At last, the highly anticipated conclusion to Knausgaard's six-part masterwork arrives in English... perhaps most notable about Book Six is a 400-page examination of Hitler, Nazism, and the nature of evil, which draws parallels between Mein Kampf and My Struggle... This uncomfortable comparison simultaneously explodes the purview of what fiction can do while zeroing in on the unique concerns of his narrator. Perhaps the most compelling of this epic's installments, and an undeniably impressive literary accomplishment.
— Diego Báez, Booklist, starred review
Knausgaard explores the various ways language can be leveraged for honest disclosure and tragic nationalism... and whether confessional style can be a force against propagandistic writing... [Book Six] caps a remarkable achievement. For nearly 3,500 pages, Knausgaard has confessed, complained, reminisced, spouted off, made himself look ridiculous, and considered what it means to be candid, giving his life artistic shape while fighting against artifice. The book's very existence has prompted eye-rolls; many of its pages do as well. But his all-in temperament richly rewards anybody who takes first-person writing seriously. A fittingly bulky end to a radical feat of oversharing.
— Kirkus Reviews, starred review
The final book of Knausgaard's six-volume masterpiece goes maximalist and metatextual, examining the impact that the autobiographical series has had on the author's life and the lives of those around him...the rationale for his project comes into brilliant focus. This volume is a thrilling conclusion to Knausgaard's epic series.
— Publishers Weekly, starred review
PRAISE FOR THE MY STRUGGLE SERIES
Who’d have thought that the first monumental literary production of the 21st century ... would seem, on a line-by-line basis, so modest and so raw? The books in the My Struggle series fly high by flying low, by scanning the intricate topography of everyday life.
— Dwight Garner, The New York Times
He's invented a new kind of narration ... The novel imagines a kind of ultimate freedom—a spiritual freedom based in radical openness. It’s expansive and impersonal, yet still human; it’s concrete, anti-ideological, and, above all, emotional. Beyond, alongside, or perhaps within the quest to know oneself, there’s a quest to know the universe.
— Joshua Rothman, The New Yorker
This deserves to be called perhaps the most significant literary enterprise of our times.
— Rachel Cusk, The Guardian
Knausgaard's command of the traditional novelistic procedure is the reason these books are the opposite of dull, though on the face of it they should be. Knausgaard is always spinning a tale, always drawing the reader along with some romantic entanglement, sexual disaster, or emotional crisis. He feeds in atmosphere in just the right amounts; his pacing is flawless. How wonderful to read an experimental novel that fires every nerve ending while summoning in the reader the sheer sense of how amazing it is to be alive, on this planet and no other.
— Jeffrey Eugenides, The New York Times Book Review
Intense and vital . . . Knausgaard is utterly honest, unafraid to voice universal anxieties . . . Superb, lingering, celestial passages . . . [with] what Walter Benjamin called the “epic side of truth, wisdom.”
— James Wood, The New Yorker
[G]ut-wrenching ... expressed so openly, so unguardedly, that we are consistently disarmed.
— The Boston Globe
[T]he eerie thing is that, at times, it is as if we are not within the pages of this book at all, but outside it and in his confidence. We understand that [Knausgaard] is ambitious to write a novel that will make his name and we suppress, as we read, the acknowledgment that this achievement, this extraordinary work of which he has been dreaming, is the book we hold in our hands.
— The Guardian
Replicates the vivid, overwhelming sense of being alive on the page . . . We may all be hooked on Karl Ove’s past, his triumphs and disasters, glory and silliness, but his struggle is our struggle, too – for meaning, love, and friendship in a world beautiful and baffling.
— The National
You’d expect this to be boring. It isn’t.
— San Francisco Chronicle
My Struggle is candid and compulsively readable, with moments of searing insight and bold shifts through narrative time. Its scope is both ambitious and modest; its range aggressive and tender.
If the function of literature is to take you out of your own life and involve you in someone else's then My Struggle is literature… gripping.
— The Sunday Times
As the books gradually make their way into English, it isn’t hard to see why. Knausgaard’s brooding Scandinavian obsessiveness has a way of getting under a reader’s skin, not because his life is so exciting and eventful — it isn’t — but because it’s so familiar. He writes a clear prose that transforms ordinary events, detailing the span of his life with such directness that everything seems to be happening in real time.
— Washington Post
Why would you read a six-volume, 3,600-page Norwegian novel about a man writing a six-volume, 3,600-page Norwegian novel? The short answer is that it is breathtakingly good, and so you cannot stop yourself, and would not want to . . . Arrestingly beautiful.
— Leland de la Durantaye, The New York Times Book Review
By exposing every last detail of his life, Karl Ove Knausgaard became your favorite author’s new favorite author.
— Evan Hughes, The New Republic
My Struggle is unexpectedly entrancing—the combination of detail and intimacy creates an illusion of being inside somebody else’s brain . . . My Struggle is worth the, uh, struggle.
Knausgaard is no longer “for men” or “for women trying to understand men”: He is for anyone who craves a glimpse of the divine.
— Tess Crain, The New Republic
[O]nce again, Knausgaard’s storytelling is a masterclass in clarity and intensity. The litany of quotidian detail is strangely mesmerising, even gripping ... [My Struggle: Book Five] is a lengthy journey, a bumpy ride full of pitfalls and setbacks, but one that shapes its protagonist and transports its reader. Knausgaard may only present fictionalised events, but on each page, and in every detail, Karl Ove pulses with life.
— The Australian
The experience of reading Karl Ove Knausgaard is an extraordinary one. His eye for detail and for all the little byways of thought and feeling are unsurpassed.
— The Post and Courier
Book 5 [gives us] an uncommonly truthful account of a writer struggling to acquire a language.
— Scott Esposito, The Quarterly Conversation