Hunger (Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reading) [NOOK Book]

Overview


The story of a starving writer in Norway, Hunger is a pivotal masterpiece of European modernism. The protagonist is anonymous and the plot is meager. What holds the text together is the focus on the protagonist's emotions. These emotions are reveled to the reader by the minute descriptions of the inner landscape of the mind, interspersed with the unnamed writer's random encounters with strangers and acquaintances in the streets, or short meetings with various editors.
...
See more details below
Hunger (Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reading)

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$3.49
BN.com price
(Save 12%)$3.99 List Price
Marketplace
BN.com

All Available Formats & Editions

Overview


The story of a starving writer in Norway, Hunger is a pivotal masterpiece of European modernism. The protagonist is anonymous and the plot is meager. What holds the text together is the focus on the protagonist's emotions. These emotions are reveled to the reader by the minute descriptions of the inner landscape of the mind, interspersed with the unnamed writer's random encounters with strangers and acquaintances in the streets, or short meetings with various editors.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

Meet the Author


Knut Hamsun (1859-1952) is both revered as one of the pioneers of modernist writing-of which Hunger is a perfect example-and vilified as an enthusiastic and unwavering supporter of the Nazi occupation of Norway during 1940-45. While the debate about his political convictions has raged unabated since his 1946 trial, intensifying after the release of Jan Troell's 1996 movie Hamsun, the consensus about his literary genius has never been shaken.

Read More Show Less

Introduction

Hunger (1890) by the Norwegian novelist and Nobel laureate Knut Hamsun is one of the early yet pivotal masterpieces of European modernism. This predecessor to the twentieth century's stream-of-consciousness writing epitomized by the work of writers such as James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, and Samuel Beckett is as captivating to the twenty-first-century reader as it was notorious to Scandinavian audiences of the 1890s. Hunger is a book in four parts-Hamsun insisted that he had not written a novel-that describes the struggles of an aspiring, and starving, writer in Christiania (now Oslo). Although the protagonist is anonymous and the plot is meager, what really holds the text together is the focus on the protagonist's mind, moods, impulses, and emotions. The minimal plot is offset by the minute descriptions of the inner landscape of the mind, interspersed with the unnamed writer's random encounters with strangers and acquaintances in the streets, or short meetings with various editors.

Knut Hamsun (1859-1952) is both revered as one of the pioneers of modernist writing-of which Hunger is a perfect example-and vilified as an enthusiastic and unwavering supporter of the Nazi occupation of Norway during 1940-45. While the debate about his political convictions has raged unabated since his 1946 trial, intensifying after the release of Jan Troell's 1996 movie Hamsun, the consensus about his literary genius has never been shaken.

This self-taught writer, who spent his teens and twenties in a variety of places in Norway and tried his hand at a range of trades and professions, never doubted his talent and showed early literary ambitions. He was born as Knut Pedersen in 1859 in Lom in the Gubrandsdal valley of central Norway. In 1862, his family moved to the north of Norway, to a farm called Hamsund near Hamarøy in Nordland. At the age of nine Hamsun was sent to work on a nearby uncle's farm. His uncle was a strict disciplinarian and a devoutly religious man who influenced Hamsun profoundly. The dramatic northern landscape and its quality of light likewise made a life-long impression on him, and many of his later novels are set in that distinct landscape. He subsequently worked as a cobbler's apprentice, a peddler, and a road worker. His breakthrough work, Hunger, came late, when he was almost thirty, after much poverty, many disappointments, with several minor texts published, and after two visits to the United States.

Hamsun's two stays in the United States (1882-84 and 1886-88) left him disappointed over the promised land of Amerika, the destination of millions of European emigrants, not least of whom were Scandinavians. While some of his experiences were conducive to his personal and artistic growth-certainly his position with the Unitarian priest and writer Kristofer Janson in Minneapolis where he could avail himself of Janson's library; or the opportunity to lecture in Minneapolis on contemporary literature-he formed opinions of the United States that would be reflected in his work for years. Although tinted with ambivalence and uncertainty, his basic experience and perception of America were of pervasive immorality and hypocrisy, greed, bluff, and deceit. While he appreciated Mark Twain, Walt Whitman, and, in a slightly different category, the dynamic if hyperbolic writing of American journalism, Hamsun was highly critical of the American arts. He returned to Copenhagen, the artistic capital of Scandinavia, in 1888, as poor as he had left it. He began writing feverishly and produced a number of articles and a book on the United States (The Cultural Life of Modern America), gave lectures, and finished Hunger, although not until June 1890. It was his 1886 article on Mark Twain that provided the pen name 'Hamsun.' Although he signed the article 'Hamsund,' it was misspelled by a printer, and he decided to keep it as Hamsun for the rest of his life.

