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An autobiographical story of childhood and family from the international sensation and bestseller, Karl Ove Knausgaard

‘Rare and Ruthless... Perhaps the most significant literary enterprise of our times’ Guardian

Childhood is exhilarating and terrifying. For the young Karl Ove, new houses, classes and friends are met with manic excitement and creeping dread. Adults occupy godlike positions of power, benevolent in the case of his doting mother, tyrannical in the case of his cruel father.

In the now infamously direct style of the My Struggle cycle, Knausgaard describes a time in which victories and defeats are felt keenly and every attempt at self-definition is frustrated. This is a book about family, memory and how we never become quite what we set out to be.


Via his visceral, immersive art, Knausgaard makes the heart visible

Boyd Tonkin, Independent

Knausgaard finds the sublime in the everyday... Boyhood Island reverberates with the joys and anxieties of early youth, and Knausgaard brilliantly recreates their exaggerated feel

Thomas Meaney, Times Literary Supplement

Compelling and addictive... One of the most grown-up works of fiction we have

Hermione Hoby, Observer

Knausgaard's Proustian attention to detail and scrupulous analysis of emotional nuance is almost maddening – but ultimately magnificent


Knausgaard continues masterfully

Malcolm Forbes, Literary Review

One of the most anticipated books of the year (the decade)

Emily Stokes, Financial Times

His devotees gobble each new volume with an eagerness previously reserved only for box sets of Borgen

Tim Martin, Daily Telegraph

Powerfully hypnotic and addictive… a Norwegian Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha

Theo Tait, Sunday Times

Knausgaard transforms the personal and mundane into the universal and perennially significant... There is such depth of feeling beneath the vibrant exterior, such sense of the goodness present in human existence

Paul Binding, Spectator

Accessibly and punchily written, an intimate, determined and ultimately successful attempt to shape the tiny mundanities of life into something quite unexpectedly beautiful, compelling and substantial

Paul Connolly, Metro

Knausgaard is a writer strong enough to survive the hype... A masterpiece for the age of the selfie... Brutally frank about the frustrations of marriage, work and parenthood, it's often horrifying and deeply funny

Anthony Cummins, Observer


Andrew Neather, Evening Standard

Astounding... A work of such sincerity that, to paraphrase Baudelaire, the paper shrivels and flares at the touch of his fiery pen

Daniel Fraser, Quietus

Free-form, fear-filled, densely descriptive…Norway’s biggest literary star since Ibsen… [Knausgaard] has no obvious superiors among the writers now available to an English-reading public

Leo Robson, New Statesman

My Struggle is already the most significant literary achievement of the 21st century and we still have three volumes to go

Matt Thorne, Sunday Express

Boyhood Island is a tuning fork shaking loose the reader's own memories

Neil Stewart, The Timse

There is more to the case of Knausgaard than brutal hype. The books are beautifully readable and convey an atmosphere of robust authenticity


A work of genius

Ben Lerner, London Review of Books

Peculiarly addictive

David Sexton, Evening Standard

Knausgaard has rocked the world again

Bath Chronicle

Intense, stark and shocking. Also superb

William Leith, Evening Standard

Superbly translated

Boyd Tonkin, Independent

Intense, stark and shocking

William Leith, 4 stars, Scotsman

The only question that counts is: is it really, really good? And it is

Andrew Marr, New Statesman

Mr. Knausgaard’s somewhat autobiographical novels are mesmerizing: he is contemporary fiction’s alchemist of the ordinary

Dwight Garner, New York Times

Zadie Smith may need them “like crack”, but the books of literary sensation Karl Ove Knausgaard prove far more suitable Christmas gift ideas than the rock; easier to score in Waterstones, simpler to wrap


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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    September 1, 2014


    496 pages

    RRP $22.99

    Online retailers

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    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook


    March 20, 2014

    Vintage Digital

    496 pages

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