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~Free Ebook ☨ De osynliga ☤ I ett kargt klimat i ett nordnorskt kustomr de utspelas Roy Jacobsens nya roman, som blivit en makal s f rs ljningsframg ng i hemlandet och av m nga hyllats som hans b sta bok Det r en roman som baseras p verkliga h ndelser mellan och platsen r den vackra n Barr ya som ligger vid HelgelandskustenH r bor Hans Barr y,r, hans hustru, hans ldrande far och hans lilla syster Maria som inte tycks duga mycket till Men det h r r romanen om Ingrid, som vi f r f lja fr n dagen hon d ps fram till tjugo rs ldern d hon blivit en stark och sj lvst ndig ung kvinna Av sin mor f r hon l ra sig att sk ta ett hush ll, av sin far f r hon l ra sig vad det inneb r att v xa upp p en och vad naturen f rv ntar sig av m nniskorna d r I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review Thank you to the author, Roy Jacobsen, and the publisher, MacLehose Press, for this opportunity.This is an insight into the isolated lives of the inhabitants of a Norwegian island Their daily lives are destructed and recounted for the reader and the latter portions, that see the family s youngest daughter, Ingrid s, transfer to the main land, sharply contrast with this rural way of living.I initially found the family s daily strug I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review Thank you to the author, Roy Jacobsen, and the publisher, MacLehose Press, for this opportunity.This is an insight into the isolated lives of the inhabitants of a Norwegian island Their daily lives are destructed and recounted for the reader and the latter portions, that see the family s youngest daughter, Ingrid s, transfer to the main land, sharply contrast with this rural way of living.I initially found the family s daily struggle for survival fascinatingly insightful into a way of life I know nothing about There were also times, however, that it seemed almost tortuously slow and pointless, as an overtly detailed depiction of events was enumerated There is little drama and no action, but there was an atmospheric quality that permeated the entire text and brought authenticity to the lives it detailed Certainly insightful as an in depth character study, but overall this was lacking pace and alacrity for me Islanders are never afraid, if they were they wouldn t be able to live here This captivating tale is set on the tiny island of Barr y off the coast of Norway, around the beginning of the 20th century It is inhabited by one family Hans, his wife Maria, father Martin, sister Barbro and his young daughter Ingrid The story tracks the adventures of this clan through the years, as they struggle to make a living from their small provisions by way of fishing and farming There are unexpected birtIslanders are never afraid, if they were they wouldn t be able to live here This captivating tale is set on the tiny island of Barr y off the coast of Norway, around the beginning of the 20th century It is inhabited by one family Hans, his wife Maria, father Martin, sister Barbro and his young daughter Ingrid The story tracks the adventures of this clan through the years, as they struggle to make a living from their small provisions by way of fishing and farming There are unexpected births and deaths along the way, and we follow Ingrid s journey from little girl to eventual Queen of the island.What struck me about the plight of the Barr ys is how the island shapes their whole existence It is their livelihood but it s also a kind of prison Life unfurls at a different pace to that of the mainland The family exist at the mercy of the weather glorious summers are always welcome but they also have to contend with the howling gales and tempestuous seas of winterShe doesn t like these storms, the creaking of the house and the trumpet blasts from the chimney, the whole universe in turmoil, the wind that tears the breath out of her lungs when she goes to the barn with her mother, that drives the moisture from her eyes and sweeps her into walls and bowed trees, and forces the entire family to camp down in the kitchen and sitting room, and even there they don t get a wink of sleepEven though Barr y marches to the beat of its own drum, there is also pressure on the family to adapt if they want a better life for themselves Hans is an ambitious man but he is also a bit of a dreamer He has big plans to build a boatshed and a quay, and to add an extension to the house Some of these ideas come to fruition, others fail External change also threatens to upset the delicate balance of the island, with important decisions to be made about joining a milk route and the construction of a lighthouse beacon The outside world is developing at a rapid pace and Barr y cannot afford to be left too far behind The Unseen reminded me a little of A Whole Life, another wise European novel about man s relationship to a landscape Like the main character of that book, the Barr ys face up to all kinds of emotional and financial hardship with fortitude The are no major pyrotechnics in the plot just one family doing the best they can The prose is clear and sparse very matter of fact, just like the Barr ys themselves But it is also sprinkled with moments of sheer beauty, like a frozen sea that serves as the perfect ice rink or the moment Ingrid catches her reflection in