What Makes Knausgaard’s My Struggle Compulsively Readable?


“There was something extraordinary about the experience of reading My Struggle. I was absorbed. Transfixed. I identified. I suffered. I struggled alongside Karl Ove. But why did I find this particular novel so mesmerizing? The story of Karl Ove Knausgaard’s life is hardly full of unusual events. The teenage Karl Ove drinks too much. He has trouble becoming a writer, let alone a good writer. He hides his feelings, tastes and opinions. His shyness thwarts his early attempts to connect with women. Over the years he marries and divorces, then marries again and has three children. When he is thirty, his estranged father dies. He looks at paintings. He writes. He wonders what writing is, and why he is the way he is. The ordinariness of his daily existence is breathtaking.”

— Toril Moi, The Point Magazine

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