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In jenen hellen Nächten

(Ingrid Barrøy #1)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  2,500 ratings  ·  273 reviews
Ingrid vokser opp på en øy. Havet er hennes eventyr. Fisken, stormen, fattigdommen. Hun eier årstidene, fuglene og horisonten. Ingrid må lære det ingen lenger kan. En dag må hun lære enda mer.

Roy Jacobsen fikk sitt gjennombrudd i 1991 med SEIERHERRENE, om arbeiderklassen som kom seg opp og fram i verden. Han er oversatt til 26 språk, er flere ganger nominert til den intern
Paperback, 270 pages
Published 2014 by Insel Verlag Berlin (first published 2013)
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4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,500 ratings  ·  273 reviews

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Jun 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: booker, netgalley, norway
2/6 from Booker International Prize Shortlist. 4.5*

My heart fills with love while I sit on my chair thinking how to review The Unseen. Its “quiet beauty” (a perfect description of this book read in Jill's review) enveloped me and concurred my soul without me even noticing.

It is almost impossible for me to explain why I loved this small novel so much, since at a first glance it contains some elements that I run away from: long descriptive passages and recount of life at sea. I will try, though,
Feb 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: The humble, the indispensable
Shelves: read-in-2018
Beginning of the twentieth century. Three generations of a family try to survive in an isolated and arid island called Barroy, in front of the Norwegian coast.
Barroy is like a universe for its inhabitants, life can’t be understood outside the confinement of this speck of rock dust amidst the ocean, but at the same time, life is continuously threatened by the hostile climate, the endless periods of darkness, severe snow blizzards and the unruly sea that provides sustenance but also kills mercile
Peter Boyle
Jun 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Islanders are never afraid, if they were they wouldn’t be able to live here..."

This captivating tale is set on the tiny island of Barrøy off the coast of Norway, around the beginning of the 20th century. It is inhabited by one family: Hans, his wife Maria, father Martin, sister Barbro and his young daughter Ingrid. The story tracks the adventures of this clan through the years, as they struggle to make a living from their small provisions by way of fishing and farming. There are unexpected birt
Paul Fulcher
Mar 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Winter begins with a storm. They call it the First Winter Storm. There have been earlier storms, in August and September, for example, bringing sudden and merciless changes to their lives.

The First Winter Storm, on the other hand, is quite a different matter.

It is violent every single time and makes its entrance with a vengeance, they have never experienced anything like it, even though it happened last year. This is the origin of the phrase "in living memory", they have simply forgotten how it
Dannii Elle
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the author, Roy Jacobsen, and the publisher, MacLehose Press, for this opportunity.

This is an insight into the isolated lives of the inhabitants of a Norwegian island. Their daily lives are destructed and recounted for the reader and the latter portions, that see the family's youngest daughter, Ingrid's, transfer to the main land, sharply contrast with this rural way of living.

I initially found the family's daily strug
Mar 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-mbi, 2017
"Hans Barrøy had three dreams: he dreamed about a boat with a motor, about a bigger island and a different life. He mentioned the first two dreams readily and often, to all and sundry, the last he never talked about, not even to himself. Maria had three dreams too: more children, a smaller island and – a different life. Unlike her husband she often thought about the last of these, and this yearning grew and grew as the first two paled and withered."

This is the story of a family on an island. Han
This is a tale about life on a tiny island, one kilometer north to south and half a kilometer east to west, one of the islands of the Lofoten archipelago in northwestern Norway, above the Arctic Circle. This island is fictitious, but there do exist many that are similar. One family lives on the island-- the Barrøy family. There is Hans, his wife Maria, Hans’ father Martin, his sister Barbro and his young daughter Ingrid. She is three at the start of the novel. Years pass and who remains living o ...more
Apr 04, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This one just wasn't for me unfortunately.

I was reeled in by a promising sounding blurb, with its isolated and weather-torn Norwegian island setting. The idea of following a young girl and her life growing up in this unusual environment, with its self-imposed isolation sounded like exactly the kind of thing I would have loved. Unfortunately, I just found the lack of plot to make the read incredibly dull and dreary.

I also didn't particularly enjoy this particular translation either - I found tha
What is the meaning of this novel's enigmatic title? For me, "The Unseen" are the book's protagonists, the Barrøys, who own and live on one of the tiny, remote islands off the coast of Norway - aptly named Barrøy. When the novel starts, the Barrøys are old widower Martin, his son Hans (who has recently assumed the mantle of "head of the family"), Hans's wife Maria, their toddler daughter Ingrid and Hans's sister Barbro, who is "not quite there". "The Unseen" follows the fate of the Barrøys over ...more
Apr 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: translations
The Unseen seems to be a rather simple story but is really quite remarkable in its quiet beauty. The descriptions of the island and the isolation & related dependence on the weather and the sea were vivid and moving.

