Originally I read this book for a school project back in february, but it was a book I`d been wanting to read for a long time. I`ve read another one of his books before (Victoria, which I really enjoyed), and my cousin really recommended this book. So I thought, why not?
The book is originally norwegian, and was published in 1890. The original title is “Sult”. So, one of the barriers getting through this book was the language. I am norwegian, but it was written in an old kind of way.
The book is about a man who lives in late 19th century Kristiania (Norways capital, now Oslo). The novel recounts the adventures of a starving young man whose sense of reality is giving way to a delusionary existence on the darker side of a modern metropolis. While he vainly tries to maintain an outer shell of respectability, his mental and physical decay are recounted in detail. His ordeal, enhanced by his inability or unwillingness to pursue a professional career, which he deems unfit for someone of his abilities, is pictured in a series of encounters which Hamsun himself described as ‘a series of analyses.’
This man hungers, not only for food, but for love, for God and for close relationships. It was a book that really made me think, but it helped a lot reading an analysis of it afterwards. 😛 It`s exciting in its own kind of way, it kept me reading, and it was so intense! All the emotions he was expiriencing, the sudden changes and the hunger.
Looking back, I`m really glad I read this book. The novel has been hailed as the literary opening of the 20th century and an outstanding example of modern, psychology-driven literature. It surely is a classic (especially in Norway), and it was really interesting.
– A life through books