Some Rain Must Fall (My Struggle: Book 5) by Karl Ove Knausgaard (Translated by Don Bartlett) - review by Philip Maughan

Philip Maughan

And So On

Some Rain Must Fall (My Struggle: Book 5)

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The penultimate instalment of Karl Ove Knausgaard’s six-volume ‘novel-cum-memoir’ My Struggle covers the fourteen years the author spent in Bergen, Norway’s second city, between 1988 and 2002. Knausgaard claims to remember ‘surprisingly little’ of that time, ‘a flash of recollection here, a flash of recollection there’, though this doesn’t stop him churning out over 650 pages to account for it, prone to the same pseudo-philosophical digressions, characterisation of landscape, and elevation of mundane activity that made the previous four outings in the saga both singularly dull and inexplicably addictive.

Aged nineteen, Karl Ove arrives in rainy Bergen to attend the city’s prestigious Writing Academy with the intention of publishing his debut novel, ‘a mixture between Hamsun and Bukowski’, sometime next autumn, ‘depending on how long it took to print and that kind of thing’. Naturally, he is disappointed: first

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