Lars Saabye Christensen
Echoes of The City - The Shadow Book

What do we hear when we listen to the sounds of the city? What are the echoes it leaves in us? Who is there on the other side of the phone call?

At the centre of Echoes of the City we find Maj Kristoffersen. Her destiny is intimately interwoven with Oslo and its streets; but not as much as the people she shares the city with. First and foremost her children Jesper and Stine, as well as her fellow women of the Red Cross, the invisible social backbone of Fagerborg borough. The children are grown up and times are changing. Hopes and dreams are challenged by a world no longer on track. The pains of growing are visible in them all as new doors open and the old are closing.

Lars Saabye Christensen has put his ear to the conch of the city and listened to the sound within. With finely tuned sensitivity he listens to every detail. He sees the light casting a shadow one way as the sun is setting over the city that was, and the other way over a city waking up to a new time. Inevitably the question arises: Whom are we who are living in this city, this country and this time - and who will we become?

This is the riveting, grand and thought provoking final of the trilogy Echoes of the City.

‘It is gripping, in some passages glittering. And only a reader with a heart of steel could fail to be deeply moved…’


‘Lars Saabye Christensen allows himself digressions and diversions in the last novel in his Oslo trilogy Echoes of the City. This sets the three-volume work slightly off-kilter. Just what it takes to make the trilogy necessary. Yes, necessary.’


‘The author serves up metaphors and images that will make the reader cheer.’


‘The Shadow Book is a very powerful novel, which stays with you for a long time. And yes, it is a bit funny too.’


‘… an emotional roller-coaster’


‘With The Shadow Book, Lars Saabye Christensen has concluded his trilogy in a way that ensures Echoes of the City will stand as a masterpiece in the oeuvre of this soon-to-be 66-year-old Oslo man.’

BOK365, 6/6

‘Echoes of the City is a vast monument to the past and the present day. …
it works, the whole thing. Echoes of the City – The Shadow Book is a brilliant conclusion to the trilogy about Oslo and Norway in the decades after the war.’


‘Lars Saabye Christensen writes warming literature of reminiscence, full of linguistic treats.’


Lars Saabye Christensen

Lars Saabye Christensen
Photo Credit: Magnus Stivi

Lars Saabye Christensen (b. 1953) has published a number of novels, poetry and short story collections since his literary debut in 1976 with The Story of Gly. His breakthrough came with Beatles (1984), one of the greatest literary sales successes in Norway that, over the years, new generations continue to hold close to their hearts. The author received the Nordic Council Literature Prize for The Half Brother in 2001.

He has also received the Riverton Prize, the Critics' Prize, the Brage Prize, the Norwegian Booksellers' Prize, the Dobloug Prize and the Norwegian Reader's Prize. The author has been published in 37 territories.

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Edited October 30, 2020 by Cappelen Damm Agency