Ingvar Ambjørnsen

The Echo of a Friend

Elling is finally back! As vulnerable and funny as ever. He has moved into a basement apartment in the area of Grefsen in Oslo, renting from the widow Annelore Frimann-Clausen. This is Ingvar Ambjørnsen´s fifth book about Elling, and it continues to build on the strong narrative from the previous books. The new book is a beautiful and gripping story about a lonely human being, a story that many might feel related to.

Of course this is a real Elling novel. But the backdrop that Ambjørnsen has drawn up for us also contains deep and striking comments on society of today – you can by all means call it humoristic satire – but Echoe of a Friend has a deeper and more serious undertone, describing some of the most pronounced contemporary features of our time.
DAGBLADET, 5/6 Stars

Ruthlessly honest return of Elling.
The return of now 20 years older Elling in Ingvar Ambjørnsen´s Echoe of a Friend is sad, melancholy and at the same time invigoratingly humoristic. As a novel it is a recognizable Ambjørnsen landscape, smartly delivered with a sense for precession and dark humour. It is not an exaggeration to say that Ambjørnsen was at his very best with his books about the lonely, dysfunctional and at times crazy Elling. And he shows us again, 20 years later that he is at the same level. It is a joy to read this new novel.

What a comeback! Echo of a Friend is a genuinely funny book, offering a lovely row of shining comic episodes. But just under the cheerful surface there is a tender nerve of something different. For The Echoe of a Friend is maybe first and foremost a novel about great and bottomless loneliness. [...]

VG, 6/6 stars

Elling is back. Almost just as funny, and quite as sad – but even lonelier.
The recognition of what Elling is struggling with, finding his place in the world and a dignity in his own life, make Echoe of a Friend not only relevant, but yes – important.


Ingvar Ambjørnsen is back with a new book about Elling – 20 years later. This is a reunion that you do not want to miss. Reading this book on the tram might lead to spontaneous laughter behind the book covers, making you feel a bit like Elling yourself. [...]


Ingvar Ambjørnsen

Originalrgb portrett   kvadratisk ingvar ambjørnsen
Photo Credit: Marie Sjøvold

Ingvar Ambjørnsen (b. 1956) is considered to be one of the great storytellers of contemporary Norwegian literature. Since his literary début in 1981, Ambjørnsen has written twenty four novels and three collections of short stories, as well as essay collections and several books for children and youth. He has won a number of awards, including the Riverton Prize, the Brage Award, the Booksellers’ Award and the Riksmål Prize. His works are sold to a great number of countries. Many of them have been adapted into films with great success. The movie Elling, based on Ambjørnsen’s novels ‘The Bird Dance’ and ‘Blood Brothers’, was nominated to an Oscar in 2001, and Elling the theatre play has appeared on stage in several theatres around Europe to great acclaim

Foreign rights

Cappelen Damm Agency
NO-0055 Oslo
Tel: +47 21 61 65 00
[email protected]

Edited October 30, 2020 by Cappelen Damm Agency