Mariel's Reviews > Hunger

Hunger by Knut Hamsun
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's review
Mar 16, 2012

really liked it
Recommended to Mariel by: s.pen and manny
Recommended for: you dropped your books
Read 2 times. Last read March 20, 2012.

I have a confession to make. Well, it's not really a confession if I've alluded to it in the past. I'm cheap. I spend freely, I mean, and it doesn't take much convincing for me to go ahead and make some purchase (especially if it's a book) when I really shouldn't. Don't ever take me shopping in hopes that I'll convince you not to make that purchase, either. So I downloaded the free kindle version of this. I have too many books and I do that shit anyway. I think there's something wrong with the kindle version. I don't care about the errors (I don't notice a lot of grammatical errors anyway. "Blank author breaks all of the cardinal rules of writing you say? There are cardinal rules? I didn't notice!" and stuff like that). I mean there's a weird bit of dialogue towards the end that summarizes the whole book in one sentence. It seemed really out of place. I read there is some long standing heated debate between these guys that hang out in bars and coffee places and talk about books. "No, I like translation number one the best!" The second guy prefers number two and the third guy prefers number three. I don't know which this is. It seemed really, really out of place (the more that I think about it the reallys add up). Hunger is pretty perfect no matter what else you do to it. The following sentence should have gone back to the beginning like a never ending time loop. Maybe I'm not a shark who must keep on swimming in the sub-frozen subhuman subterranean depths lest I realize I've eaten every opportunity ever put on a plate before me. Don't speak up, speak down to the side, to the cracks in the next sidewalk and the next sidewalk until everything good is gone. It's not too late and I didn't just fuck up everything. Oh wait, I did. Hunger is the gnawing belly of the brain. Hunger and never growing pains. That guy will help me! That guy won't help. I just remembered... I left that miracle salvation in the other coat pocket.

It's not really a confession if I've said it before. I talk to myself all of the time too. If Hell is made up of rings it is because it's circular.

I've seen some times in life, and on goodreads (that's not life?), this argument that some such author was a misogynist or some such other author was a racist or hate Jews because they were a product of their times. Stamped out and rolled out on the conveyor belt, all with their set mental conditions timed to go off and implode at collective times? Don't ask them to step out of time and fancy feet with you. Shake them by the shoulders. How could you? Didn't you read? Didn't you know there was more than that? Haven't they met some such bigots walking tall or hiding in the grass on their own strolls? I grew up listening to my grandfather's meant to be amusingly colorful tales from military reform school about "rolling queers". I cried and cried. That person is fodder for years of therapy. It was by no means the only thing about him that he was a racist (he was quite Bill Cosbyish at times, despite mouth frothing loathing the man). I had other family members with their own shades of some shitty human excuse to feel better than other people based on something no one could help, have met other people doing the same. Isn't it always? I generally think that people should read more books to cure this. That couldn't have been Knut Hamsun's problem. He wrote Hunger. He could not have had any problem walking in someone else's shoes with all of those pebbles they can never seem to shake out of the gaping holes. Well, I don't think he did anything other than support the Nazis? One certainly didn't have to hate Jews to do some Princess Leia's home planet crying out at once mass murder. Hey, they did it for their career advancement. Hunger isn't a tribute to Goebbels (it was written in 1890?). I don't know what it is a tribute to except thinking that there's room between all of the colliding thoughts that trap someone in their fucking awful routines. Sumo wrestler sandwich. I'm not hungry. I look at it as the other side of the wormy part of the brain that thinks it's the best thing out there. (Eugenics is STILL the rage. People think that genetically selecting their babies to not be girls or to be pretty is an okay thing to do. Product of what times???) You could clean out the worms, eat them, vomit them and do something better than "Some of my best friends are black!" Confessions, confessions. If you're gonna shake someone to see what comes lose. It's the hope of getting some sense. I don't feel like writing off with "product of their times". Hunger doesn't write off. It walks and it hops trains (doesn't pay for the ticket).
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Comments (showing 1-15 of 15) (15 new)

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message 1: by knig (new)

knig No stars: liked it that much, did you?

Mariel I did star it but goodreads didn't keep them. It's a 4 or a 5. Really good book. I read the free kindle version riddled with errors so I think it's my fault. I read there's a debate about translations. I wish I knew that when I was a tight ass.

message 3: by knig (new)

knig One of my favourite books, ever.

message 4: by Blake (new)

Blake It's really odd that you reviewed this, because I just stumbled upon this author the other day for the very first time. O_O

s.penkevich Knig-o-lass wrote: "One of my favourite books, ever."


message 6: by Petra X (new)

Petra X Excellent review. I really enjoyed reading it - twice.

Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly I read this more than 30 years ago and don't remember much of it except Eyah herregud! I must read this again.

message 8: by B0nnie (new) - added it

B0nnie the movie is brutal. And very good.

Jeffrey Keeten Truly awesome review! It made my head buzz with my own memories of reading the book.

J.W. Dionysius Nicolello Great memories of this one. Growth of the Soil and Vagabonds up next. Didn't know about the movie, trailer looks great. Gonna check that out.

Mariel Thanks, guys. :)

I want to see that movie. This book is tremendous. I will probably read more Hansun in no time.

My read date is probably wrong. Gr didn't keep it when I added it so I made one up. My memory is going. I'll need Gr for this more than ever.

message 12: by Dirk (new)

Dirk Knig-o-lass wrote: "One of my favorite books, ever." I agree. I read it 30 years ago or so and still remember it with excitement. The movie, which is about the end of his life when he did cooperate with the nazi's, staring Max von Sydow, is very fine too (

message 13: by Paul (new) - rated it 3 stars

Paul Bryant brilliant review, going in my list of all timers. Yes, there is such a list.

Not that I understood too much of it, but that often doesn't matter.

message 14: by Tuck (new)

Tuck penguin classics is the one to get?

message 15: by tim (new)

tim If Hell is made up of rings it is because it's circular.


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