A big new novel by Lars Saabye Christensen: it contains brilliant stories from a summer in Oslo in the 60s and a nightmarish period spent in Karmack, a small North American town. The link is Funder, the protagonist, whose loyalty is tested when, at the age of fifteen, he stays alone with his mother (and, on and off, four aunts) for a summer spent in a house on Nesodden near Oslo.
In the second half of the novel, Funder is admitted for treatment to an institution in the United States. By then, he is almost sixty years old, his father has just died and his mother is on her deathbed. Funder, who has become an author, is far from happy.
Sluk is a sharp and entertaining novel which is consistent with the author's earlier work but also shows new sides to his talent.
‘I have rarely read a more poetical, elegant and original biography of an author. It is entertaining as well – and with an epilogue so intense, heavy with existence, authentic and beautiful that it simply knocks me out.’
‘Sluk is a novel based on equal parts of poetic aggression and the joy of story-telling. An autobiographical novel which you cannot possibly be unaffected by.’
‘A master of repetition … Lars Saabye Christensen presents an offer Norwegian book lovers cannot refuse. It starts as an echo and ends as an unbeatable masterpiece.’
‘… one of the best novels from Christensen.’
‘… a beautiful homage to the housewives of the sixties, and a sort of wrapped reminder of what actually means something in this world … a successful novel, and an especially beautiful depiction of a mother’s love.’
‘… simply brilliant.’
‘A tender, sad and beautiful book about death, guilt and reconciliation. … Possibly his strongest and best book since The Half Brother.’
‘This book can be understood in so many different ways and offers such an exceptional reading experience which this reader, for one, would not have missed.’
Trønder-Avisa (6 points out of 6)
‘The new novel, Sluk, more than measures up to our expectations. The author is even better than before.’