In the November 1888 issue of the radical and trendy Copenhagen literary journal Ny Jord (New Soil), Hamsun published anonymously what is essentially part two of Hunger. An instant sensation because of its style, drive, and content-or lack of traditional content-it had that hard-to-define yet unmistakable quality of something extraordinary and completely new. This sensational literary debut happened just as Hamsun had imagined it. He had worked hard for many years, determined to publish a work of art that was uniquely his. He had desired artistic fame but on his own terms rather than imitating his contemporary legends Henrik Ibsen and Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson. It was not until June 1890 that the entire book as we know it was published, to a notorious reception among readers, a positive reception among fellow writers, and largely, if not completely, positive critical reviews.

Hunger's first-person narrator both acts on his impulses and tracks them in detail for the reader, revealing a keen sense of observation as well as a critical and at times ironic reflection on the contradiction between his shabby existence and his megalomaniac artistic goals, which include writing an article on Correggio and a play set in the Middle Ages. However, the narrator's grotesque and humiliating poverty is not the subject of sociological criticism but rather a willed state of frenzy; a game that pushes the limits of his body and mind; a vehicle leading into a creative state undisturbed by the mundane, everyday chores of a job. Except for some details of nineteenth-century urban life-like rather typical newspaper advertisements, horse carriages, pawnshops, and so forth-the events of the novel are independent of the times. It is this absence of any lengthy description of the external world that enables the twenty-first century reader to identify with the reality of the inner experience. The protagonist, the would-be writer, is constantly reminded of his own hunger, in fact of his lack of everything but talent and will. His hunger for food, for love, and for recognition, are offset by his drive to write, and the text hops over the short periods when he has enough money to feed himself.

Early in his career Hamsun criticized literature as a discussion of social or political topics; this critique is already articulated in his 1887 lectures in Minneapolis' Dana Hall where he discussed modern writers such as the Frenchmen Honore de Balzac, Gustave Flaubert, and Emile Zola, and the Swede August Strindberg, in addition to the Norwegian writers of the day. This criticism is repeated during his notorious 1891 lecture tour of Norway's southwestern coast where he mercilessly dispatched the four grand Norwegian writers: Bjørnson, Kielland, Lie, and Ibsen. Hamsun, in these lectures, suggested that literature needs to address the complexity, and ultimately the mystery, of the human mind and human behavior. With Hunger, and with his essay "From the Unconscious Life of the Mind" (1890), which was a kind of literary manifesto, he staked out the ground for a new kind of literature: a literature of the inner mind with modern protagonists who are complex, contradictory, and ultimately impenetrable.

The main protagonist of Hunger is precisely such a modern man. We do not really know much about him, his family, or his education. On the first page of the book he wakes up in a nondescript lodging and registers the ads from the newspaper that is used to insulate the thin walls. On the last page of the book, while newly employed on a ship leaving Christiania, he promises he will be back. Within these external boundaries we witness a segment of his life. He describes the nuances of his starvation while busily writing an article or a treatise; he idles away time in the streets, cemeteries, and parks of the city, meeting long-forgotten acquaintances and odd passers-by. Woven in is a love story: he feels attracted to a mysterious woman whom he calls Ylajali. He manages to meet her, and for a short while she returns his feelings. When he discovers that what for him is a dangerous reality is for her a quasi-bohemian amusement, the brief relationship abruptly ends. However, he continues to challenge his existence and to believe in his artistic mission. Even when in prison, creativity magically and unexplainably affirms itself: in the deepest darkness, a word without meaning appears to him-Kuboa-but it is a word nevertheless, which he interprets as a sign of his creativity.

