The Conqueror

A professor writing the definitive biography of Jonas Wergeland is unable to process the astonishing volume of contradictory information he unearths until a mysterious woman appears on his doorstep Possessing innumerable intimate stories about Jonas, the woman details the dark side of his rise to prominence, and through her stories tries to explain what made him a murdereA professor writing the definitive biography of Jonas Wergeland is unable to process the astonishing volume of contradictory information he unearths until a mysterious woman appears on his doorstep Possessing innumerable intimate stories about Jonas, the woman details the dark side of his rise to prominence, and through her stories tries to explain what made him a murderer.
The Conqueror A professor writing the definitive biography of Jonas Wergeland is unable to process the astonishing volume of contradictory information he unearths until a mysterious woman appears on his doorstep Po

  • Title: The Conqueror
  • Author: Jan Kjærstad Barbara Haveland
  • ISBN: 9781934824030
  • Page: 399
  • Format: Hardcover
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    1 thought on “The Conqueror”

    1. i am going to try to be as cautious as i can to avoid being a big fat spoiler. if discussing the differences in tone, and structure, and scope and characterization between the first and second of these books counts as spoilers to you, then, yes, this will spoil. (and you are a nerd) but those elements are very important to this particular reading experience and may or may not be better left to your own discoveries - that's your call. and that is my warning. but i am still going to try to be caut [...]

    2. This is the second volume of the trilogy which starts with Forføreren. Kjærstad has organized the material in an unusual way; the only thing I can think of which is at all similar is Durrell's Alexandria Quartet. In the first book, we got the story of Jonas Wergeland's life as a fantastic series of magical, mystical experiences, which all helped him create his life-work, the monumental TV series "Å Tenke Stort" ("Thinking Big"). I was swept away by it. But all the time, you knew that this cou [...]

    3. after reading: This is an incredibly difficult book to review. Between the metanarrativity and the densely complex storytelling style and the historical trivia, not to mention structuring it all as a very intellectual whodunit (kind of) well, it's difficult to even unravel what I think, let alone write it up in a tidy little review. So please bear with the untidiness, at least. The Conqueror is the second volume in a trilogy (the first is The Seducer and the third, which comes out next year, is [...]

    4. "When you're finished with this, you'll be able to get a job as the ball in a pinball machine."So what is this book? It's everything. A distant, unattainable childhood dream, the impossible Soria Moria castle from Theodor Kittelsen's painting. A bottomless well of cross-connections, one thousand paths that lead you astray. Erogenous voluptuousness that gets inhabited over and over again. Unveiling the complex and sensual, just like a woman unveils herself when she looks in the eye of a man and l [...]

    5. A review in the nature of the book itself: it is all over the shop. Others, including Oriana and Manny have doubtless done a better jobI want to start off with gripes, big and small.Big gripe.As I read volume one of this, I never would have wondered about the identity of the narrator but for Manny asking me what I thought.The one thing that was clear to me was that the narrator of The Seducer had to be somebody/thing that could be omnipresent. This is evident as there are at least a couple of th [...]

    6. The trick to reading this incredible trilogy is a palate cleanser between each one. They are dense as fruitcake, but not the doorstopper, disappointing kind. No, this is the special recipe takes a year to make stuff. The incidents and stories of Jonas' life skip around in all kinds of orders and repeats, but it all falls into place without difficulty. Some of the delayed understandings are delightful. Can't wait to get into #3, after a little sorbet of course.

    7. I think the current trial of mass murderer Breivick has brought to mind all things Norwegian and I've always intended to carry on with Kjaerstad's trilogy after enjoying the first book, so I reserved at the library and it's just come in. Hope to get to it after the next but one book started in Bruges (on a weekend trip), read a big whack on Eurostar on the way back, up to p250. But will slow down now as work & stuff intervene in my reading lifer the first time ever I wished i had a kindle fo [...]

    8. DISCLAIMER: I am the publisher of the book and thus spent approximately two years reading and editing and working on it. So take my review with a grain of salt, or the understanding that I am deeply invested in this text and know it quite well. Also, I would really appreciate it if you would purchase this book, since it would benefit Open Letter directly.

    9. Griping, thought -provoking ,extraordinary , magical and certainly worthwhile of your time Just read it people , if you can , you won't be disappointed.

