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Tales Of Protection
Erik Fosnes Hansen
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Tales Of Protection

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  325 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
Tales of Protection is a novel about people in different places in different epochs - contemporary Norway, nineteenth-century Sweden, and Renaissance Italy - whose stories are bound together by the author's original and searching enquiry into why things happen the way they do. As the book opens, a dead man lies in his coffin reflecting on the past. Bolt was an eccentric sc ...more
Paperback, 512 pages
Published August 15th 2002 by Secker (first published 1998)
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Peter Fogtdal
Oct 31, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This novel is on my top 5 of best books I ever read. Norwegian writer Erik Fosnes Hansen is a huge name in Scandinavia for a good reason: He's a master storyteller and a very original one as well. Here he tells four stories that are interwoven and connected - not in an obvious way, but I think it's fair to say that the key word here is ... you guessed it, protection. Read it, dammit.
Linda Vituma
Mar 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Vēl nēsāšu un domāšu sajūtu pēc izlasīšanas. Vēl ļaušu sev piedzīvot grāmatu klubiņa sarunu, lai noformulētu viedokli un palaistu grāmatu savā vaļā. Vēl ne.
Sep 07, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel is an intriguing meditation on the nature of coincidence. Hansen suggests that there might exist "an underlying something, an active universal principle for life's coincidences, that manifests itself more often in some people." Even the most skeptic scientist, at some point, has undoubtedly had the hunch that maybe certain things in our lives happen for a reason and not just pure chance. Hansen takes this idea, calls it "serialization," attempts to provide logical proof for it, and cr ...more
Anna Matilda
Oct 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-love
This book was the catalyst for a 3am (remarkably accurate) palm-reading by a middle-aged Serbian taxi-driver.

After experiencing a particularly murky emotional patch, my Scandinavian mother passed this book to me, saying she thought I might like it.

I was so enlivened by the mystery and poetry of the first tale that I spoke to everyone I met about it. This included the cab driver who drove me home from a night out.

The place I had been to was only 20 minutes or so from my house, but as I told this
Jul 21, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
After seeing all of the glowing reviews about this book, I am doubly bewildered. Once by the book I've just finished and then again by probably being one of the few people around here that did not get it or missed noticing something very important. All in all I think this was a bit too "artsy" for my taste.
Tales of Protection is a book that starts off very well and that got my expectations very high in the very first pages. After reaching a peak point in the first few chapters, though, my apprec
Katja Gottschewski
Feb 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mark Fearghus Hagen
A pleasure to read; the language is beautiful. The central theme that permeates the whole book is how seemingly random events or actions fit together and create a non-coincidental whole. I also learned a lot about bees, lighthouses and baroque painting techniques! My only regret is that the second part has not been written yet.

I have read the book in Norwegian; I don't know how good the English translation is. Beautiful language is always difficult to translate in an equally beautiful way.
Oct 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary-fiction
This is a collection of 4 stories, the first three of which are basically novellas. The connections between the four are pretty slim but it doesn't seem to matter much.

I found that one story more or less wiped out the memory of the one preceding it due to how deeply each succeeding tale drew me in.

The plots are not particularly noteworthy, so why do I rate this book so highly? It's the author's style. He has a great way with words and he knows how to tell a story. Before I was halfway through th
Mar 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
picked up when desperate for a read in italy... absolutely loved the atmosphere, writing, and linked stories. i feel like i could & should read it again, and find more in it.
Jan 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I chose this book from the library shelf on pure instinct, and was rewarded with the true pleasure of a transporting read. I was completely engrossed by the first tale of Lea and Engineer Bolt--a story infused with humor, tenderness and overtones of losses hinted at yet undescribed. These themes--especially that of loss--carry through the three other stories in the book and loosely unite them; although I think the book is overall closer to a collection of novellas than a novel. When I let go of ...more
Aug 09, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I read the first 'tale' in this book but I'm afraid this writer is not for me. Just when I was beginning to warm to the main character the tale ended!
The story also has some bizarre features, such as being told from the perspective of two swifts circling above a church for a couple of pages, and then from the perspective of a dead man in a coffin for a little while before getting to the main character. I can't see the point of that - especially the swifts, they have nothing to do with the story.
Jan 12, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't read much ScanLit; or works in translation for that matter. So I found this novel beautiful and intriguing, but uncomfortable, all the while not knowing if the discomfort stemmed from the original, from the translation, or from cultural misunderstanding. Hansen's story-telling is poetically masterful, with warm, multi-dimension characters who love strongly, yet are full of human failings and doubts. It's the novel's structure which is the source of the discomfort - he tells three complet ...more
I think I liked this...? Compared to all the glowing reviews left for book, I feel like I must be missing out on something. The writing, although dense, is beautiful, but... the plot? Was there any plot?! The stories individually were entertaining, although irritatingly always left without any sort of climax or resolution. There's supposed (I think) to be some sort of connection between the different tales, but what exactly it was passed me by; I think I must lack the brain-power to remember all ...more
Aug 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: cilvēkiem, ar kuriem mēdz notikt dīvainas sakritības
Recommended to Una by: O. (netieši)
Shelves: m-sdienu-rzemju
Ļoti dzīvi un krāsaini uzrakstīta grāmata, kuras centrā ideja par to, kā cilvēku dzīves cauri laikmetiem satuvina nejaušības, sauktas arī par likteni.
Vēstījums ārkārtīgi kolorīts. Viņam ir Sātana skatupunkts, intervija ar putniem, fantastiskās detaļās izzīmēta, piemēram, biškopība, renesanses laika mākslinieku ikdiena un dzīve 19. gs. bākas sarga ģimenē uz sīkas saliņas.
Interesanti pretstatījumi, par ko domāt: pienākums/jūtas, arī tas, ko nozīmē liela māksla - vai to rada ar tehniku un prātu, va
Juliet Wilson
Jun 15, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
Parts of this book are wonderful but i found it difficult to get into overall. There are three main stories here - one about a girl and her grandfather who keeps bees and researches bizarre co-incidences, the second about the community living and working around a lighthouse and the third about artists in Renaissance Italy. There are fascinating historic and factual details about beekeeping, lighthouses and art. The characters are well drawn and their relationships are really well portrayed. Some ...more
Aug 14, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I adore peter Hoeg, and this guy seemed to be his successor. All the traditional elements are there: the wild characters who evoke the Boer war, greenhouses in northern countries populated with talking apes and plants never before seen and a mystical pattern to life as revealed through old fashioned personalities and a stiff kind of rebellion.