Several of Hamsun's later heroes resemble the anonymous protagonist from Hunger. Hamsun's exploration of the odd outsider continues in his next novel, Mysteries (1892), by inventing Nagel, the main protagonist, who unexpectedly appears in a small Norwegian coastal town dressed in a bright yellow suit. Nagel is just as lonely as the protagonist of Hunger, and controversial within the local community. Hamsun's twentieth-century novels, which are written in a more broadly epic style, also contain rootless and restless modern protagonists; even his most idyllic novel, The Growth of the Soil (1917), has room for Geissler, a modern, unreliable, slightly alcoholic, and creative individual. Abel, from Hamsun's 1936 novel The Ring is Closed, is an even closer parallel to the protagonist of Hunger: Abel ends up shedding all of his material possessions to live alone in a hut, like an animal. The crucial difference between the two protagonists from the beginning and the end of Hamsun's career, between the anti-hero of Hunger and Abel, is that Abel nurses no creative agenda, which can be read as a sign of Hamsun's increasing disillusionment, old age, or the combination of the two. If there are traits in Hunger that could be tied into Hamsun's later reactionary politics, they would be the extreme individualism of the protagonist; the aesthete's repulsion at seeing lame, old, or fat individuals; and the aristocratic will to artistic success, a will to prevail.

As unique a writer as Hamsun was, he was also the product of his time. Hunger is a perfect expression of a shift toward the exploration of the internal mind, both as an exciting new arena investigated vigorously by the hard sciences and as a reaction to the sense of loss of the stable, coherent, and comforting world of the mid-nineteenth century. Hamsun compared his literary debut, and rightly so, to the insights and writings of a Russian writer whom he admired all his life, Fyodor Dostoyevsky. While Hamsun was no reader of philosophy, Friedrich Nietzsche's reflections on the aristocratic individual and his will conflated with Hamsun's own understanding of his immense and surprising talent, with his world view, and his disinterestedness in the masses. Closer to home, Hamsun greatly admired August Strindberg and felt an affinity for his modern approach to art as explained most clearly in Strindberg's preface to his 1888 play Miss Julie.

But the reverse is also true: while Hamsun describes the universal experience of urban rootlessness and modern angst, he produced a unique work of art based on his own experiences, drawing on his own suffering and starvation, his own endurance and creative drive during the winters of 1880-81 and 1885-86 in Christiania. If we need to use a genre label for Hunger it would be a mixture of autobiography and novel.

In spite of all the commotion around Hunger in 1890, it was not selling that well and a German translation (1891) gave Hamsun financial hope as well as wider European exposure. Even before the publication of Hunger in book form, it was reviewed and then serialized in German in the influential new journal Freie Bühne. After Hamsun met Alfred Langen in Paris in 1893, his publishing house Langen Verlag became and remained Hamsun's German representative. During the 1890s, Hamsun wrote at a tremendous pace and published novels, short stories, and plays, of which especially Pan (1894) and Victoria (1898) became popular and critical successes. But the turn of the century is marked by his restlessness. His first marriage to Bergljot Geopfert failed (1898-1905), and while his second, to the actress Marie Andersen in 1909, lasted the rest of his life, it was marked, increasingly and mutually so, by jealousy, bitterness, and separations.

After 1900, Hamsun continued writing and publishing although he changed his poetics from intense lyricism to a more paced, epic realism. His 1917 novel Growth of the Soil, about settling northern Norway and describing the pleasures and patience of hard work on the land, brought him the Nobel Prize in 1920. This novel was followed by the much harsher yet captivating The Women at the Pump (1920), which focused on the castrated Oliver Anderson's illusions and hard reality. After being one of the first Norwegians to undergo psychoanalysis in the 1920s, Hamsun published his so-called "August trilogy" on the adventurous, restless, scheming, yet entrepreneurial and likeable August and his idealistic and trusting friend Edevart (Wayfarers, 1927; August, 1930; The Road Leads On, 1933). He concluded his interwar novels with the pessimistic and baffling The Ring is Closed about the sailor Abel, a modern Everyman, who cannot and does not really want to find a home anywhere in the world. These works all reinforced his reputation as one of the leading European writers of the time.

