Typically, I am hesitant to recommend six-volume, two-thousand-plus-page autobiographical novels by Norwegian ex-pats. But there's something about Karl Ove Knausgaard's My Struggle that's hard to resist. The guy has the weird ability to make even the most quotidian of activities absolutely fascinating- buying a sandwich is given the kind of dramatic intensity usually saved for epic battles. It's addictive, strangely adorable stuff. Unfortunately, it's also incomplete, at least in English: the final three volumes of Knausgaard's work have yet to be translated into a language I can read. Which means I'm facing down a "struggle" of my own: do I race through volumes 2 and 3, and then wait around for years for volumes 4, 5, and 6? Or do I pace myself, taking on a volume each year or so, re-reading what I can, slowly soaking in every aspect of My Struggle that's available to me? It's an impossible and absurd place to be but such is the power of Knausgaard.
A New York Times bestseller, My Struggle: Book One introduces American readers to the audacious, addictive, and profoundly surprising international literary sensation that is the provocative and brilliant six-volume autobiographical novel by Karl Ove Knausgaard. It has already been anointed a Proustian masterpiece and is the rare work of dazzling literary originality that is intensely, irresistibly readable. Unafraid of the big issues'death, love, art, fear and yet committed to the intimate details of life as it is lived, My Struggle is an essential work of contemporary literature.