Hunger
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Hunger

3.9 40
by Knut Hamsun
     
 

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A true classic of modern literature that has been described as "one of the most disturbing novels in existence" (Time Out), Hunger is the story of a Norwegian artist who wanders the streets, struggling on the edge of starvation. As hunger overtakes him, he slides inexorably into paranoia and despair. The descent into madness is recounted by the unnamed

Overview

A true classic of modern literature that has been described as "one of the most disturbing novels in existence" (Time Out), Hunger is the story of a Norwegian artist who wanders the streets, struggling on the edge of starvation. As hunger overtakes him, he slides inexorably into paranoia and despair. The descent into madness is recounted by the unnamed narrator in increasingly urgent and disjointed prose, as he loses his grip on reality.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Something new is happening here, some new thought about the nature of art is being proposed in Hunger. An art that is indistinguishable from the life of the artist who makes it . . . an art that is the direct expression of the effort to express itself.” —Paul Auster (from his introduction)

“The whole modern school of fiction in the twentieth century stems from Hamsun. They were all Hansun's disciples: Thomas Mann and Arthur Schnitzler . . . and even such American writers as Fitzgerald and Hemingway.” —Isaac Bashevis Singer

“After reading Hunger, one can easily understand why Hamsun was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. Hunger should appeal to any reader who is interested in a masterpiece by one of this century's great novelists.” —James Goldwasser, Detroit News

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780374531102
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
02/19/2008
Series:
FSG Classics Series
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
1,125,675
Product dimensions:
8.08(w) x 10.96(h) x 0.75(d)

Meet the Author

Knut Hamsun (1859-1952) was a Norwegian novelist, poet, and playwright. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1920.

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Hunger (Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reading) 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 40 reviews.
elitaES More than 1 year ago
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
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
cscow90 More than 1 year ago
This is a very good inner dialog book with interesting insights about suffering and social stigma. I would recommend this book for anyone seeking a plot-driven story. This is a psychological ride, and a very good one. As the title suggests, it is about hunger and the many facets connected with it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
District 7.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im peeta
AmandaCollier More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Whioah
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
CR-Buell More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BukowskiAR More than 1 year ago
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.
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