Sunday, January 30, 2011

Neil Recommends...

Carsten Jensen’s debut novel has taken the world by storm. Already hailed in Europe as an instant classic, We, the Drowned is the story of the port town of Marstal, whose inhabitants have sailed the world’s oceans aboard freight ships for centuries. Spanning over a hundred years, from the mid-nineteenth century to the end of the Second World War, and from the barren rocks of Newfoundland to the lush plantations of Samoa, from the roughest bars in Tasmania, to the frozen coasts of northern Russia, We, the Drowned spins a magnificent tale of love, war, and adventure, a tale of the men who go to sea and the women they leave behind.

Ships are wrecked at sea and blown up during wars, they are places of terror and violence, yet they continue to lure each generation of Marstal men—fathers and sons—away. Strong, resilient, women raise families alone and sometimes take history into their own hands. There are cannibals here, shrunken heads, prophetic dreams, forbidden passions, cowards, heroes, devastating tragedies, and miraculous survivals—everything that a town like Marstal has actually experienced, and that makes We, the Drowned an unforgettable novel, destined to take its place among the greatest seafaring literature.

Neil says:
"New to the United States is We, The Drowned, from Danish author Carsten Jensen, a multi-generational saga of the Danish seafaring town Marstal, beginning and ending in wars nearly a century apart. The story is fiction, though Jensen writes that he did his best to maintain a truthful history of Marstal itself. Voted Denmark’s 'best novel of the past twenty-five years' - by whom I don’t know - this is grand storytelling not just of seafaring adventure but also of a town that loves the sea as much as it grieves the sons that never return from it."

No comments: