Perhaps Hamsun has reached a point, in his old age, when he cannot create a sense of reality, of sharing the emotions of his characters. This new novel seems to me utterly unreal, detached from events and people and feelings. One sees the story-teller as an observer, a bit cynical, watching while one woman wrecks sundry lives. There is a detachment that is contagious so that the reader too, simply sees it as a far-off, unimportant succession of minor incidents, etched against the wildness of the Norwegian upper pastures and the woods. One gropes for meaning -- it eludes one. It reads -- for the first half -- like a philosophical -- nature study, and slowly gathers pace.