I Am the Walker Brothers
Jan Kjærstad returns with an exhuberant, humorous and deeply serious story of a boy who suddenly discovers the power of imagination and unconventional thinking.
Oslo, 1984: Odd Marius Walaker is 14 years old, and nothing is impossible anymore. He has an erotic relationship to the lady next door. He is attacked by four girls wanting to circumcise him. He sends teachers to see the headmaster. He has long conversations with Ancient Greece, his history teacher. He answer’s people’s love letters in a magazine. He speculates on the identity of the person terrorizing the city with book bombs. He has a strong wish to save his parents’ marriage, and he tries to assist when his best friend’s little brother is reported missing.
But beneath all this, Odd Marius is the Walker Brothers, wandering around town with a sharpened gaze and a book about life in the ocean in his backpack, drawing people’s hands and posing the same question to people he meets. Odd Marius sees possibilities perhaps no one else has seen before – but many years later, when he is called upon to lead his country through the worst crisis in history, the insights and powers of youth appear to be lost.
I Am the Walker Brothers deals with a young person’s body, but even more so with his imagination, his mental resources and the undreamed of powers he seems to possess. An unconventional coming-of-age tale seen through the observant eyes of a teenager, I Am the Walker Brothers is a vibrant, humorous, wonderfully written book that introduces a new, more playful and casual side to Kjærstad’s work.