Thursday, 2 February 2012

four.

We, the Drowned by Carsten Jensen (2006)

 Marstal, a small town on a Danish island, has always sent its men to the sea. Some came back, some lay on the bottom of the sea. In 1848 when Denmark was on the brink of war with Germany. Many of the men from Marstal entered the war and some didn't come back again. Laurids became a legend in the town after he was shot in the air when a cannonball hit the ship and he survived and claimed that he went to heaven just to see St. Peter's behind.  When he came back he wasn't the same and the next time he sailed out, he never came back again.

Most of the book focuses on Laurids' son, Albert, who goes searching after his father, a journey that takes him around the Pacific ocean. But the story doesn't end there, it ends in 1945, two generations later.

This is the best book I have read in a long time, and among one of the best ever! I devoured each syllable of it, and all the amazing stories about the sailors, their wives or widows and children were magnificent. It is funny, sad and shocking at the same time. There are plenty of characters but it is easy to keep score of them.

I want to reread it, but then read it in English because I'm curious how some of the stereotypes translate into another language and culture. I was laughing out loud when reading a joke about some sailor's clothes looking like a Sami wedding, but I don't think anyone outside Scandinavia would get that joke. So I'm curious if such minor things are either left out in the translation or turned into something else.

Read it! And do not be frightened by the 688 pages because this is really one hell of a book!

3 comments:

  1. Nå fikk jeg lyst til å begynne på denne umiddelbart. Jeg tror jeg trenger en plan for lesingen fremover. Først skal jeg bli ferdig med England, England, men jeg klarer ikke å bestemme meg for om jeg vil begynne på Vi, De Druknede eller Mesteren og Margarita etter den. Uansett blir begge de to lest, før jeg leser videre på Dickens og begynner på Brødrene Karamazov. Du skal få listen jeg lovet deg, men det kan ta opptil en måned. Du får gi beskjed om hvor langt du har kommet da =)

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    1. Du kan jo vel begynne på begge bøkene samtidig? Vi skal se en film basert på Oliver Twist neste uke, så jeg skal lese boka først sånn at læreren vet mer enn elevene (alltid smart men ikke akkurat like enkelt). Det blir tredje Dickens på litt over to måneder!

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  2. To tykke bøker samtidig er aldri lurt. Men det er ikke umulig at jeg velger å ikke være lur. Man kan ikke alltid være fornuftig.

    Jeg er spent på hva du syns om Oliver Twist. Jeg leste den i tenårene og likte den godt, men aner ikke hva jeg vil synes nå. Leser den nok om igjen, men prioriterer andre Dickens-bøker for øyeblikket. Jeg har lest tre Dickens på tre måneder, så da er du litt flinkere enn meg. Men bare litt ;) Kos deg med Oliver og gjengen... =)

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