It’s lucky that Berit is generous and kind and also just damaged enough that she doesn’t make excessive demands. And then she fixes him with her peculiar ‘Swedish gaze’. Ulf Vaksvik is a character that only Ingvar Ambjørnsen could have thought up. There is something familiar about the voice telling the story – that slightly stubborn, conservative, opinionated voice. It is the voice of a man who would love to be part of things, to sit among men and solve the world’s problems. But it is also the voice of a man who dreams and a man who longs and a man who knows how suddenly your very existence can be turned upside down and against you. That’s why we remain nervous of what this man might think up.
The entire local community is caught up in a fight for a bridge to the mainland. And everyone’s excited about a big upcoming event: Dutch family van der Klerk are coming to live on the island with their two children. A huge welcome party is arranged, and the plan is for the island’s latest arrival, Ulf Vågsvik, to participate in a discussion at the community centre and share his experiences. But when they finally arrive, drama ensues. The head of the family dies suddenly and his wife travels with him in an air ambulance to the mainland. The two children are left on the island, and the boy disappears.
Ingvar Ambjørnsen proves himself a great describer of nature – it is as if he has always lived on this island. If anyone were to think that there was something Hamsun-esque about his descriptions, they would not be wrong. Opp Oridongo is a novel in which Ambjørnsen generously caters to his readers, and he will also gain many new and devoted readers with this simple yet deep and warm story.
Currently in print in France (Gaïa) and Germany (Nautilus).
'… Opp Oridongo is so well-written it is sometimes hard to believe that this is all “fiction and darned lies”. … For this reviewer it is a bit difficult to retain himself, I am tempted to throw out even more superlatives.'
'Ulf can get on your nerves, but he frustrates you the way people of flesh and bone frustrates you. It is in the deeply human, not least in the interaction between Ulf and Berit, that Ambjørnsen’s book really grips the reader.'
'Ingvar Ambjørnsen has created a well-composed, enticing novel which invites wonder and speculation. Most of all about what really lies in the corners of a soul belonging to a character one cannot avoid being fascinated by.'
‘In my opinion, Ingvar Ambjørnsen has never written a better novel, and I’m really looking forward to following his authorship in the future.’
‘A beautiful, optimistic and puzzling story about crises of the soul and love…. Much seems unclear, unsure, unsaid. Ingvar Ambjørnsen possesses a novelist’s sense of subtext and a crime writer’s eye for unresolved tension, and has written a harmonious yet mysterious novel of a very high standard.’
‘Opp Oridongo is a novel you keep enjoying for a long time after reading the last page. It is a novel I will read several times, and I’m sure that every time I read it I will find new nuances and details in the language. It is in this way that Ingvar Ambjørnsen’s style of storytelling is a great and generous treasure chest.’
To the top