a mirror for the first time It is a compelling and convincing portrait of a lost age, a profound and moving story Winter begins with a storm They call it the First Winter Storm There have been earlier storms, in August and September, for example, bringing sudden and merciless changes to their lives.The First Winter Storm, on the other hand, is quite a different matter It is violent every single time and makes its entrance with a vengeance, they have never experienced anything like it, even though it happened last year This is the origin of the phrase in living memory , they have simply forgotten how it Winter begins with a storm They call it the First Winter Storm There have been earlier storms, in August and September, for example, bringing sudden and merciless changes to their lives.The First Winter Storm, on the other hand, is quite a different matter It is violent every single time and makes its entrance with a vengeance, they have never experienced anything like it, even though it happened last year This is the origin of the phrase in living memory , they have simply forgotten how it was, since they have no choice but to ride the storm, the hell on earth, as best they can, and erase it from their memories as soon as possible The sight of her father is the worst Had Ingrid not known better she would have thought he was afraid, and he never is Islanders are never afraid, if they were they wouldn t be able to live here, they would have to pack their goods and chattels and move and be like everyone else in the forest and valleys, it would be a catastrophe, islanders have a dark disposition, they are beset not with fear but solemnity The Unseen by Roy Jacobsen is set in the first half of the 20th Century although there is little to date the novel , on the fictional Barr y island off the coast of Norway in the Helgelandskysten area It is a little under one kilometre from north to south, and half a kilometre from east to west, it has lots of crags and small grassy hollows and sells, deep coves cut into its coast and there are long rugged headlands and three white beaches And even though on a normal day they can stand in the yard and keep an eye on the sheep, they are not so easy to spot when they are lying down in he long grass, the same goes for people, even an island has its secrets.The fisherman cum farmer Hans Barr y is the island s rightful owner and head of its sole family, comprising his strong willed wife Maria, born on a neighbouring island, Hans s widowed father Martin, no longer head of the family which he represents, his much younger sister Barbro, a hard worker but rather backwards, and his young daughter Ingrid, three when the novel opens but already troubling her father with wisdom beyond her years, and who he anxiously watches for signs of the one child in a generation affliction from which he aunt suffersTha laughs at ev rythin nu, he says, reflecting that she knows the difference between play and earnest, she seldom cries, doesn t disobey or show defiance, is never ill, and she learns what she needs to, this disquiet he will have to drive from his mind.Life on the island is elemental and hard Hans has to leave his family for several months each year to join a fishing boat, in which he proudly has a full share of the proceeds, as well as unbeknowest to his family drawing on bank loans, in order to finance the costs of maintaining the island and, in particular, his own ambitious plans to extend their house and build a proper pier Much of the building material still comes from flotsam, jetsam and driftwood Whatever is washed up on an island belongs to the finder and the islanders find a lot In those days there was no oil wealth funded Nordic model providing support to the islanders As the terrain is so open and exposed someone might well up with the bright idea of clothing the coast in evergreen, spruce or pines for example, and establish idealistic nurseries around Norway and start to ship out large quantities of tiny spruce trees, donating them free of charge to the inhabitants of smaller and bigger islands alike, while telling them that if you plant these trees on your land and let them grow, succeeding generations will have fuel and timber too The wind will stop blowing the soil into the sea, and both man and beast will enjoy shelter and peace where hitherto they had the wind in their hair day and night but then the islands would no longer look like floating temples on the horizon, they would resemble neglected wastelands of sedge grass and northern dock No, no one would think of doing this, of destroying a horizon The horizon is probably the most important resource they have out here, the quivering optic nerve in a dream although they barely notice it, let alone attempt to articulate its significance No, nobody would even consider doing this until the country attains such wealth that it is in the process of going to wrack and ruin.Hans expects to live out his life on the island but Barbro wants to find a role in service on the mainland Nobody can leave an island An island is a cosmos in a nutshell, where the stars slumber in the grass beneath the snow But occasionally someone tries in the original Ingen kan forlade en , en er et kosmos i en n ddeskal med stjernerne sovende i gr sset under sneen Concerned at her being mistreated