Currently Reading: Hunger, Knut Hamsun

Hunger – Knut Hamsun (1890) 

My next book was written more than a century before The Road but coincidentally shares some similar themes with it; hunger and isolation.

My cousin bought me Hunger many years ago for a birthday or Christmas present and it’s sat on my shelf untouched since. I always feel guilty when I see how many books I own that I’ve never even attempted to read and yet I keep buying more so I’ve decided I’m not to buy any more until I’ve read my existing collection.

I started reading Hunger today and am already about a quarter of the way through it (thanks to jury duty summons). So far I really enjoy it. It’s set in Christiania (now Oslo), Norway in the late 19th century and told through the eyes of a young writer as he tries to scrap together some money by writing articles for newspapers or pawning his clothes in order to feed and shelter himself. I like the writing style – it feels very modern. I’ve also found myself relating to a couple of aspects in the novel – the protagonist’s hopefulness after he applies for a job, his utter deflation and anger as he gets rejected from jobs, writing something and thinking it’s amazing and later on second- guessing himself about whether it was even good or not. These points really hit close to home.

I look forward to reading more of this novel and experiencing the protagonist’s descent into madness as he attempts to keep himself alive.

Goal: Finish reading Hunger by the 15th of December, 2014


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