A GIRL I KNEW by Axel Jensen


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An impression of modern Norwegian youth forms a brief, somewhat inconclusive novel. The youngsters involved have a derivation in Holden Caulfield and the Beat Generation, and they are rather distressingly American, Jazz and gadget minded, sometimes sensitive and directionless. Young Jacob comes back to Osio after bumming around the Near and Far East. He meets Carrie again, a young girl of a wealthy family, has an affair with her, goes to parties with her rich young friends, and inherits money of his own. In the summer some of the youngsters sail on the fjords. A few in this group are killed in foolish accidents; others survive to marry or drift elsewhere. The intense and touching affair between Jacob and Carrie dissolves when he attacks her after a party. Meaninglessness, vagrancy, and the lack of anything enduring in the lives involved is apparently the book's message. True enough, but minor.

Pub Date: Oct. 15th, 1962
Publisher: Knopf