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Spring

(Årstidsencyklopedien #3)

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  1,440 ratings  ·  179 reviews
Spring is a deeply moving novel about family, our everyday lives, our joys and our struggles, beautifully illustrated by Anna Bjerger.

Today is Wednesday the thirteenth of April 2016, it is twelve minutes to eleven, and I have just finished writing this book for you. What happened that summer nearly three years ago, and its repercussions, are long since over.

Sometimes
...more
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published May 8th 2018 by Penguin Press (first published 2016)
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Tobias Holst You can do what you want, but the books follow his daughter through the pregnancy and the birth, so it makes the most sense to read them sequentially.…moreYou can do what you want, but the books follow his daughter through the pregnancy and the birth, so it makes the most sense to read them sequentially. (less)
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4.34  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,440 ratings  ·  179 reviews


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Adam Dalva
Jan 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is an absolutely brilliant departure from the first two books of the seasons quartet, and completely re-contextualizes the scope and intent of the project. Don't know if I know of something quite like this. And it's like a tiny sequel to MY STRUGGLE too.

"When someone is going through a difficult time, the difficulties spread out in concentric circles and touch even peripheral situations and relationships. When darkness falls in one person, fire is lit in the other, and thereby all sense of
...more
Darwin8u
"You see, the beauty of this world means nothing if you stand alone in it."
- Karl Ove Knausgaard, Spring

description

The first two books in Knausgaard's Årstidsencyklopedien (Seasonal Encyclopedia) Series were Autumn and Winter. The structure of these books was relatively (and seductively) simple. Knausgård wrote every day for three months on a variety of subjects that relate to the season and month he is writing about. He is addressing these books to his unborn/recently born daughter. I got it. I liked it.
...more
Lee
Apr 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
KOK enthusiasts expecting more of the same (see Autumn, Winter) will come away with expectations undermined but they won't be disappointed -- like spring itself, this one refreshes the overall project (which by the end of "Winter" had begun to feel, if not cold, than maybe a little rote). This one strips away the structure in the other two installments but maintains the general conceit of a letter to his fourth child, now an infant daughter. It's actually structured more like a thriller, propell ...more
Lauren
"The passing of time, I loved every trace of it."
▫▫

Knausgaard's third volume of the Four Seasons Series, Spring, is a stand-alone memoir that departs from the short essay mosaic structure of the previous two volumes, Autumn, and Winter.

The book opens in the bucolic Swedish landscape, describing the change of season, etc. but the reader sees the small fractures in the personal landscape over the first few pages. This is a book about love and devotion, mishaps and words said and left unsaid.

Undoub
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Matt
Mar 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: readers of MIN KAMP
A-suh-puh-ring is here!

The third book in Karl Ove Knausgård’s seasons cycle was the best one for me so far. It’s very unlike the previous two volumes. Where the latter two contain many short and shorter vignettes about a variety of topics, Om våren presents a continuous narrative. The story is centered around one day in April on which Knausgård and his youngest daughter Anna (three months old) are going to visit the wife/mother Linda in the hospital. Those of you who know about the family will p
...more
Gretchen Rubin
Another author I love. You're either on this train, or off this train. I'm on it, all the way.
M. Sarki
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star-wonders
https://msarki.tumblr.com/post/173761...

On the heels of the first two installations titled Autumn and and then Winter, Spring departs from the initial format and Knausgård rules again with his bitingly honest and beautiful prose. I lamented this book to end. On every level I felt connected to Karl Ove.

…This was so because the beautiful and good gain meaning through connection, through exchange, through what stands open between ourselves and the world. In themselves, objects and events don’t mea
...more
Ken
Hilarious, in its way. Karl Ove, famous for his massive (and I do mean massive) navel-gazers about his childhood and specifically his abusive, alcoholic father (called My Struggle), switched gears in the "Seasons" quartet (make way, Vivaldi), to write mini-essays about this simple topic or that. The conceit? The essayettes were for his daughter-to-be, still in utero.

Karl Ove stayed disciplined through Autumn and Winter, but alas, his new daughter was born, and he fell off the wagon. For Spring,
...more
Campbell
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
After the somewhat fractured, mosaic-like quality of 'Autumn' and 'Winter', this book finds Karl Ove Knausgaard resurgent once more, blooming and budding with the advent of 'Spring'.

Gone are the short, carefully-measured essays describing a single subject, replaced as they are by what Knausgaard does best. Namely intensely personal and deeply insightful observation on the minutiae of daily life and the human experience.

