In Roy Jacobsen’s latest novel, The Unworthy, we follow a gang of boys and girls from an apartment building on the eastside of Oslo during the WWII German occupation. They live in poverty, but they manage by creatively swindling, stealing like magpies, falsifying documents and committing extensive burglaries. They don’t shy away from exploiting the Enemy, either. With this pack of children, a lauded writer has rendered a brutally frank and warm portrait of a time, a place and an everyday life that thus far has been absent from the stories told of WWII. This is a Roy Jacobsen novel of best mark.
The Unworthy is wise, brutal and entertaining. A gem of a story, written by an author in his right element.
A worthy and powerful reading experience
Dramatic, interesting and exciting ... a fantastic picture of an environment and a time that not everyone knows today.
Nettavisen, six/six stars
New first-rate novel by Jacobsen
… once more Jacobsen wields the language in a nuanced, confident manner.
Stavanger Aftenblad, six/six stars
The Unworthy has to be one of Roy Jacobsen's best novels.
Brutal war novel from Roy Jacobsen
Roy Jacobsen is, as always, a master of details, environment and working methods.
VG, five/six stars
Good news from the Eastern front
... the narrative offers surprising, humerous and cheeky touches that show Roy Jacobsen at his best.
Exciting like a thriller
The characters are credibly drawn, the milieu renderings almost filmatic.
Dagbladet, five/six stars
[Roy Jacobsen] has done it again. Created an environment and characters that will be remembered.
Bok365, five/six stars
In full vigour
Roy Jacobsen impresses again, both as astoryteller and a portrayer of people … an organic and unpredictable literary universe, as asymmetric and restless as life itself.
The novel is incredibly well written and composed.
Powerful historic realism.