In ‘My Struggle’, Karl Ove Knausgaard examines with ruthless, unsparing rigour his life, his ambitions and frailties, his uncertainties and doubts, and his relationships with friends and exes, his wife and children, his mother and father. It is an opus in which life is described in all its nuances from moments of great drama to the most trivial everyday details.
It is also a project that is full of risk, where the borders between private and public worlds cross, not without cost for the author himself and the people portrayed.
The End, the sixth and final book in the sequence, is a masterstroke of retrospection as the author reflects back on the personal fallout from the earlier volumes. As Knausgaard faces growing literary acclaim and the often shattering repercussions that come with it, so he must also consider the challenge of autobiography itself becoming a catalyst in the progress and experience of real-life events.
Beginning with A Death in the Family, Karl Ove Knausgaard’s sequence of novels – collectively named ‘My Struggle’ – has become an internationally acclaimed phenomenon. Described by the Guardian as 'perhaps the most significant literary enterprise of our times' the series has been heralded as a new kind of autobiographical fiction.
Brave, bold and painfully, unreservedly honest, it’s a series that breaks down the boundaries between author and subject, creator and subject, fiction and fact. A book about literature itself and its relationship with reality, The End is a fitting finale to one of literature’s boldest and most influential modern experiments, the capstone on a magnificent achievement.
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Number of pages: 1168
Weight: 790 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 49 mm
'Knausgaard's rendering of this crisis - the jitteriness, the relentlessness with which he goes over events again and again, his overwhelming sense of transgression and shame - is riveting... Every changed nappy, every cigarette smoked on the balcony, every cup of coffee poured from that damn vacuum jug is another alibi; the creation of the normal life that distracts from the roiling mess within... That we cannot quite name what we've experienced is part of the brilliance.' - Alex Clark, The Guardian
'The End is woven of a man's love for his family and his obsession with the solitary writing life, the warp and weft of these contradictory passions sometimes meshing together perfectly... My Struggle is a cultural moment worth getting involved in. The six volumes offer something special: total immersion in the soap opera of another person's life.' - Melissa Katsoulis, The Times
'A uniquely compelling and absorbing reading experience... captivating interplay between banality and beauty, the redundant and the sublime.' - Chris Power, New Statesman
'Compulsively addictive... His way of describing "reality as it is" is to expand the range of thoughts and actions, however mundane or shameful, that a human being will publicly admit to.' - Jake Kerridge, Daily Telegraph
'This central tension, between the needs of the artist and the need of the husband and father, one that has coursed through My Struggle's thousands of pages, Knausgaard appears to bring to a moving, wholly fitting resolution... its totality, its absolute commitment to its own ideals, make it - and the whole sequence - a mesmerising, thought-provoking and genuinely important work of art.' - Stuart Evers, Spectator
'A daring end to a brilliant series... I will read this series again and again.' - William Leith, Evening Standard
'It is hard not to be impressed by the fluency and erudition on display as Knausgaard charts his course through history, philosophy, literature and the visual arts... In the end, reality does not break down under Knausgaard's gaze. We are left instead with the world as it is: the click of a seatbelt, the shock of melted margarine, the centuries slipping away in Rembrandt's eyes.' - Lorien Kite, The Financial Times
'The inner conflicts swirling around exert a gravitational pull on the reader, the challenges of empathy becoming universal through their particularity. Over and over, he asserts something fundamental to literature, art and life... these books will endure.' - Alasdair Lees, Independent
'My Struggle just keeps coming at you, much as life does... Knausgaard succeeds in producing prose that is "alive", partly because of his eye for detail and partly because of the quality of his intellect.' - Economist
'[My Struggle] is arguably the most important literary event of the 21st century... it's also worth reflecting on just how valuable these books can be. They are, among other things, uniquely candid about male shame, which makes them a highly valuable guide to modern masculinity.' - Josh Glancy, The Sunday Times
'Unobtrusively witty and entertaining.' - Fredric Jameson, London Review of Books