Given some of the events described, there's real darkness here. But there's
...more
Jakob
Oct 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: norwegian-lit
Confession: I am a bit of a contrarian at heart, and consequently I have shied away from the widely read and incessantly debated Min kamp series. Nevertheless, the curiosity for what makes this author so captivating has crept up on me, and his newer and not-too-long book Om våren from his seasonal quartet seemed like a good place to catch a first taste.

The novel describes a single day in spring that he spends with his infant daughter, to whom the book (and series) is dedicated, describing every
...more
Abby
Apr 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“We come from far away, from terrifying beauty, for a newborn child who opens its eyes for the first time is like a star, is like a sun, but we live our lives amid pettiness and stupidity, in the world of burned hot dogs and wobbly camping tables. The great and terrifying beauty does not abandon us, it is there all the time, in everything that is always the same, in the sun and the stars, in the bonfire and the darkness, in the blue carpet of flowers beneath the tree. It is of no use to us, it i
...more
Kasa Cotugno
In this, the third volume of Knausgaard's seasonal quartet, he reveals more personal detail than in the preceding two. Autumn and Winter consisted of an ongoing letter to his as then unborn daughter, ruminating on many aspects of the natural and manmade as if he's introducing her to the world. Now in April, she is three months old. Over the course of one day, Karl Ove describes a daily routine mundane in its description of waking and caring for his three older children (calling them not by name, ...more
Michaël Van Caeneghem
This is probably his best book. It touches the deepest core of the reader's soul.
Albertine67
Aug 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I haven't read the earlier seasons; I happened across this one at the library when I was feeling the itch to read more Knausgaard. I love the My Struggle books, and generally love long books/projects of that kind. I found this book, though shorter, drew you in in a very similar way and required the same sort of concentration. With My Struggle, I was reading them at a point in my life when I had unlimited time and a readiness to immerse myself in another life, another perception: I still have the ...more
Kath
Spring is the third book in Knausgaard's autobiographical books based on seasons. The Seasons Quartet is addressed to his newly born daughter and serves as his way of welcoming her to the world. Unlike Winter, which consist of short stories and letters, Spring is more personal and poignant with a hint of mystery. The writing is really captivating. It's honest and raw. I loved that he can turn an ordinary object into something extraordinary that will make you realize how wonderful and compelling ...more
Barbara Klein
May 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
I love KOK's attention to detail making the mechanics of daily life almost significant. Love how he cares for his children while his wife is recovering from a depression in a hospital some distance away. He copes, tries to create happy family experiences by taking the kids to the beach, a water park, etc. It's all very mundane yet Knausgard transforms and elevates these activities into something far more compelling. The shadow of his wife's hospitalization looms over this description of domestic ...more
John Hatley
Jan 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The father of four children philosophises on what it means to be a father, a husband, a human being, in notes to his yet unborn fourth child. His love for his children is enormous.
Jake Watts
Dec 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
“We come from far away, from terrifying beauty, for a newborn child who opens its eyes for the first time is like a star, is like a sun, but we live our lives amid pettiness and stupidity, in a world of burned hot dogs and wobbly camping tables. The great and terrifying beauty does not abandon us, it is there all the time, in everything that is always the same, in the sun and the stars, in the bonfire and the darkness, in the blue carpet of flowers beneath the tree. It is of no use to us, it is ...more
Kerry Pickens
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2018
I really hated this book, and it was disappointing as Karl Ove Knausgard had become one of my favorite writers. This collection of stories describes problems with his marriage and his cold hearted attitude towards his wife's mental issues. Not very empathetic person.
Stenwjohnson
Jul 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Sometimes it hurts to live, but there is always something to live for.
Could you try to remember that?”

Karl Ove Knausgård's first project after his epic memoir "My Struggle" has been a series of relatively slight volumes based on seasonal themes, each published in serendipitous alignment with the season they explore. The brief, often eccentric essays of "Autumn" and "Winter" are Knausgård lite, offering a taste of his inimitable voice but not the satisfying, expansive personal explorations of "
...more
Carolyn Crocker
Jul 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
The third in a quartet of letters to his youngest daughter, this slim ”novel” details the events of the April day that ends in Walpurgis Night--with a lengthy flashback to the previous summer and his wife’s severe depression. The moment by moment recounting, with thoughts and memories as plot points, is truly compelling. Although I’m not signing up for the full six volumes of My Struggle, I understand why people do.