    10. Better than the first volume, whose necessity I question, the overarching conceptual premise, perhaps because the world has changed, or because my heroes have always been dead, so to speak, on arrival, certainly its length and quality, though it made for an initially interesting contrast. I'm hoping to see more about his relationship with his wife in the final volume, as I can well understand how that might've been precluded by the nature of the frame narrative, which comes across here somewhat [...]

    11. I had a brief but very deep romance with Oslo in the summer of 2005.It was my first experience of life abroad all by myself and this made it unforgettable even though it lasted for less than five months.I remember how I left the town on the first snowy day of that autumn only to come back a year later, but without the same motivations to stay. It's now six years since the last time I've been there. And - herregud! - I miss that place quite a lot.To me, Oslo is much more than the capital of Norwa [...]

    12. Again, I'm disappointed. I picked to read this trilogy over reading stuff like Cormac Mccarthy's The Border Trilogy and Philip Roth's The American Trilogy, either of them can't be as bad as this. Again, the most interesting thing again this book, like the first book The Seducer, is that each chapter is basically a short story, but the problem is that they add up to nothing, when Kjerstad try's to tie it together it just seems like he's clutching at straws. But the most annoying thing about this [...]

    13. Flat-out, this is a masterpiece of world literature.I wonder if this might be the last great masterpiece of world literature of the 20th Century.The translation is ALIVE. This book in English is flawless. It is masterful as a book in English.I might or might not read the others in this trilogy (I probably will); but I *shall* read this book again. The scale of the book is immense, and the scope of the author's mind is staggering. I feel grateful to him to have given me the privilege of reading t [...]

    14. Expanding on the story developed in The Seducer, Kjærstad's The Conqueror dispels much of the hero/victim/creator/imitator/murderer mythology surrounding Jonas Wergeland, and complicates both the factual details and the narration enough to keep readers engaged. Perhaps by virtue of the framing story--a professor is commissioned to write Wergeland's biography, but finds himself unable to do so without the unexpected aid of a mysterious woman who knows innumerable intimate details about Wergeland [...]

    15. Jan Kjærstad er næsten et fortidsminde, en duft fra ungdommen, og jeg kan på ingen måde gengive, hvad hans trilogi handler om eller i hvilken rækkefølge. Hvad jeg til gengæld kan, er ihukomme den grådige følelse af at inhalere alle tre bøger i en kæderygende tåge af vellyst. De var fremragende skrevet, og jeg ringer nok snart på Jonas Wergelands dør igen.

    16. Admittedly, it has been a significant amount of time since I have read a “serious” novel: a novel that takes me more than a week to read; a novel I would consider structurally and thematically challenging (but worth the challenge!); and a novel that has been translated from Swedish, at that.I think I would deem this book “good” in the thought-provoking, challenging, academic sense whether or not it was translated from another language. The structure is unique—a narrator telling a story [...]

    17. This is such a pretentious and ambitious book, a book so bad that it is now clear to me why the copy in the Main Library is so brand new. Lesson: Never pick up a brand new book from 1996. This book is a treatise on the greatness of Norway, written by a Norwegian for fellow Norwegians and I honestly applaud the amount of research that has so obviously gone into this book. That said, I fail to understand why it was translated to English because I, for one, found it extremely difficult to connect w [...]

    18. The narration was clever and charming but the plot was overly told, leaving me little space to enter the story and consider for myself Jonas and his many episodes. I felt I was being talked at instead of talked with. The main conceit of the plot – the mysterious stranger telling the narrator about Jonas – felt too artificial, further distancing me from the characters. The episodes were numerous with not enough inherent momentum. And finally, I could find no reason to care about Jonas or his [...]

    19. The Conqueror is part of the same triology as The Seducer. I read it in Danish a while back. It's wonderful and I think the translation is good as well. Kjaerstad is funny and deep just like Peter Fogtdal, the Danish writer who wrote The Tsar's Dwarf.

    20. Certainly not as well-written and interesting as the first book of the trilogy The Seducer, but definitely worthy of my time.

    21. A Norwegian masterwork untangling the Gordian knot of an ambiguous character's life. My only real objection to it is that it's so long it monopolized my time.

    22. This book, the second in a trilogy, was not as gripping and well-thought out as the first but I've found that most trilogies have weak middles. I'm looking forward to the third now.

    23. A good norwegian writer has written a trilogy which I found amusing, they were easily read and can be recomended for days with sunny weather and you dosing off at the beach.

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