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(Årstidsencyklopedien #3)

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  2,059 ratings  ·  244 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
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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Average rating 4.34  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,059 ratings  ·  244 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
Paul Bryant
Mar 17, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: novels
As I entered my kitchen the smell of the cat poo was not wholly unpleasant but not wholly pleasant either, it was one of those things that are not wholly unpleasant or wholly pleasant, like receiving a bill you know you can pay immediately, or a kiss from a relative you don’t really like too much because you’ve noticed she’s not that kind to your children. I cleared up the cat poo and reflected that cats are poo machines, we buy them cat food, they shovel it in at one end, then all the time we a ...more
Lee Klein
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
"You see, the beauty of this world means nothing if you stand alone in it."
- Karl Ove Knausgaard, Spring


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.
"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.

This third part of the Seasons series is very different from the two previous ones; in fact, it fits perfectly with the very long My Struggle I-VI series with which Knausgaard broke through. In this small book too we find that same alternation of self-denigrating introspection, of extremely detailed scenes on daily life and of very profound considerations on the wonder of life.

In other words, Knausgard makes another attempt to put his individual reality on paper, with its big and its small sides
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
Gretchen Rubin
Another author I love. You're either on this train, or off this train. I'm on it, all the way.
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Where Autumn and Winter were brief essays on things around the house while he anticipated his daughter's birth, this reads more like a letter to his newborn daughter. While he writes it, he is caring for the children while his wife is absent, for reasons which are somewhat revealed by the end. Aside from that content is his brilliant nature writing, musings on aging, family, and place. I've marked the best bits in my review so I won't recreate them here. The primary reason I read Karl is the wri ...more
M. Sarki
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star-wonders

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
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,
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
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
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
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
Ward Hammond
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible
I spent the better part of my weekend reading after receiving an email from a dear cousin of mine. The last time we met I was discussing David Foster Wallace and Infinite Jest. That's when he told me about Karl Ove Knausgaard and Elena Ferrante. Both have written very long, multi-volume, Proustian works worth reading. I chose to begin with Spring because of its length. My hope is to finish at least one work by the two authors before our next visit. Spring did not disappoint, nor was it what I ex ...more
Michaël Van Caeneghem
This is probably his best book. It touches the deepest core of the reader's soul.
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 Lau
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.
Lana Grgić
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The book for which I wish there was a sixth star! 💕
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
Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
After being startled by the change in format from the first two books in the series Autumn and Winter I was quickly immersed in the authors exploration of his wife's depression and it's impact him and his family during the pregnancy of his unborn daughter. I'm in awe of Knausgård ability to raise the mundane to fascinating, honestly what someone decides to have for dinner should not be that interesting. ...more
Heather Barkley
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great compromise if you aren’t up to the epic 4,000 page six volume “My Struggle” series. Although there’s nothing quite like reading the whole thing, I feel this slim volume gives you the quintessential Knausgaard experience. Raw, poignant, touching and as always oh so frustrating. An interesting experiment in, what happens if one just tells the truth about everything? I found these books made me aware of my own thoughts and inner monologue in a different way. If you enjoy modern fiction at a ...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.
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 "
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
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
Feb 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This volume seems like My Struggle Volume 7, or 6.1. Karl Ove is writing to his daughter ostensibly, but of course we all get to read along, and Linda is melting down again. The long spiral downwards that we witnessed in My Struggle is back, but this time through a different lens. Karl Ove has lost his patience with her failure to help herself, and he has grown tired of keeping the house running while she exists in an almost catatonic state. So the encyclopedia entries of the other books in this ...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 My S

Other books in the series

Årstidsencyklopedien (4 books)
  • Autumn (Seasons Quartet, #1)
  • Winter (Seasons Quartet, #2)
  • Summer

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Are you having a difficult time reading these days? If so, you're not alone. Since the pandemic began, I've found it harder to concentrate on...
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“If you are afraid of the dark, you seek the light. But what do you do when even the light is filled with terrors?” 8 likes
“For that’s how it is, we cover up our mistakes and failings, we invent stories that put ourselves in a more favorable light. Self-deception is perhaps the most human thing of all.” 7 likes
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