“Life clatters within the living with all their mentalities and psychologies, and
...more
Eric Sutton
May 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
A return to form for Knausgaard, much in the same vein as his My Struggle series - although condensed into a single day (with multiple flashbacks spanning earlier periods and providing context) - Spring is a meditation on fatherhood, marriage, and, like the categories explored in earlier volumes, the banalities of life that make it worth living. While Knausgaard is a master of writing the everyday with serious and entertaining effect, I do think that he operates better in long form. The My Strug ...more
Mel
Jun 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow. I was already a big fan and I was enjoying the seasonal "quartet", but this volume really threw me. The first 2 had set me up to expect more brief chapters detailing random/general facts & explanations of how the world works to his youngest, unborn daughter- but this one was a departure. In just under 190 pages and 3 long chapters (+ Epilogue), Karl Ove does what he does best depicting his day in minuscule detail to totally draw in the reader, but this time he also made a pretty big rev ...more
Lena
Mar 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This seems like a short version of the novels from the "My struggle" series. Although much shorter than any of these this novel creates some of the same sense of immersion. With flashbacks woven in and one day in spring as a frame that Knausgård starts with and returns back to, he manages to stretch this one day and gets in his typical mixture of deep thoughts, flowing from one subject to the other. And in addition to that, there's his ability to pay very close attention to the actions and surro ...more
Luis Borjas
May 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chavi
Dec 08, 2018 added it
Shelves: translations
Meditative, that's the first word that comes to mind.

I was reading Be What You Are by Alan Watts while reading this and the two combined really encouraged me to slow things down. Of course it helps to slow down and watch sunrise/sunsets in a beautiful, rural Norwegian town, surrounded by family and children, and after success of the standard kind. And yet I didn't resent Knausgaard's peace.* It felt like an invitation, not a rebuke.

*yes I know that the book is not about an idyllic life and is a
...more
David C Ward
May 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A marked change from the previous season books which were good natured explanations of the world to his children. In this one the close description of daily life and nature is counterposed to the crippling depression suffered by Knausgaard’s wife during the pregnancy. There’s a sense of dread throughout and fhe doing of things is, like in Hemingway, a way of holding off despair. Several meditations on loneliness and solitude as well as suicide amongst the close descriptions.
It ends hopefully but
...more
John
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought I had reached Peak Knausgaard with Winter. But Spring really rallied for me. Of course, Knausgaard is known for his self-indulgent work, My Struggle. As such, the Seasonal Quartet was a nice palette cleanser.

The first two, were a bit of poetry. However, Spring is a full on relapse. Major life changes, like the birth of a daughter will do that. These are no longer essays but straight from the draught.

That being said, the well is running a bit dry for me now--I'm waiting for My Struggl
...more
Linda Pentony
Mar 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an exquisite read! It was very early on reading Spring that I realised I had found a new author I adored. It's introspective, deeply poignant and the descriptions are so vivid and lush. What I loved most is the fact that although it feels like I'm being let in on such a personal relationship between Karl Ove and his daughter (with the second person narration) I was still so involved as a reader and felt the depth of connection and love he has. Truly a lovely book, I found myself quite upset ...more
Andrew Bertaina
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
We come from far away, from terrifying for a newborn child who opens its eyes for the first time is like a star, is like a sun, but we live our lives amid pettiness and stupidity, in the world of burned hot dogs and wobbly camping tables. The great and terrifying beauty does not abandon us, it is there all the time, in everything that is always the same, in the sun and the stars, in the bonfire and the darkness, in the blue carpet of flowers beneath the tree. It is of no use to us, it is too big ...more
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Nominated to the 2004 Nordic Council’s Literature Prize & awarded the 2004 Norwegian Critics’ Prize.

Karl Ove Knausgård (b. 1968) made his literary debut in 1998 with the widely acclaimed novel Out of the World, which was a great critical and commercial success and won him, as the first debut novel ever, The Norwegian Critics' Prize. He then went on to write six autobiographical novels, titled
...more

Other books in the series

Årstidsencyklopedien (4 books)
  • Autumn
  • Om vinteren
  • Om sommeren (Årstidsencyklopedien, #4)
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“What is literature an expression of, if not an otherwise inaccessible and in reality non-existent closeness?” 3 likes
“If you are afraid of the dark, you seek the light. But what do you do when even the light is filled with terrors?” 3 likes
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