The Morning Star: A Novel
A New York Times Notable Book
One of NPR's Best Books of 2021
"Knausgaard is among the finest writers alive.” —Dwight Garner, New York Times
The international bestseller from the author of the renowned My Struggle series, The Morning Star is an astonishing, ambitious, and rich novel about what we don't understand, and our attempts to make sense of our world nonetheless
One long night in August, Arne and Tove are staying with their children in their summer house in southern Norway. Their friend Egil has his own place nearby. Kathrine, a priest, is flying home from a Bible seminar, questioning her marriage. Journalist Jostein is out drinking for the night, while his wife, Turid, a nurse at a psychiatric care unit, is on a night shift when one of her patients escapes.
Above them all, a huge star suddenly appears blazing in the sky. It brings with it a mysterious sense of foreboding.
Strange things start to happen as nine lives come together under the star. Hundreds of crabs amass on the road as Arne drives at night; Jostein receives a call about a death metal band found brutally murdered in a Satanic ritual; Kathrine conducts a funeral service for a man she met at the airport – but is he actually dead?
The Morning Star is about life in all its mundanity and drama, the strangeness that permeates our world, and the darkness in us all. Karl Ove Knausgaard’s astonishing new novel, his first after the My Struggle cycle, goes to the utmost limits of freedom and chaos, to what happens when forces beyond our comprehension are unleashed and the realms of the living and the dead collide.
Praise for The Morning Star: A Novel
“In his first work of fiction since the six volumes of My Struggle, Knausgaard trades his bracingly autobiographical mode for a ravishing form of theologically infused fabulism. A mysterious celestial body appears in the late-August sky, accompanied by Biblical omens, hallucinations, and increasingly uncanny events in the natural world. Tracing the lives of nine interconnected characters, Knausgaard sets these enigmatic phenomena against the minutiae of everyday life. This combination of the universal and the intimate enables the novel to approach weighty subjects—death and dying, belief and despair—with both the thrust of a suspense narrative and the depth of a philosophical inquiry.” —The New Yorker
“Knausgaard’s sentences, in Martin Aitken's translation, are both plainly direct and lyrically, emotionally elevated . . . Symphonic.” —Heidi Julavits, New York Times Book Review
“Knausgaard retains the ability to lock you, as if in a tractor beam, into his storytelling. He takes the mundane stuff of life—the need to take a leak, the joy of killing pesky flies—and essentializes them . . . Knausgaard is among the finest writers alive.” —Dwight Garner, New York Times
“[Knausgaard’s] imagination functions perfectly. . . . Just as we begin to wonder where he is taking us, whether he is capable, he gets us there. Actually he does what we might never have expected of Knausgaard: he carries us into a Land, like a part-animal or genderless guide.” —Patricia Lockwood, London Review of Books
“[Knausgaard] reveals himself to be a surprise master of the uncanny . . . The storytelling gift that kept readers enthralled by My Struggle remains powerful. Like Stephen King, another inspiration here, Knausgaard stays shoulder-close to his characters, his paragraphs mimicking the erratic interleaving of their thoughts . . . This is a thoughtful, highly readable novel, packed with ideas and exciting flourishes.” —Charles Arrowsmith, Los Angeles Times
“Without quite turning into Stephen King, Knausgaard has managed a page-turner that’s recognizably his own. The true sign of the master’s touch: he writes too much but always leaves you wanting more.” —Christian Lorentzen, Air Mail
“Knausgaard’s first traditional novel since the 2008 translation of A Time for Everything offers a dark and enthralling story of the appearance of a new star . . . Knausgaard wheels wildly and successfully through various forms. His focus on the beauty and terror of the mundane will resonate with fans of My Struggle . . . For the author it’s a marvelous new leap.” —Publishers Weekly (starred)
“Readers hungry for more of [Knausgaard’s] immersive storytelling will burn through this tome.” —Booklist