last page I'm so glad i didn't stop reading.

Gentlemen comes together beautifully in the end and with it's beautiful language it was well worth the read. Klas Östergren incorporating himself into the story makes för an intersting exploration of the characters a
...more
Spigana
Dīvainā kārtā šī grāmata pēc pārlasīšanas mazliet sabojājās, bet man tomēr atkal patika.
Ļoti blīva grāmata, kuru neiespējami kampt pa lieliem gabaliem, bet poētiska un skaistā valodā bez gala. Tāds vīrišķīgi romantisks stāsts, kur džentlmeņi spēlē džezu, raksta dzeju, boksējas un iestājas par taisnību.
Charlotte
Sep 26, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
F1 tråkig. Handlar absolut inte om någonting.
Pontus Ridderstedt
Denna bok får nog tolkas en generationsroman som tydde sin tids premisser innan de själva var medvetna om den. Detta om man ska tolka mottagandet av uppföljaren Gangsters; vilka alla har pekat tillbaka på originalet som något helt otroligt. Onekligen har denna bok flera av en generationsromans egenskaper; en ung huvudperson, som heter Klas Östergren, upptäcker världen med hjälp av et brödrapar Harry och Leo Morgan, som representerar olika inställningar till livet, och denna trio upptäcker den sv ...more
Lord Ulf Skei
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Outstanding. Which it has in common with all his works. It is absurd, exciting, philosophically challenging, it is out of this world. My writing is in parts inspired by his style. Charmingly absurd. I love it.
Joakim Roubert
Jun 20, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Vilken smörja.
Rickard Karlberg
Barnslig och lillgammal på samma gång. Stryk och skriv om, tänker man.
Martyna Wieczorek
Czasem proste dziewczyny próbują czytać nieproste książki i tak to potem wygląda.
Signe
Mar 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 stars. Great characters, great environment, great prose. ...more
Tasha
Feb 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The translation is excellent and provided me a brilliant read during a sojourn in Stockholm. There's humour and digressions into sidelines that inform about the latter half of 20th century political and social history.
Laurel
Jan 30, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-read-2012
I agree with another reader that this book should be read straight through over a week or two and not in bits and pieces, like I did. The way I read it doesn't do it justice. The novel requires the mind to take a few short leaps here and there and when you read it like I did, the leaps become chasms. Reading Gentlemen to me was a bit like reading Roddy Doyle's Henry Smart trilogy. I can't quite put my finger on why, but the thought kept springing to mind as I read the book...perhaps because you ...more
Claudia Glezz Cisneros
Superlativa novela publicada por primera vez en sueco en 1980 por un autor de solos 25 años, que después se hizo muy famoso. Es la historia de los hermanos Morgan, Leo joven frágil poeta, y su hermano mayor Henry, fascinante donjuan, siempre perfectamente afeitado , músico y viajero. El autor conoce a Henry en el gimnasio y va a vivir con él en su enorme piso, en Estocolmo. Un piso de rara atmósfera donde nunca se abren las cortinas y la noche es siempre una posibilidad. Así es como el joven esc ...more
Mänsomläser
Apr 16, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: okategoriserat
Gentlemen utkom första gången 1980 och är ju en sådan där bok man bör ha läst. Jag läste den först nu och läsningen ackompanjerades av tankar som: "Men hur är det möjligt att det här tramset har fått en sådan uppmärksamhet? Vilket jävla dravel! Men vad är det här?..." etc. En bok om ingenting som verkar vara skriven av en begåvad högstadielev, ett upplägg utan avslut. Det kanske är min största litterära bedrift att jag faktiskt läste ut den.

