A book about loneliness. Tender, and very, very funny.
Elling is 32 years old and lives in the apartment that he shared with his mother until her death. He passes the time by documenting the lives of his neighbours through a telescope, while nurturing his love to prime minister Gro Harlem Brundtland. A condition he treats by collecting pictures of the prime minster - the woman who represents the only thing safe in an otherwise chaotic environment.
“This is a dense, meticulously well constructed, muted and shimmeringly sad novel.”
“Laughter and contemplation are two important ingredients in our experience of reading Ingvar Ambjørnsen’s latest novel… What captivates most is the experience of a person with an enormous capacity for observation and a teeming wealth of associations, but who lives locked into utter solitude, both social and mental. A rich book written in smooth and supple conservative Norwegian. A new and exciting Ingvar Ambjørnsen.”
“Ingvar Ambjørnsen’s book – so unlike his earlier novels – may be read as a psychological study of a lonely, stunted life, and of an attempt to write one’s way out of solitude… Ingvar Ambjørnsen has gazed deep into a special psyche, offering a convincing portrayal of a sorrowful fate, an intractable solitude.”
Ambjørnsen hits the bullseye
“This time Ambjørnsen has written an insanely funny and thoroughly serious novel. With A view of paradise, Ambjørnsen has totally remade himself in both language and content. He opens with a hint of Camus and continues with a glimmer of Solstad. This is a joyous book.”
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