In Roy Jacobsen’s latest novel, The Unworthy, we follow a gang of boys and girls from an apartment building on the eastside of Oslo during the WWII German occupation. They live in poverty, but get by creatively swindling, stealing like magpies, falsifying documents and committing extensive burglaries. They don’t shy away from exploiting the Enemy, either. With this pack of children, a lauded writer has rendered a brutally frank and warm portrait of a time, a place and an everyday life that thus far have been absent from the stories told of WWII. This is a Roy Jacobsen novel of best mark.
The Unworthy is wise, brutal and entertaining. A gem of a story, written by an author in his right element.