Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle Book 1 has been out now for several years but there are no doubt people late to the game like I am. Book four just came out which is how I became aware of the collection. I heard a review of it on NPR one morning and was immediately intrigued. I took it with me to a conference in Las Vegas and was done with it in record time. There is a strange quality to Knausgaard’s writing that is profoundly truthful and self-deprecating.
Early in the book he visits his adolescence in Norway. Stories of chasing girls and booze nearly perfectly paralleled my own teen years in the states.
Interspersed are some tidbits about what it all means. Then he lowers the hammer. It is present day and a family tragedy has happened and he and his brother must deal with all the baggage of a broken family.
Again the parallels to my own life are there. I have had similar life experiences. Several times I had tears in my eyes as I watched Knausgaard cut open his guts on the page and hold them up to the mirror. When he does so, I see my own anxieties and problems reflected along with his. I will read the second book.