and abused her first putative employer manages to refer to her as the imbecile three times as she shows them the room Hans s sister is to share with the other maid Hans keeps insisting Barbro returns to the island until she takes matters, and the oars of the family boat, into her own hands, but even then she eventually finds her way back Hans Barr y had three dreams he dreamed about a boat with a motor, about a bigger island and a different life He mentioned the first two dreams readily and often, and to all and sundry, the last he never talked about, not even to himself.Maria had three dreams toochildren, a smaller island and a different life Unlike her husband she often thought about the last of these, and her yearning grew and grew as the first two paled and withered.But it is Ingrid, still biologically a child, who, as the seasons turn and the cycle of life progresses, has to take on the island and their dreams.The novel has been translated by the deservedly renowed Don Bartlett, translator of the excellent Karl Ove Knausg rd, Per Petterson and Lars Saabye Christensen as well as the best selling Jo Nesb and Jostein Gaarder Although this, as well as Jacobsen s previous novels and novels by Erlend Loe, has been co translated by Don Shaw.The translation generally lives up to Bartlett s very high standards, although the attempt to render the dialect of the locals into English fell a little flat for me, with lines such asMy word, hvur bitty it is A can scarce see th houses andBy Jove, A can see th rectory too Norwegian literature is perhaps my favourite in Europe with authors such as Dag Solstad and Jan Kj rstad, as well of course as Hamsun, to add to the aforementioned Karl Ove Knausg rd, Per Petterson and Lars Saabye Christensen and this novel adds another name to that impressive list.I would hope to see this on the MBI shortlist It is always the person who has been away who gains the greatest pleasure from knowing time stands still. Hans Barr y had three dreams he dreamed about a boat with a motor, about a bigger island and a different life He mentioned the first two dreams readily and often, to all and sundry, the last he never talked about, not even to himself Maria had three dreams toochildren, a smaller island and a different life Unlike her husband she often thought about the last of these, and this yearning grew and grew as the first two paled and withered This is the story of a family on an island HanHans Barr y had three dreams he dreamed about a boat with a motor, about a bigger island and a different life He mentioned the first two dreams readily and often, to all and sundry, the last he never talked about, not even to himself Maria had three dreams toochildren, a smaller island and a different life Unlike her husband she often thought about the last of these, and this yearning grew and grew as the first two paled and withered This is the story of a family on an island Hans and Maria plus the generations either side of them It is the story of an isolated group of people making a life out of what can be an inhospitable environment At various times, some of them leave the island, butonce you settle on an island, you never leave, an island holds on to what it has with all its might and main In the UK and elsewhere, I believe , we have something called Slow TV and this book feels quite a lot like watching a Slow TV programme this is a good thing, by the way I have enjoyed watching the Slow TV programs broadcast in the UK Events unfold it doesn t feel like the plot is driving it along as much as events are happening as and when they are ready to happen and we are there to see them unfold There s a quiet lack of drama about it, even in the most dramatic bits This isn t a criticism because it is a very enjoyable book to read The only thing I didn t like about it is the attempt to convert the dialect of the islanders into English it didn t work for me.I think I would like to see this on the Man Booker International shortlist, although I have a few others to read that could displace it I was so lucky to get this book recommended to me by my friend Lina For a couple of too short hours I got immersed into the world of sea and cold, silence and darkness, but also light and lightness Rough seasons of weather, people who don t talk much but feel a lot Nature, animals, birds Fish Show don t tell Islanders, prisoners of their own island, they can t imagine no other place for themselves as a home Everyone else is an intruder, even the friendly ones I get that Gosh, this was s I was so lucky to get this book recommended to me by my friend Lina For a couple of too short hours I got immersed into the world of sea and cold, silence and darkness, but also light and lightness Rough seasons of weather, people who don t talk much but feel a lot Nature, animals, birds Fish Show don t tell Islanders, prisoners of their own island, they can t imagine no other place for themselves as a home Everyone else is an intruder, even the friendly ones I get that Gosh, this was so beautiful Maybe even heartwarming, surprisingly enough I just loved it If you ve ever seen The Weather Diaries Or dienora iai exhibition and enjoyed it this is a must read This is a tale about life on a tiny island, one kilometer north to south and half a kilometer east to west, one of the