Review: The Wolves of Eternity by Karl Ove Knausgaard (Washington Post)
Smoke from wildfires in Canada lent skies across the northern United States an infernal hue this past June. Masks were dug out; the Air Quality Index had its moment; Times Square looked briefly like the Los Angeles of “Blade Runner.” For readers of Karl Ove Knausgaard’s apocalyptic 2021 novel, “The Morning Star,” the situation might have seemed ominously familiar. Knausgaard’s epic — the first in a projected series — is narrated by nine characters, each undergoing a crisis during a heat wave in present-day Norway when a mysterious new star appears suddenly in the sky. The book is a literary hybrid of the neurotic mundane realism that made Knausgaard famous and something more fiendish: strange happenings in the woods, reanimated corpses, a world bewitched. Its hallucinatory climax only hints at what the star might portend — and it ends on a terrific cliffhanger. What does it all mean?
The good news, at least for hardcore Knausgaard fans, is that the second book in the series, “The Wolves of Eternity,” poses more questions than it answers. Indeed, for hundreds of pages the morning star is nowhere to be seen. Reviews from Norway of the third volume, “Det tredje riket” — in English “The Third Kingdom” or, intriguingly, “The Third Reich” — suggest that its import may become clearer there. But while some light is cast in “Wolves” on the nature of the coming apocalypse, it’s less like we’re rushing than slouching toward Revelation.
For the review in full, visit The Washington Post.