Complex and varied, Hamsun's novels are most often set during the period of early industrialization in Norway, beginning around the 1850s, a time of intense and rapid social change from family-based farms and the simple life of fishermen to the first factories, timber mills, urban towns, and banks. Although Hamsun availed himself of contemporary inventions-he was one of the first people in Norway to have a six-seat Buick-he did not cheer modern developments and achievements, be they in science or education, material gains, or travel. On the contrary, he saw them as distractions, robbing individuals of a simple and contented life. There was nothing sadder for Hamsun than an educated woman-and in his fiction he usually portrayed her as childless-or a former peasant turned factory wage-earner, rootless yet arrogant toward his superiors. Except during his radical youth, Hamsun always displayed conservative if not reactionary tendencies: in Norway it was the early rural local lord rather than the emerging middle-class that had his trust; in the United States it was the Southern white elite rather than East Coast intellectuals; in the Old World it was the fatalistic Orient rather than the enlightened France that captured his imagination. Hamsun shared with many of his contemporaries views on the inferiority of non-Europeans, and he was terrified of the radical ideas put forth by the 1917 Bolshevik revolution in Russia and feared their influence on Norwegian society. His fellow Norwegians Fritjof Nansen and Vidkun Quisling undertook humanitarian missions in the Soviet Union in the 1920s and testified to the suffering and starvation of the people following their civil war. To a certain degree, Hamsun's endorsement of the Nazis' seizure of power was predicated on his fear of communism. That being said, Hamsun supported Norway's inclusion in the Third Reich to the bitter end not out of political naiveté, but out of conviction. From writing articles in support of the good work by German submarines to seeing his sons serving the German occupiers; from presenting his Nobel Prize medal as a gift to Goebbels, the Third Reich's propaganda minister, to writing a deeply felt eulogy for Hitler in May 1945, Hamsun never wavered in his support for the Nazis. After the war he was deeply resented by the majority of Norwegians, especially those who had been imprisoned or who had lost loved ones. He was arrested soon after the war ended, interrogated, mentally evaluated, and tried; although he was not sentenced to any additional jail time, he was fined a large percentage of his personal wealth. His wife and his son Arild, however, were imprisoned for their activities in support of the Nazis. In 1949, Hamsun published his autobiographical novel On Overgrown Paths, which was in part reminiscences of events long past and in part a defense treatise.

Hamsun lived his final years at Nørholm, his estate on the southern coast of Norway. His wife Marie, whom he exiled from his life for her alleged betrayal during his postwar mental evaluation, was eventually allowed to join him, and she cared for him until his death in 1952.

Despite his political collaboration with the Nazis, Hamsun belongs to the European canon and deserves to be better known for his literary contributions than he is today. Major European writers of various persuasions, including Thomas Mann, Herman Hesse, and Robert Musil, as well as Maxim Gorky, Boris Pasternak, and even Andre Gide, have praised Hamsun's creative magic. In his home country of Norway, every aspiring writer has had to struggle with Hamsun's legacy, and many have acknowledged his influence, among them the well-known contemporary writers Dag Solstad and Lars Saaby Christensen. In the United States writers such as Ernest Hemingway, Henry Miller, Robert Bly, and Paul Auster have acknowledged his attraction and power with words. Even today, Hamsun's novel Hunger remains fresh and provocative, and it is an ideal book to begin to acquaint oneself with the work of this formidable writer.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 38 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(19)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(5)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 39 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 11, 2010

    Very creative

    I would never think that a book about hunger could be this interesting. There are times that we are hungry but this time is almost never extended to days. The author describes hunger in a way that reading the book and not being able to share his feelings is almost impossible. The book does not only describes hunger but also talks about social interactions and self image, how human beings strive for achievement at all times. One of the most important thing about this book is, hunger can also stimulate our sense of creativity somehow. Things that we are able think and do when we are hungry changes. It affects human behavior in a way that nothing else can. Experiencing love, success, respect, disrespect and all possible emotions that we go trough on a given day, is explained when hunger exists. It take us to a point where there is no possible return point. We don't even think about eating but creating (writing in author's case) when we are determined to do it. I would recommend the book to anyone who would like to experience hunger from a different perspective

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2006

    Deep and dark trip to the recesses of the mind

    Knut Hamson takes the reader down a path of desolation, suffering, delirium, and a jumble of confused thoughts. The hero in the book (whom Hamson never names) is a struggling writer who is constantly working on his first major breakthrough to get into the door of the literary world. While struggling to find his masterpiece he writes for the local newspaper for five or ten Krone (Norwegian currency) per article. Sometimes it¿s published, other times it¿s rejected by the editor. He goes one day to the next hoping to hear from the newspaper that his article was accepted. Meanwhile he slowly but surely looses his apartment, and goes hungry, aimlessly walking the streets of Christiania (Oslo) doing everything his demented mind tells him to do. Most of it doesn't make sense to the reader. He stalks strange woman on the street, he pawns his only coat to give a beggar money for food (while he himself is starving), and he takes a cab throughout the city lying to the driver telling him he needs to find a certain person very urgently (he makes up a name). But the interesting part is, during all his delusionary acts, he clearly knows what he's doing, but is powerless to defy the voices in his head. Through all the depravity he experiences, the reader never at any point feels bad for the character, for it is evident that at any moment he could escape his miseries, and find a job. It also becomes abundantly clear to the reader that he is exceedingly smart, and can hold an intelligent conversation with the best of them. Why then we might ask is his starving on the streets of Oslo? There is a very surprising ending, one that I must admit left me unsatisfied, but maybe I'm missing something that Hamson was trying to relate. Read it, and decide for yourself.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2002

    The from the publisher notes must be about some other book!

