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Growth of the Soil -

Review from a Transgressive Fiction Fan

Despite the fact that this book won Hamsun a Nobel Prize in Literature, it is often Hamsun’s most misunderstood novel. Not much seems to happen in the 400+ pages of Isak (a mysterious, near god-like figure) building his farm. Even when things do happen, Hamsun’s writing is surprisingly calm despite the possibility of disaster. What I believe it comes down to is this: This books is not so much about Isak changing as it is about the “modern world” encroaching on Isak’s life. From the strange section in which Isak has to be led through the process of obtaining legal ownership of the land he has tilled for decades, to the son who appears less and less at the family estate, to finally Isak seeing an apparition of the Devil in the forest he has traversed for years, this book is ultimately not a story of a man who changes, but of changes circling a man of a dying breed.

“Insightful” Review from a Mainstream Reader

Probably the most overrated book I have ever read.
Although I usually finish books I start, couldn’t complete more than half of it.
About as interesting as, well, watching grass grow.

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