"But silence on an island is nothing. No-one talks about it, no-one remembers it or gives it a name, however deep an impression it makes. It is the tiny glimpse of death they have while they are still alive."

I enjoyed the book, but I really wish that Don Bartlett would only work
Gumble's Yard
Jun 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“The Unseen” is set on one of the thousand .. islands in the archipalego off the coast of Norway, in the first half of the twentieth century before Norway’s discovery of oil means it attains such wealth that it is in the process of going to rack and ruin.

Instead these fishing Islands (seen by Jacobsen as the heart of the Norwegian economy for centuries – and on one of which his mother grew up) remained at mired in extreme poverty and a hand to mouth, subsistence-type existence, eeking out a liv
Mar 09, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: eesti-keeles, 2017
It took me quite a while before I finally got into this book. At first it dragged and dragged and I thought that it didn't have enough action in it to satisfy my reading needs. I kept putting it down after a few pages (there were really short chapters), but then came a night where the sleep didn't come and I decided to read a little.

And then, all of a sudden, I got into it. Somehow this book got a lot more intriguing and engaging for me right then and there while I was tired, but not sleepy. Wh
Helene Jeppesen
This was an interesting story that was very different from what I usually read. I would say that the setting is what carries this story because basically this book deals with how living on an island can influence your life and the decisions you make. Naturally, that leads to a very interesting plot because even though we do have some development in plot and characters, it's not the plot that carries this story forward.
As you can probably sense, I think this book was written to make you think an
Kathe Coleman
Mar 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Unseen by Roy Jacobsen
Early in the 20th century on Barroy Island off the coast of Norway lives the Barroy family. The narrative covers three generations of the family as they try to tweak out a living off the island with its very limited resources. Characters are well defined there is: Ingrid the only child of Hans and Marie and slated to take over the running of the island; Hans, her father whose dream was to build a quay from the island to the mainline connecting the land and the people; M
Mar 26, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The Unseen” by Rob Jacobsen is a novel about the day-to-day life of a small family living on an isolated Norwegian island.

Through a series of 53 ‘episodes’, Jacobsen narrates to us the day-to-day trials and tribulations of this family, which often centre around fishing, farming and other activities that are so crucial to survival in such a rural, difficult climate.

Each episode of the story centres around a small event (e.g., the construction of a farm building). These episodes slowly layer one
Andy Weston
Apr 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It took me 30 pages to realise what a good book I was reading, and having not given it 100% attention, I went back and read them again. The setting for the book is the island of Barrøy, just a kilometre long, and part of a group of hundreds of small islands just off Lofoten in the Norwegian Arctic. It may not come across in the book, but the rugged and steep-faced mountains are spectacular scenery like nowhere else, I was there cycling (on the main islands) two summers ago.

This is a terrific st
Samuel Bigglesworth
Great book about people that are 'normal' in their own situation but live a very different life to me. Not going to rate it because I snoozer off reading it and lost the thread of the story somewhat.
Jul 30, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, abandoned
I fear I seem to be abandoning a lot of books recently so perhaps it's as much to do with my reading mood as the books. But really, I don't think it's too much to ask for a book to...

a) Have a plot.

b) Be written grammatically - omitting fullstops doesn't make it stylish nor "stream of consciousness", it just makes it badly written (or badly translated, perhaps).
He walks towards the little flock, which has stopped and stands there studying the grass, whereafter he shakes hands with each of them
Kasa Cotugno
Shortlisted for the Man Booker international Prize, it's hard to see why this didn't win. It fulfills all requirements, one would think. In particular, it is more a study of a place, a time. The human characters are incidental to the Island of Barrøy except that they provide its name. It is the Island and the weather and the sea that are the main characters. The inhabitants live with constant struggle, but it is their way of life which they accept and prefer to easier existences. Yes, some look ...more
However, one afternoon something strange happened to the sky, and when the sky not only goes dark but also strange and is low and hard to read, this is a sign in itself, a sign of the worst.

The people on the island do not make the rules. The weather makes it for them, and they must cope accordingly.

