So says Anna Paterson in The Independent's review of Jan Kjærstad's The Seducer – the first volume of a 1,500-page trilogy.
15/03/2004 :: "Jan Kjærstad is a brave writer: a Viking of literature, unafraid of risk-taking on a grand scale. The Seducer is the first novel in the Norwegian author's trilogy, which took nearly 10 years, weighs in at 1,500 pages and contains more than 200 "stories"."
"Kjærstad is a compelling storyteller, who ties plots and images into an interlocking whole. He speaks of tales retold in patterns of oriental rugs and likes using themes from myths of the East, especially Shahrazad's 1,001 life-saving stories. Every life, we are told, is a collection of stories - those you remember and those remembered about you."
"Kjærstad has argued that a strong narrative matters more than a distinctive voice, because style is vulnerable to time and translation. Despite the narrator's occasional pomposities, The Seducer reads like fast-flowing conversation, elegant and lively. It sometimes slips into verbosity, as do some of the stories. Barbara Haveland has translated the allusive flood of language with remarkably faithful fluency."
Click here to read the whole review.