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(Kim Karlsen Trilogy #1)

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  4,148 ratings  ·  139 reviews
Beatlesi klasyczna powieść i największy międzynarodowy bestseller Larsa Saabye Christensena nareszcie w Polsce!

Oslo, rok 1965. Na świecie szaleje beatlemania. Kim, Gunnar, Seb i Ola, nierozłączni przyjaciele ze szkolnej ławy, chcą być jak słynna czwórka z Liverpoolu. Zapuszczają grzywki, przyjmują pseudonimy Paul, John, George i Ringo i z wypiekami na twarzy czekają na
Hardcover, 732 pages
Published May 19th 2016 by Wydawnictwo Literackie (first published 1984)
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Average rating 4.20  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,148 ratings  ·  139 reviews

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You know it ain't easy

What is this book about? I can see why most of the reviewers are having trouble. It's got laugh-out-loud slapstick, heartbreaking tragedy, unforgettable characters, ridiculous stereotypes, breathtaking lyricism, flat ultrarealist prose... you see the problem. But one thing's clear. There's a whole lot about the Beatles.

So let me introduce to you

Kim Karlsen is 11 when Love me do comes out. He and his three friends are immediate converts, and identify with John, Paul, George
Oct 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wavering between 3.5 and 4 ...

Notice the absence of the The in the title: there are The Beatles and then there are Gunnar, Kim, Seb and Ola -- four good-hearted, The Beatles-loving teenagers growing up in Oslo in the mid-60s. But what might seem like a mischievous comic romp of a novel turns deadly serious as politics, police brutality and drugs become a part of the boys' lives into the very early 70s.

I loved the concept and greatly enjoyed the Oslo setting (as I'd recently been there); but what
Aurimas Novikovas
Jan 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
A novel that is so difficult to review. A book that shares a fine laugh, stupid lyricism, tragedies and tragic characters, a deep presense of The Beatles and Jim Morrison, 1960s perception of global politics etc etc etc. A fine piece of art - an example of a true literary architecture!
Roxana Truţa
I never wanted it to end. My heart still aches after reading the ending. Such a good book! Especially for someone who loves music and cares for friendship.
Feb 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Four boys growing up in Oslo from 1965 to 1972. They collect Beatles records first in awe of their brilliance then slowly more critical as their tastes and preference in music widen.
The narrator is Kim. He is quick with a quip and tells too many liars. He is a drifter and is not all that stable. His friends include a stutterer, a spiritualist and a protector. They play soccer and gradually find girlfriends. They smoke a bit which for some of them turn into hard drugs, they drink a lot. All come
Apr 15, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is called Beatles and yet (view spoiler)

All in all, a good coming of age story, but I picked it up because I thought it was gonna be more about The Beatles. I liked the first part way better than the second.
Lorenzo Berardi
Reading 'Beatles' was another long walk I took down Memory Lane.
Bless Lars Saabye Christensen for setting another novel in that specific area of Oslo I remember so fondly!

The English edition I owe boasts that 'Beatles' is 'The International Bestseller' and in fact this is the book that made Mr Christensen famous in Norway and abroad.
Not to mention that a few months ago I spotted a hoodie eagerly leafing through this same book at a bus stop in the sleepy English town of Hereford (just don't ask
Jun 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I remember seeing this book in my home since 2005, which the date of release of the portuguese translation. I've just decided to read it this summer, in late June, at the breaks of some study for the university exams. Sometimes, it was hard to stop reading to sleep a bit, and sometimes, without noticing it, it was already 4 or 5 o'clock in the morning. Now about the book, it was great, and one of the best things I have ever read in my life. A good and very well told story, moving in some parts, ...more
Aug 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reading-europe
I must admit, that Ive borrowed this from the library just because of the title. But even if it was about "Beatles" it wasnt about them at all...and that was surprisingly the best thing about it. Bittersweet norvegian story from amazing era which went together with amazing music. You start to read it yesterday and then you suddenly realise its tomorrow. Need a sixth star for this. Howgh ...more
Sep 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderfully written coming of age story that I highly recommend to anyone. I would have given it five stars, but the I found the ending a bit off-putting.
And although I dont think about it, the reel behind my eyes stops at a particular frame, I hold it for a few seconds, freeze it, then let it roll, for I am all-powerful. I give it voices, sound, smell and light.
[...] time lay over us like a huge lid and we were a pot that had to explode at any minute.
Then we headed home. Talking about all the things we were going to do. [...] About summer, even though winter had barely begun. About all the summers of our lives. [...] We became effusive and
Dec 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nobody writes with such originality about the shift from boyhood to adolescence and beyond as this author. I loved young Kims description of the theatre as worse than church and gymnasium combined as he endured an outing with his mother. Down the road a few years and Kim and his friends travel back home from Paris through a stinking Europe that lay on our skin like grey dirt. For me, the most beautiful part of the book is the encounter that the boys have with Freds mother at the same time as ...more
Aug 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun read
Michael Armijo
Oct 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Back in 2014 I had the opportunity to see the Norwegian film that was based on this book at the PALM SPRINGS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL. I loved it so much that I found a copy of the book (in ENGLISH--not easy to find) as it was an International Best-Seller in Europe. I finally took the time to read it. I loved how each chapter was titled after a BEATLES song and the growing-up trials and tribulations (some humorous and some challenging) of four young boys in the Oslo area named KIM, OLA, SEB ...more
This is a really problematic book to talk about, after almost 600 pages I still can't decide if and how much I actually liked it.
I definitely got bored in several occasions, mainly because of the abundance of repetitive situations (a trait common to many Scandinavian narrators, apparently) but I was also enthralled, moved and touched more often than not.
What hooked me in the beginning was the title: I grew up with The Beatles, just like the Kim, Gunnar, Seb and Ola, but without "the revolution"
Halvor (Raknes)
Why didn't I like this book which so many people feel captures so well the spirit of a generation?

