Tuesday, December 22, 2015
We the Drowned by Carsten Jensen
I haven’t yet figured out where I got the recommendation for We the Drowned by Carsten Jensen. It’s a quirky novel originally written in Danish.
This epic tale begins in the mid 19th century in Marstal, Denmark and loosely centers around the life of Laurids Madsen and his son Albert as well as Albert’s adopted son, Knud Erik. Laurids’ boots also end up playing a central role. Marstal is a town peopled with sailors. Every year the men of the town battle the sea while the women “man” the town.
The story is full of off-beat characters and magical events. It’s a fun story of a culture very foreign to my own. It presents somewhat mystical occurrences with a matter-of-fact tone, although we are repeatedly told the main characters have nothing more than a nominal faith in God. That adds to its quirkiness.
I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this book, because, while it was entertaining, it wasn’t great. Worth reading, but don’t put aside a great book for this one!