islands of the Lofoten archipelago in northwestern Norway, above the Arctic Circle This island is fictitious, but there do exist many that are similar One family lives on the island the Barr y family There is Hans, his wife Maria, Hans father Martin, his sister Barbro and his young daughter Ingrid She is three at the start of the novel Years pass and who remains living o This is a tale about life on a tiny island, one kilometer north to south and half a kilometer east to west, one of the islands of the Lofoten archipelago in northwestern Norway, above the Arctic Circle This island is fictitious, but there do exist many that are similar One family lives on the island the Barr y family There is Hans, his wife Maria, Hans father Martin, his sister Barbro and his young daughter Ingrid She is three at the start of the novel Years pass and who remains living on the island changes Timewise, the setting is the first half of the 20th century The island remains and the wind and the sleet and the rain The snow, the dark nights of winter and the perpetual light of summer Life on this island is a never ending struggle against harsh conditions, poverty and the elements of nature The Barr y family eek out their living through fishing, sheep, cows and the collection of eiderdown It is the description of this life that is the central focus of the book While the struggle for existence is well depicted, the physical attributes of the land less so Further, the beauty of the land and its pull and attraction are view spoiler revealed at the book s end Why not spread it around, dot it throughout the story hide spoiler I had trouble with this book at the start Halfway through I was still having trouble I felt nothing for the characters I found the writing disjointed and unclear I would find myself asking who is being spoken of and how many years have passed and what is the significance of that There is a priest who visits the island He tells us Life is hell He sums up all that we have observed I find it strange that this man is frightened of all travel on water, even when there is not even the slightest breeze He lives on an archipelago Stranger still is that nothing is made of this in the story line, and why must it be repeated over and over again Many details are repeated in the telling of the story Many characters peculiarities remain unexplained Barbro, for example, I would have liked to knowof her past This book is supposed to be the first of a series Is that the hitch Are we to buy the following books to get the full story Or have I missed something In any case, due to insufficient information, I never felt empathy for the characters.Conveying the feel of a prose style is difficult I felt the author was striving to make the prose deep, meaningful and lyrical, but in the act of trying so hard he failed This isprominent in the first half of the novel In the second half, the plot picks up and the writing becomes leaner, clearer and straight forward in tone, which better fits a tale about the rugged existence on the island.By the book s end the continuity of life from generation to generation comes forth In this continuity there is a message of hope, but why must the revelation be saved for the very end The book has been translated by Don Bartlett and Don Shaw It Is not fair for me to judge the translation without comparing both texts, but often I found the wording extremely peculiar What is this supposed to mean The land was becoming an existential abscess Poor writing or poor translation I do not know Please remember how I spoke above of the author s attempt to write deep meaningful lines.I listened to the audiobook narrated by Rachael Beresford In the beginning I detested it After a while I got used to it, but I never, ever thought it was OK She drones rather than speaks I had to start the book over because she put me to sleep The tone is level and steady and without any ups and downs Sometimes, she went up in the middle of a sentence, which made no sense at all After a while I got used to the level, droning tone, and most often I could understand the words, but the dialogs were hopeless I have been told by a reader of the paper book that she too found the dialogs difficult Thankfully, there are not many dialogs and those that exist are short But is this good No I will avoid this narrator in the future I try very hard to separate my view of the author s written words from the narrator s expression of these words Separating the two is in cases like this a challenge listening was not enjoyable I have given the narration performance one star This one just wasn t for me unfortunately.I was reeled in by a promising sounding blurb, with its isolated and weather torn Norwegian island setting The idea of following a young girl and her life growing up in this unusual environment, with its self imposed isolation sounded like exactly the kind of thing I would have loved Unfortunately, I just found the lack of plot to make the read incredibly dull and dreary I also didn t particularly enjoy this particular translation either I found tha This one just wasn t for me unfortunately.I was reeled in by a promising sounding blurb, with its isolated and weather torn Norwegian island setting The idea of following a young girl and her life growing up in this unusual environment, with