Tom Kristensen is a Danish novelist (this is again in the Nordic Translation Series) whose considerable corpus is relatively...

READ REVIEW

HAVOC

Tom Kristensen is a Danish novelist (this is again in the Nordic Translation Series) whose considerable corpus is relatively unknown here. Havoc, his major novel, appeared in 1930, a long, lugubrious, if cumulatively powerful story which tracks the predictable course of an alcoholic from deterioration to obliteration. Ole Jastran is a book reviewer, and when first seen is living in the commonplace comfort of his debts and her dishes with his wife and son. He brings in his raffish, radical, writing friends: he engages with them in boozy bouts of philosophical dialectics; he visits a priest and entertains hallucinatory visions when ""He [Jesus] is close to me."" The first half of the novel is definitely slow but it accelerates as Jastrau disintegrates--loses his wife, resigns from his job, sees his apartment burned to the ground, and is eventually hustled out of the city. . . . The strength of the novel resides in its determined realism but for the reader, as for his melancholy Dane, it is often a long time between drinks.

Pub Date: April 15, 1968

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1968