This epic novel tells the story of a family through two generations, centering on private and political dreams of the shoe factory worker Håkon Nyland and his three sons, who work at the local saw mill. Through this family Solstad portrays the social changes in Norway from the end of WW2 up to the dramatic referendum on Norway’s membership in the European Economic Community (later EU).
The novel provoked fierce debate on its publication, but is today regarded as one of the high points of the Norwegian social realist literature of the 70s.
“The novel is an impressive attempt, with its will to be concrete, its professionalism and its passion. Its driving force is the sorrow and rage over the energy and the humanity that is derailed and wasted under the present conditions.” (Information, Denmark)