    The from the publisher notes state 'Set in Norway and Iceland at the beginning of the eleventh century, this is the story of the beautiful, spoiled Vigdis Gunnarsdatter, who is casually raped by the man she had wanted to love. A woman of courage and intelligence, Vigdis is toughened by adversity. Alone she raises the child conceived in violence, repeatedly defending her autonomy in a world governed by men. Alone she rebuilds her life and restores her family's honor, until an unrelenting social code propels her to take the action that again destroys her happiness. More than a historical romance, Gunnar's Daughter depicts characters driven by passion and vengefulness, themes as familiar in Undset's own time - and in ours - as they were in the Saga Age.' What? Huh? I don't think the publisher read it! It is a great novel though....

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2002

    Changed My Life!

    I'd never heard of Hamsun until I saw a recent Norwegian movie about his life (of the same name) with Max von Sydow, which was a superb, albeit little known, film released in 1996. As a consequnce, I was intrigued about the real Hamsun and decided to read 'Hunger.' I could go on for pages about what a wonderfully powerful novel this is, but suffice it to say that you will know yourself better by the time you reach the conclusion. 'Hunger' is not just about food, it's emblematic of all the hungers we feel: hunger for knowledge, connection, love, sex, money, comfort, etc. If you're open to the possibilities, this story may just change your life too!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2014

    Rowan

    Imman oc. District 12.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2014

    Alaura

    District 7.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2014

    Peeta

    Im peeta

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2014

    Bella

    Here?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 31, 2014

    A very powerful book about the struggles of a very poor writer w

    A very powerful book about the struggles of a very poor writer who finds it beneath him to ask for help / pity from people when his resources end. A strong insight into human nature, pride and a sort of vanity.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2013

    Mmax

    Whioah

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 20, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Hunger is an extremely compelling novel, and powerful psychologi

    Hunger is an extremely compelling novel, and powerful psychological portrait. Our unnamed protagonist is a freelance writer living in Oslo (Christiana). When we first meet him he is in dire straits; penniless, late on the rent, and nearly out of possessions to pawn. Things will only get worse for him. We follow him as his situation degrades even further; forced to leave his apartment and pawn articles of clothing, he literally begins to starve. All the while his behavior becomes more and more erratic. He picks fights with strangers, revels in outrageous lies, battles himself over his sense of honor, and rages against god and society. What makes Hunger such a profound novel is the realization that our protagonist is doing all this to himself. For unknown, and unknowable reasons he is putting himself through the crucible. He dreams of the great (and valuable) articles he will write, and yet he will not allow himself to write them. He moans about his poor luck, but when on the few occasions luck drops some money is his hands he finds some reason to give it away. We don't know why he does this to himself, and neither does he. What we do know is that if he doesn't figure it out soon he'll die.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2013

    &9811

    &hearts

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 17, 2012

    I read this because one of my favorite authors and many great au

    I read this because one of my favorite authors and many great authors loved Hamson's work. I have read half of it and find it boring. Its nice to see where all the authors I love got influenced but sometimes great books really are not that great.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 2, 2009

    stark and frightening

    I had been meaning to read this novel for a long time. The protagonist's descent into starvation-induced madness is engrossing. Hamsun has given the reader a view into the inner workings of a man's mind unlike any before him and few after. This work reminds me of The Sound and the Fury, only Hamsun has combined Benjy, Quentin, and Jason Compson into one character. Disturbing and beautiful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2005

    Powerful

    Hamsun's Hunger is, by far, the most disturbing novel I have ever read. Shocking and prophetic.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2000

    Absolutely stunning

    A powerful story about an ambitious young man whose literary idealism condemns him to near-starvation on the cold streets of Oslo. One of the greatest books I have ever read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 1999

    lost in the words

    unlike books by my other favorite authors (percy, o'connor, and couplnad to name some) this did not leave me thinking for days afterwards....nonetheless i loved it...the prose is among the most beatiful i have ever read...

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 39 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)