Young Ingrid has an infectious laugh. She laughs all the time, until she goes away from the island to school. There, the first thing she learns is to swim; she also learns her alphabet and her numbers
 Sophia B
Aug 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: europe, norway
Feb. 2016. Re-reading: 4.5 All of the below but it hit me even harder this time. He is the best writer of milieu this side of Duun perhaps? Stunning. Cant wait to read the second book.

Sept. 2013. First reading: 3.5 Written in a distant 3. person voice, this story moves forward as the ocean, slowly and at times abruptly, and as the sea smoothly caresses or crashes ashore, the happenings in the story takes the characters either by storm or as silent, invisible movement. The invisible is about the
Sep 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites, bsf-no
If I could give it 10 stars out of 5, I would! This book was so beautifully written that I didn't want it to end. It was a slow deeply enjoyable read and I really connected to the characters, even though the book is short. I think the text on the back doesn't really tell what the book is about, because this book is not only about Ingrid. It is about a life on an island, about being cut off from the world, about the hardships of life, about being a family and about so much more.

For my friends wh
Tanja Berg
This book follows Ingrid, from the age of about three, and her family. They live a subsistence existence on the tiny island of Barrøy in the north-west of Norway. The time is somewhere at the beginning of the 20th century, although it is never specified. We follow the lives of people and animals over a good dozen years. It's a surprisingly lovely little read, given that the usual forward tension and plotting are mostly absent. The language is lovely, and for most part, not too flowery.
Jun 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was one of those books that completely immersed me in a foreign landscape. You can feel the cold in your bones, smell the sea and see the dirt under your finger nails. A small isolated Norwegian island, a family and the passage of time are crafted into a world that despite its harshness is a place that these people love and call home.
Jess Penhallow
This just wasn't for me. I kept willing myself on to finish it and eventually I did but I wasn't dying to pick this up or to turn to the next chapter.

From the reviews here I can see that this book was loved by many and I can understand why. If you are the type of reader who is all about atmosphere and setting you will love this. The description was evocative and at times I felt like I could hear the howling winds and feel the cold.

However, I am a reader who wants plot and character interaction
(DNF @ 41%) A subtle story of a fishing family carving out a life on a bleak Norwegian island and dreaming of a larger life beyond it. I can’t think of anything particularly negative to say about this; it just failed to hold my interest. I read over 30% while on holiday in Amsterdam – reading it by the coast at Marken felt particularly appropriate – but once we got back I got caught up in other review books and couldn’t get back into it.

Favorite lines: “Nobody can leave an island. An island is a
Elena Sala
THE UNSEEN (2017) is a novel about the challenges faced by a family living on their own on a small island off the western coast of Norway in the first half of the 20th century . The unseen, then, are the Barrøys: Hans, father, fisherman and island owner, his wife Maria, his aged father Martin, his ‘simple’, grown-up sister Barbro and little Ingrid, Hans’ pride and joy, a girl whose life we will follow over the course of the book.

THE UNSEEN is also a book about nature - the island, the sea and th
Monika Barrera
May 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Unseen is an immersion into the ordinary life of one family who owns and lives on the island called Barrøy in the North of Norway. The story is set around in 1913 until 1928 and it shows how people in that time lived their lives, how they worked hard and what they fought for. Describing that those people lived close to nature sound a bit of ridicule, as those people lived according to nature, depended on the weather, they were taking from it what they could and nothing more.
Head of the fami
Michael Cayley
May 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general-fiction
This is an evocation of life on a small fictional Norwegian island - an island the few inhabitants find it virtually impossible to leave for any length of time: and when they do so, it may lead to their returning and one or two extra people joining them in their island existence. It is set essentially in the early decades of the 20th century, but has a timeless feel to it. The focus is on the island itself, and the hardships of living there, the constant struggle to survive and make a living, mo ...more
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All About Books: The Unseen- February 2018 Fiction Read 46 42 Feb 23, 2018 06:28AM  
ManBookering: The Unseen by Roy Jacobsen 7 53 Apr 14, 2017 05:46AM  
The Mookse and th...: 2017 MBI Shortlist: The Unseen 13 42 Apr 08, 2017 08:32AM  

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Roy Jacobsen is a Norwegian novelist and short-story writer. Born in Oslo, he made his publishing début in 1982 with the short-story collection Fangeliv (Prison Life). He is winner of the prestigious Norwegian Critics Prize for Literature.

Other books in the series

Ingrid Barrøy (3 books)
  • Hvitt Hav (Ingrid Barrøy, #2)
  • Rigels Øyne (Ingrid Barrøy, #3)
“...once you settle on an island, you never leave, an island holds on to what it has with all its might and main.” 0 likes
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