The End by Karl Ove Knausgaard review – bolder if not wiser

Concluding a monumental literary journey, the Norwegian author’s soul-searching comes full circle

And so seven years after its publication in Norway, the sixth and final part of Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle series finally reaches British bookshops. Why it’s taken this long is unclear, though the fact that the 1,168-page tome has an additional translator (Martin Aitken) alongside Don Bartlett, who worked on the previous five alone, may just have something to do with it.

In any case, the fittingly titled The End is worth the wait. Reimmersing myself in Knausgaard’s distinctive preoccupations, I wondered at first if I had lost the magnetic thread, that strange compulsion in the Norwegian’s sprawling prose that pulls the reader through epic sprees of navel-gazing. What more could he say about himself and his literary anxieties? With how many more cigarettes and cups of coffee could he fill his descriptions of quotidian life?

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