I think this novel has a very "cheap" approach to its story. I have only read one other (much shorter) book by this author, so I don't know if this reflects his writing abilities or if it is a calculated way of "bottom trawling", i.e. using the lowest common denominator approach to catch the widest audience possible. To me the result becomes unacceptable. The characters completely lack any
Derek James Baldwin
Drifts along page after page, the characters get a bit older and learn a few trite life-lessons along the way, and the only thing that makes it distinctive is the Norwegian setting...which barely seems worth commenting upon because the Norway that's depicted seems like just about everywhere else. Or was that the point of the novel?

This is perfectly readable and has some entertaining moments but is really mediocre. The translation uses lots of anachronistic English slang words which is very
Tanja Berg
Rating 3.4* out of 5. This is not a story of the Beatles, but of four friends that are fans, growing up in Oslo in the 1960's. It's a fairly average coming of age tale, there isn't really anything new. Friendship, love, school, death, revolution. The Oslo/Norway angle is probably important for locals, it didn't add anything in itself to me. I enjoyed reading this, but felt like I was missing out on cues - which I probably was.
Aug 12, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This writer he doesn't just write a good story, he works a lot with the reader as well. I was so into this book that at a certain point, when the main character does something that really disappoints me, I stopped reading for several days. I was annoyed at him! That is great writing!
Nov 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: q1
The book is about four boys growing up in Oslo in th 60's. I think I can relate to this book because I lived by the place it was written about. It's a really funny story that made me laugh lots of times.
Feb 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favorite book of all time, and probably the best of all Norwegian books ever written.
Oct 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I like books narrated by a male, I've always been fond of them because male characters talk less and think more so you can actually know what is inside their head more than with a female character (which is usually very confused in terms of thoughts). Besides, male characters like Kim here, show that authentic, true, "fragile" inner part which they don't talk about. Kim, in these terms, let you go into his life, his fears, his childish ambitions, his solitude and for so many aspects of his ...more
Dec 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First of all: it's called the Beatles trilogy.
I grew up reading this book. Listening to Beatles and imagining the boys roaming around in Oslo.
It's about growing up, about idolizing a band. It'a about friendship, choises, standing up for each other and others. Beatles is about being young, loosing your grip, taking a stand.
I don't like Oslo, but I do like to walk around and imagine the boys at Skillebekk, Frogner etc. To me it gives the city a different life and vibe.
Urtė Leškutė
Nov 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's a book full of nostalgia. It seems so real that could happen to anyone anywhere. The storyline has inner sadness which intensifies to the second half of book. The book is heavy but not difficult to read. Of course, the book will encourage you to listen more of "The Beatles" (in case you don't know too many songs like I do). It's the second book I read from Lars S. Christensen (first was "Half Brother"). Both of then are really good. This is the author everyone should try to read :)!
Henriette Elise
I read this book in honor of a school project. Both my parents had read it and recommend it, so I picked it up thinking I would like it. However, the book was to slow and boring to me. Halfway through I had lost the interest, but because it was for a school project I had to finish it. I ended up getting the audiobook instead of actually reading it myself...
Nicolay Hvidsten
"(...) her eyes were dead, there was something she had seen which had reduced them to ashes."

Saabye Christensen can bloody write, I'll give him that. Unfortunately, for me anyway, he lacks the ability to create an engaging plot, and his promising coming-of-age tale set in late-sixties Oslo tanks somewhere in the middle of realskole and never really recovers.

I thoroughly enjoyed half of this book, and I honestly think that he could've finished at the 300 page mark and had produced a decent novel.
Simen Platou
Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Probably my all-time favourite book. I've read this book twice, with 5 years inbetween each read, and I enjoyed it just as much the second time.

I have only read this in Norwegian, so can't say anything about the English translation.
Maria J.
Jun 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A coming of age story of 4 friends, and Beatles fans, told from the mid 60's to the beginning of the 70's. This is one of the books that you just can't wait to share with your friends. A beautiful read, specially if you live or know Oslo well . Top ranking in Norwegian literature.
Katharina {stern_klee}
I really struggled with the rating on this book. While I enjoyed it and the way it was written, it didn't blow me away and I had some issues with some parts of the story. Hence the weird rating.
May 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
read it twice because I love it all, how he writes, how he depicts the characters in such a realistic way and most of all...THE ENDING OF THIS NOVEL!
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Lars Saabye Christensen is a gifted storyteller, a narrator who is imaginative, but equally down to earth. His realism alternates between poetic image and ingenious incident, conveyed in supple metropolitan language and slang that never smacks of the artificial or forced. His heroes possess a good deal of self-irony. Indeed, critics have drawn parallels with the black humour of Woody Allen. But ...more

Other books in the series

Kim Karlsen Trilogy (3 books)
  • Bly (Kim Karlsen Trilogy, #2)
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