It's compelling and thoughrally entertaining. But when a book sets it's premise as delivering the answer to coincidences, tragedy and life itself... well.
Nov 02, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully beautifully written but , in my opinion, here there was fodder for 4 different books instead of each one of the tales being ended abruptly. The writing style of Erik Hansen deserves more than 5 stars but the way he choosed to present his stories was a little bit disappointing (at the moment you were engrossed by one of the tales, he abruptly, at the middle of a sentence, changed to another tale. I especially liked the data about bees and lighthouses being the second tale my favourite ...more
Kim Grant
Feb 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Like a sonata or perhaps nothern light. Moving, intellectual, and subtly layered in the way that Scandinavian writers and artists have mastered over time. The book was long and at times intense. It required time and patience to digest, to recognize the emerging pattern and see the relationships between stories...but was in every way worth it. This one will stick with me like poetry, in a way that novels often don't.
Jul 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gaidīju, ko līdzīgu "Sievietei lauvai", nav.
Šī grāmata dalāma stāstos, kuros notikumi apskatīti un personas attēlotas, bet nepasakot visu, jo arī dzīvē sastopot draugu nevari pateikt, kas viņu izveidojis tādu. Tā arī grāmatā, tiek pavērts tikai priekškara stūrītis.
Ļoti patīk kā autors attēlo vienkāršas lietas padarot tās īpašas - sniega un iežu kristālu burvība, kalna iekšienes attēlojums, bāku vēsture un zeltīšanas tehnika, cik tas viss ir aizraujoši, prieks lasīt.
Oct 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of those books I picked up at a $5 sale just because the cover looked intriguing. I'm so glad I did! The book was well-written and fascinating. The author reminds me of David Mitchell, and the book is vaguely like Cloud Atlas (vaguely). Three main plots lines are in the forefront, and each one completely sweeps you up. The only frustration is that you feel such a connection to the characters, and then that section ends!
A fascinating exposition on the nature of coincedences.
Jun 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: norwegian, favorites
Leste Fosnes Hansens 3 første: Falketårnet, Salme ved reisens slutt og Beretninger om beskyttelse under særemne i tredje gym. Etter å ha sett han snakke på TV som 17 åring var jeg solgt, mannen kan jo snakke om å kjøpe brød og allikevel få det til å høre som noe stort og heroisk. Beretninger... står sterkest av hans bøker for meg, og er en av de bøker jeg kan lese mange ganger.
David Jones
Jan 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Impressive in its thoroughness, and sometimes dragged down because of it, the only thing more deft than Hansen's prose is his sense of meaning and optimism. Must read for anyone who thinks things matter.
Jan 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
Wonderful book, one of the best books I've read in 2013. The structure of the book very much reminded me of Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. All four stories were interesting, and I though it especially craftily that every story had their own distinct voice.
A book club selection, don't recall it at all.
Mar 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: norwegian_lit
Recommended by Diane Setterfield
This is a book of 4 stories that are suppose to intertwine. I didn't see it. I liked one, maybe two of the stories but didn't care for the others.
Aug 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Den er gennemført sær, men for mig også fantastisk. Den giver arbejde til hjernen. Hvor er det en skam at det aldrig blev til en toer...
May 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is the most beautiful book on the strength of serendipity and coincidence. It is three stories, really, all woven seamlessly together. The language is lyrical and soothing.
Audrey Webster
Nov 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed the tales and how it all tied together by the conclusion. I was left wondering if some of the books quality may have been lost in translation .
Mar 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was simply amazing. Complicated stories, made me look inside of many different personalities, which were smartened till last edge. Brilliant.
Lisa D.
Nov 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read it years ago after finding it by chance in Half Price. Picked it up again while home sick with the flu. Excellent storytelling....great read!
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Erik Fosnes Hansen is a Norwegian author who made his debut at age twenty with the novel Falketårnet. His most famous work is his second novel, Psalm at Journey's End, which in separate but steadily more interwoven stories follows the individual musicians that end their careers and lives at Titanic. The book has been translated into more than twenty languages. A Part II follow-up to Beretninger om ...more
More about Erik Fosnes Hansen...
“How can all the small insects simultaneously know, without a brain, without knowing anything, that today they should visit this meadow, tomorrow that one? It's a question of knowing without knowing, and wanting without wanting. If you want something too intensely, things fall apart in your hands. You start to doubt everything. As soon as you let go, everything comes to you. Then you know, without knowing.” 13 likes
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