The line between genius and madness and beauty and despair is separated by a thin line and a full belly. Hamsun's writing is desperate, hypnotic, and exceptional.
/Shaun P. Kenney, United States
Its remarkable humanity changes you insideout.
/Marta Dias, Portugal
It is entirely believable. (I like all of his books.)
/Rick Diguette, United States
I first read it when I was a (hungry) student - literally, but also hungry for ideas and for learning. The simplicity of the writing style and the complexity of the subject still excites me now.
/Philip Mervyn, United Kingdom
It is the story of a man imprisoned in his own mind - his insanity growing as he takes everything in, everything.
/Mohit Parikh, India
A wonderful evocation of alienation in society.
/D. Dickens, United Kingdom
The hunger in the book is our everyday hunger for affection and warmth, for love.
/Elisabeth Knap, Norway
This book opened up a whole new way of seeing as if for the first time by a struggling writer who literally starves to gain inspiration for writing. The book was 10 years in gestation. His body and mind go through strange transformations. His unconscious plays tricks on him, he hallucinates, he is connected to the changing moods of nature in a revelatory way. The 3 major figures in his life are the Editor, the Landlord and the Baker. After reading this Lawrence and Camus seemed lesser than I had perceived them to be. He writes out of unselfish inwardness and shows how subjectivity is the only approach to truth. If you get different translations you get whole new worlds. An amazing experience.
/Mark Thompson, United Kingdom
This is the first novel, long in gestation, of a great
writer. In it he explores with psychological penetration how this young man literally starves for his inspiration. He taps the depths of the unconscious, describes the physiological ramifications in great detail. There is an abundance of humour, zest and unpredictability. The early Oslo environment is vividly realised and the author's great empathy with nature. This primer on how to write is full of
strange, hunger born, hallucinations. Unlike Orwell
he does not get dragged down into the sociology
of hunger (Down&Out..) but uses it as a spur to
majestic flights of thought. All for a crust of bread!
/John Sharman, United Kingdom
'Hunger' is the tale of an impoverished writer whose delusions leads him to starvation as he wanders around late 19th century Oslo. Similar to Dostoevsky's 'Notes From Underground' in both form and psychological insight, this novel probes the dark nether regions of the human mind in glorious overture to the 20th century.
/Eric S., United States
The writing is so plain, almost childlike in its simplicity; but it evokes great emotions. The story is about doomed love, and you know it is not meant to last from the beginning - but you cannot help but wish for it to happen. This book brought me to tears, and it opened up a whole bottle of emotions. When a book does this, I instantly consider it great.
/Alexandra Brown, United States