its self imposed isolation sounded like exactly the kind of thing I would have loved Unfortunately, I just found the lack of plot to make the read incredibly dull and dreary I also didn t particularly enjoy this particular translation either I found that while the main prose sections were done well enough, sounding quite seamless in the English language, it fell down when it came to the dialogue Jacobsen writes in an unusual Norwegian dialogue, which translated clumsily and took me out of the flow of the writing far too often for my liking.Overall, not a particularly interesting or satisfying read for me, and I m surprised this ended up on the longlist Beginning of the twentieth century Three generations of a family try to survive in an isolated and arid island called Barroy, in front of the Norwegian coast Barroy is like a universe for its inhabitants, life can t be understood outside the confinement of this speck of rock dust amidst the ocean, but at the same time, life is continuously threatened by the hostile climate, the endless periods of darkness, severe snow blizzards and the unruly sea that provides sustenance but also kills mercile Beginning of the twentieth century Three generations of a family try to survive in an isolated and arid island called Barroy, in front of the Norwegian coast Barroy is like a universe for its inhabitants, life can t be understood outside the confinement of this speck of rock dust amidst the ocean, but at the same time, life is continuously threatened by the hostile climate, the endless periods of darkness, severe snow blizzards and the unruly sea that provides sustenance but also kills mercilessly when one least expects it Barroy is like a microcosm with such a fragile balance that extinction is lurking around the corner incessantly, and miracles are performed daily when the sun goes down with no other death than the vanishing light Straddling the naturalist genre and the family saga,The Unseenis a realistic account but also a lyrical chant of devastating beauty where time is the only element that fragments the rhythmical hues of the prose, achieving Shakespearean tonalities when all kind of inclement weather is described.Beyond the coast line, seasons roll on implacably without any trace of the bucolic ideal, and the Barroy family endures the years with stoicism and laconic humor that combine a unique blend of resignation and wisdom Individual identities get diffused in the collective entity of the island, of which they are masters and slaves at once.Jacobsen paints a timeless portrait of a bygone era, of a working class that vanished in the last century, the kind of people that founded the actual pillars of Norway His style is as delicate as it is brutal, bared and clean, drenched with contemplative passages of landscape architecture that address existential ponderings such as the inexorable ties between land and identity, destiny and freedom, tradition and evolution And the eternity of silence The weight of thoughts never expressed out loud The burden of being disappointed by one s dreams In one of the last chapters, Ingrid, the main protagonist of this tale of woe and glory, muses on the sounds of the island Rushing winds, seagulls calling while soaring the damp skies, the roaring of the waves and murmurs of the cliffs, make silence a rarity in her world But once in a while, on a very special occasion, all the elements seem to hold their breath at once, and the land listens in a void of expectation, hearing its own pulse And everything turns into horizon, and one can touch eternity and know that she is where she is supposed to be Determinant, but nameless Safe, but unseen The book follows Ingrid, from the age of three, and her family who live on a small island in the North West of Norway They lead lives that are dictated by the changing seasons, their chores and the needs of subsistence Even the rare visits to the nearby island for supplies or basic transactions don t distract from the fact that Barroy is where most of the story unfolds, where their lives are anchored There is a sense of deep belonging and strong family bonds that keep this small group of peop The book follows Ingrid, from the age of three, and her family who live on a small island in the North West of Norway They lead lives that are dictated by the changing seasons, their chores and the needs of subsistence Even the rare visits to the nearby island for supplies or basic transactions don t distract from the fact that Barroy is where most of the story unfolds, where their lives are anchored There is a sense of deep belonging and strong family bonds that keep this small group of people together Despite a stranger visiting the island, deaths and disappearances happening at odd moments, there is little tension in this story It s still a surprisingly compelling and engaging read though, as if I d been taken by the hand and given a tour of what life was like for people a century ago who had to subsist on little else but the nature around them and each other.The language is central in that it conveys the bleakness of the climate, the lack of flourish of the people s lives beautifully There are very few dialogues, but when the author chooses to let a character speak , the strong dialect complements the setting perfectly It s a gem of a book