Lars Saabye Christensen

A Random Norwegian

Gordon Mo works in the Ministry of Agriculture and is the very model of a grey bureaucrat. But inside he’s seething and now and then he has to relieve the pressure: that’s when he checks into a hotel and lets off a bit of steam from the pressure cooker. This works fine until one day at work when a cake is served up in his honour: that day, unfortunately, the pressure becomes too much for Gordon Mo. To cut a long story short, by the next day he no longer works at the ministry. But unlike many 60-year-old bureaucrats who lose their jobs, Gordon Mo is not superfluous: a shy old man who’s seething inside needs something.

This is the starting point for Gordon Mo’s journey, which begins at an institution outside Baltimore that is supposed to get him back on his feet again. There he encounters the night watchman, Only Me, who will turn out to play a decisive role in the novel. What’s more, there’s a certain Frans Meek in the background who’s pulling the strings and ensuring that things continue to boil over here and there.

A Random Norwegian takes the pulse of our age with stinging wit and warmth.

Lars Saabye Christensen

Lowresrgb portrett lars saabye christensen
Anne Valeur

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. He received the Nordic Council Literature Prize for The Half Brother in 2001.

Saabye Christensen 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. He has been published in 36 countries.

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Edited February 11, 2021 by Cappelen Damm Agency