Så läste jag Gangsters och det är bara att böja på nack
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Aniabania
Jan 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Książka podszyta wątkami kryminalnymi, prezentująca perypetie osobliwych i humorystycznych przygód Henrego Morgana. A wszystko to na tle szerokiej panoramy społecznej Szwecji na przestrzeni 40 lat.
W miarę wczytywania się najpierw byłam zaskoczona w jaki sposób wątki i osoby nieśpiesznie okazują się powiązane ze sobą. Potem z pewnym zniecierpliwieniem oczekiwałam, że akcja nabierze tempa i będzie zmierzać ku być może zaskakującemu, ale jednak jednoznacznemu rozwiązaniu. Nic z tego, wątki kryminal
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John Erik Bøe Lindgren
Leste nylig ferdig denne boken, som fikk fornyet aktualitet da Östergren nylig kom med en oppfølger, "Gangsters". Veldig flott bok fra 1980, som beskriver et lite, kanskje progressivt, men i alle fall spesielt miljø i Stockholm på 60- og 70-tallet. Mange menneskeskjebner veves inn i hverandre, og jammen er det ikke en snev av storpolitikk også i bakgrunnen. I sentrum står brødreparet Henry og Leo Morgan, sett og beksrevet av Klas Östergren selv. Henry er dandyen som sjarmerer, trikser og ordner, ...more
Axel Dalman
Jan 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Apart from the rather tiresome story of the brothers' Morgan growing up, this story has a wonderful language and pace. I read it in Swedish which obviously adds a lot to the experience, especially since I can relate to the places in Stockholm that he talks about. Except for the slow parts (the descriptions of Leo's writing are particularly boring) this book is written with a self-confidence that makes it an utter joy to read.
Heather Barrett
Nov 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The translation is excellent and provided me a brilliant read during a sojourn in Stockholm. There's humour and digressions into sidelines that inform about the latter half of 20th century political and social history. There's also a mystery about the gentlemen that is almost explained but remains unresolved. Finally there's a charm about this novel. Can't wait to see the movie!
Hanna
Jun 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the better books I've read in Swedish, if you can see beyond the fact that it's only about white cis men. But it's very interesting to read about the 60-70's in Sweden as that was when my parents were young and in places where I go daily. The characters are brilliant, both Henry and Leo will forever be some of my favorite characters I think. I can't wait to read the sequel.
Jojtown
Feb 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read Gentlemen (and Gangsters) as a bored 18 year old, trapped in my smallish home town, waiting for something bigger to happen. Suffice to say, I loved it then - and although the love might have faded now as a soon-to-be 30-year-old - I still remember feeling invigorated and shocked to life by Östergrens sprawling urban family epos.
Martin Ljungqvist
Oct 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating characters and episodes from their lives. There is a story in the background of it all. I really liked the book for the characters, anecdotes, atmosphere and language. Really well written. It is not predictable. Had hoped for more about the plot so I guess I have to read the follow-up Gangsters as well.
Ludmirska
This book even in translation has remarkable, engaging original language, author tells the story as if leading the way down the long enjoyable in every step road, sweetened and spiced up by the details of everyday happenings with the three main characters along with insights into human nature. A gem of story telling, a gem of writing.
Andrea
Nov 28, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I made the mistake of reading this in small chunks, it's the kind of book that needs to be read in a few sittings (i.e. large chunks). It's unputdownable when it's read with that sort of attention.

It's a fictional caper-like tale of the Morgan brothers, and their accomplice, your author.
Fredrik Öst
Jun 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very very good book. I am in love with time depictions and this one is one of the best ones. It also captures Stockholm in an interesting time. Now I don't have time to write so much more. This one was to at least have written one review.

READ IT.
Marcus Sundberg
Didn't know where it was going, and I probably took to long to finish it to really start enjoying it. Very profligately (had to look that word up) written, and hard to read if not focused. Good story though.
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Klas Östergren was born in Stockholm in 1955 and is the author of several novels including the landmark Gentlemen (1981) and its sequel, Gangsters (2005). A leading star of Swedish literature for nearly three decades, he has won the Piratenpriset and the Doblougska prize from the Swedish Academy. A founder of the rock band Fullersta Revolutionary Orchestra, Östergren has also worked as a transla ...more