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My Struggle, Book 3

Narrated by: Edoardo Ballerini
Series: My Struggle, Book 3
Length: 14 hrs and 57 mins
Categories: Fiction, Contemporary
4.5 out of 5 stars (203 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A family of four - mother, father, and two boys - move to the south coast of Norway, to a new house on a newly developed site. It is the early 1970s and the family's trajectory is upwardly mobile: The future seems limitless.

In painstaking, sometimes self-lacerating detail, Karl Ove Knausgaard paints a world familiar to anyone who can recall the intensity and novelty of childhood experience, one in which children and adults lead parallel lives that never meet. Perhaps the most Proustian in the series, My Struggle: Book 3 gives us Knausgaard's vivid, technicolor recollections of childhood, his emerging self-understanding, and the multilayered nature of time's passing, memory, and existence.

©2014 Karl Ove Knausgaard (P)2015 Recorded Books

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  • Darwin8u
  • Mesa, AZ, United States
  • 12-09-15

Standing in the Twilight with Time

"Time never goes as fast as in your childhood; an hour is never as short as it was then. Everything is open, you fun here, you run there, do one thing, then another, and suddenly the sun has gone down and you find yourself standing in the twilight with time like a barrier that has suddenly gone down in front of you:"
-- Karl Ove Knausgård, My Struggle: Book Three: Boyhood Island

descriptionThere is something mundane and otherworldly about Knausgård's third book. It exists on the island of Tromøy, a large island (relatively) on the South Eastern tip of Norway. His hard-ass father teaches and his distracted mother works in a sanitarium. He is surrounded by friends, family, an older brother, and anxiety and curiosity. In many ways it is an honest look at middle childhood, those awkward years that start just before puberty and end a couple years after puberty. The magic of Knausgård's quasi-fictional memoir is his brutal openness. He isn't afraid to write down his most awkward sexual experiences as a boy or young man. He spends a lot of time discussing his weaknesses and his idiosyncrasies, but while Knausgård himself might be the primary character and narrator, he is haunted by the shadow of his father. You can see how the fear and anxiety created by his father impacts both Karl Ove and his brother. His father is both a storm that blows his boys, or a maelström that constantly threatens to suck them in. I think this characterization fits, because so many times, as the boys sat in the house alone waiting for their father to arrive the tension felt like a ship anticipating a storm; darkness would defend and a hard madness would hit and then, just as fast, disappear. The prose was beautiful, and in parts, seemed heavy enough to bleed the heavy, dark prose straight through the thick pages of the archipelago book.

16 of 20 people found this review helpful

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Astonishing

Have read (and/or listened) to all four available now. This was the best so far.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Stunning !

Book three just blew all my expectations away ..
Stunning childhood recollection and with all we know from book 1and 2 makes it all so complete .. Every breath, every step and thought .. Poetry in motion !
Amazing "struggle"

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Waiting for books 5&6!

Excellent in every way. This was maybe the best one so far. But the elliptical nature of the narrative makes it hard and unnecessary to judge.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A prequel to Book 1

How Knausgärd can remember details like this from his early life — even after he humbly claims he can remember hardly nothing — either is amazing OR he’s applying maximalist fiction techniques (and fidelity) to actual memories. Either way, I grimaced throughout as Karl Ove does perfectly normal, even rational, things and has reasoned (or natural) reactions to situations — but we already know they will not work in this family, or in this society, or with these other children. No different than any other growing up in that regard, but here we get to do it alongside the author and honestly, inside his head.

I will say this book might be a tough listen for someone who grew up in a household where a parent’s narcissism and cruelty structured everything else about the family. But that’s why it serves so well as a flashback prequel to the first book, because we see the seeds of Karl Ove’s ambivalence toward his father’s death in his youth.

As usual Edoardo Ballerini *is* Karl Ove Knausgaard to me; his delivery and characterizations are perfect. For days later, I hear his sing-song style for such lists as I recount a string of tasks or errands to myself.

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An honest, touching childhood told beautifully

Knausgaard can tell how he tied his shoe laces, and it will be captivating. Fantastic.

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The early life of Karl Ove

This one should be his first book, but he has a great editor and decide this one will be his 3 book, because the 1 and the 2 book are the ones hook you in his series. In my opinion is a great writer, better than Gabriel Garcia Marquez that for me the only book I love from him is Love in the time of Cholera. I wish I found more writers like him in audibles.

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  • jp
  • 09-08-16

Adolescent plight at its finest

Adolescent plight at its finest. Fantastic just as the first two books in the series (thus far)!

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  • lebelette
  • 06-16-15

heavy reading

This book is the most depressing of them all so far because it focuses so much on the relationship with his father.

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  • holly bird
  • 06-13-15

Brilliant! I'm Addicted!

Would you consider the audio edition of My Struggle, Book 3 to be better than the print version?

I haven't read the print version, but the narrator is just perfect, so much so, that I think it can only be Karl Ove Knausgaard's voice!

What was one of the most memorable moments of My Struggle, Book 3?

Memorable moment! I'd rather not say, but it could be to do with the boys discussion on bowel movements! These books are just remarkable in their simple, honest and truthful storytelling, and yet they are addictively fascinating. The most memorable thing is the man and in this case the formative years of Knausgaard.

Have you listened to any of Edoardo Ballerini’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Yes, he has narrated all the other books in the series. he is excellent.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

both

Any additional comments?

I have downloaded Book four of My Struggle, cant wait to listen to it and the others to come.