The great Norwegian novelist Dag Solstad…tells the story in deceptively simple sentences that repeat themselves in a fugal fashion, gathering new and ever sadder aspects of meaning as they recur. Hansen, wading through the disappointing wash of his life—he’s having the worst midlife crisis imaginable—eventually cooks up a scheme of revenge that’s so sad and absurd it’s almost slapstick. The book’s generic title implies that tiny tragedies like Hansen’s are happening everywhere, all the time, as a simple cost of being alive.

Vinson Cunningham, The New Yorker

A brilliant novel by the Norwegian master Dag Solstad

Included in the New Classics Club Sampler bundle Get the bundle

Novel 11, Book 18

Fictionby Dag Solstad

Translated from Norwegian by Sverre Lyngstad

Bjørn Hansen, a respectable town treasurer, has just turned fifty and is horrified by the thought that chance has ruled his life. Eighteen years ago he left his wife and their two-year-old son for his mistress, who persuaded him to start afresh in a small, provincial town and to devote himself to an amateur theater. In time that relationship also faded, and after four years of living alone Bjørn contemplates an extraordinary course of action that will change his life forever.

He finds a fellow conspirator in Dr. Schiøtz, who has a secret of his own and offers to help Bjørn carry his preposterous plan through to its logical conclusion. But the sudden reappearance of his son both fills Bjørn with new hope and complicates matters. The desire to gamble with his comfortable existence proves irresistible, however, taking him to Vilnius in Lithuania, where very soon he cannot tell whether he’s tangled up in a game or reality.

Dag Solstad won the Norwegian Critics Prize for Literature for Novel 11, Book 18, a concentrated uncompromising existential novel that puts on full display the author’s remarkable gifts and wit.

Paperback(published Jun, 01 2021)

ISBN
9780811228268
Price US
16.95
Trim Size
5x8
Page Count
224

Ebook

ISBN
9780811228299
Portrait of Dag Solstad

Dag Solstad

Norwegian writer

The great Norwegian novelist Dag Solstad…tells the story in deceptively simple sentences that repeat themselves in a fugal fashion, gathering new and ever sadder aspects of meaning as they recur. Hansen, wading through the disappointing wash of his life—he’s having the worst midlife crisis imaginable—eventually cooks up a scheme of revenge that’s so sad and absurd it’s almost slapstick. The book’s generic title implies that tiny tragedies like Hansen’s are happening everywhere, all the time, as a simple cost of being alive.

Vinson Cunningham, The New Yorker

Novel 11, Book 18 is not the mercilessly bleak book its protagonist wants, but it is a bitter pill to swallow. Fortunately, the bitterness is helped down with a dose of Dag Solstad’s droll, self-mocking humor.

Dan Shurley, Los Angeles Review of Books

Dag Solstad, the strangest and most stupendous writer of Norway, has, over the last few decades, built up a small, discerning readership in English. And it’s looking for new members. This could be you… [H]is novels are mind-bogglingly brilliant.

Jan Wilm, Music & Literature

A bourgeois man scavenges for meaning in the sly and emotionally rich latest from Solstad.

Publishers Weekly

There is much comedy and real subtlety, both intellectual and human, in Solstad’s droll originality.

James Wood, The New Yorker

Norway’s bravest, most intelligent novelist.

Per Petterson

Solstad’s language sparkles with its new old-fashioned elegance, and radiates a unique luster, inimitable and full of elan.

Karl Ove Knausgaard

With sublime restraint and subtle modulation, Solstad conveys an entire age of sorrow and loss.

Publishers Weekly