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My Struggle, Book 4: Dancing in the Dark (My Struggle, 4)


A beautiful, funny, vital novel of teenage years and teenage mistakes from the international phenomenon, Karl Ove Knausgaard.

Fresh out of high school, Karl Ove moves to a remote fishing village to work as a teacher. He has no interest in the job itself - or in any other job for that matter, his sole aim is to save money and start writing. 

All goes well to begin with but as the nights grow longer, his life takes a darker turn. Drinking causes him blackouts, his repeated attempts at losing his virginity end in humiliation, and to his own great distress he develops romantic feelings towards one of his 13-year-old students. And all the while the shadow of his father looms large.

'Beautifully human... Being drawn into Knausgaard's world is an ineluctable pleasure'
The Times

"Why would you read a six-volume, 3,600 page Norwegian novel about a man writing a six-volume, 3,600 page novel? The short answer is that it is breathtakingly good and so you cannot stop yourself, and would not want to" (New York Times Book Review) 

"It's unbelievable...I need the next volume like crack. It's completely blown my mind" (Zadie Smith) 

"Perhaps the most significant literary enterprise of our times" (Rachel Cusk, Guardian) 

"Knausgaard perfectly captures the heady mixture of elation and confusion to be found in late adolescence... My Struggle remains addictive, intensely funny and intensely serious. Like the young man here portrayed, it is "full to the brim with energy and life"" (Times Literary Supplement) 

"At the end of this bittersweet stint in the far north, translated again with both dynamism and delicacy by Don Bartlett, the last track invoked happens to be that talisman of the late John Peel: “Teenage Kicks” by The Undertones. For all its manic overdub of detail, Dancing in the Dark delivers a knockout kick" (Boyd Tonkin, Independent) 

"[Much] more fun than Proust... beautifully human… Being drawn into his world is an ineluctable pleasure and makes almost every other contemporary writer seem pathetically showy by example" (The Times) 

"The narrator may be intellectually earnest, an aesthete who mediates on the sublime, but he is also a hapless fool, prone to Chaplinesque pratfalls. In exposing himself as a bundle of contradictions, Knausgaard allows us to see works wonderfully well" (Blake Morrison, Guardian) 


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