In a small Norwegian coastal town, society's carefully woven threads begin to unravel when an unsettling stranger named Johan Nagel arrives. With an unsparing and often brutal insight into human nature, Nagel draws out the seemingly innocent townsfolk, exposing their darkest instincts and suppressed desires. At once arrogant and unassuming, ...Read MoreIn a small Norwegian coastal town, society's carefully woven threads begin to unravel when an unsettling stranger named Johan Nagel arrives. With an unsparing and often brutal insight into human nature, Nagel draws out the seemingly innocent townsfolk, exposing their darkest instincts and suppressed desires. At once arrogant and unassuming, righteous and depraved, sane and truly mad, Nagel seduces the entire community even as he turns it on end--before disappearing as suddenly as he arrived. Knut Hamsun (1859-1952) was a Norwegian novelist, poet, and playwright. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1920.Read Less
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I started reading Knut Hamsun's books when I visited Norway 2 years ago. Until I recently read "Mysteries " I unilaterally loved everything he wrote. The main character in "Mysteries", Nagel , is a disturbed person. At first you have great sympathy for him, then his actions toward other people in the story make you dislike him. Nagel is a character on a self-destructive course. Yet Hamsun never gives you his whole story, you get only hints here and there. At the very end, I got the feeling that perhaps Nagel was right about some things - but I was not sure. This is a book that undoubtedly has several layers of meanings. One reading is not enough to figure it out. I guess I can say I finally met a Hamsun story I did not love.
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