The Unseen: The Barroy Trilogy, Book 1 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
Born on the Norwegian island that bears her name, Ingrid Barrøy’s world is circumscribed by storm-scoured rocks and the moods of the sea by which her family lives and dies. But her father dreams of building a quay that will end their isolation, and her mother longs for the island of her youth, and the country faces its own sea change: the advent of a modern world, and all its unpredictability and violence.
Brilliantly translated into English by Don Bartlett and Don Shaw, The Unseen is the first book in the Ingrid Barrøy Trilogy and a profoundly moving exploration of family, resilience, and fate.
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|Listening Length||6 hours and 59 minutes|
|Author||Roy Jacobsen, Don Shaw - translator, Don Bartlett - translator|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||August 17, 2021|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #51,891 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#685 in Fiction Sagas
#1,167 in Family Life Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#3,583 in Historical Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
Top reviews from the United States
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There is no interesting dialog and the characters are one dimensional boring stoics. The book had no soul or depth.
Islanders led a very difficult life that was dependent on nature and the elements, as well as their own abilities, creativeness, perseverance and good judgment. I was inspired by how they dealt with the hardships encountered. It was a simple, lonely life, but through hard work, they managed to make a good life together and gradually become part of the greater community of islanders and the mainland.
Top reviews from other countries
I made it about 100 pages. Sure it has the modern feel "nothing means anything", which is drab enough, but each chapter has one arbitrary topic (e.g. someone finds a telescope) that is slowly made boring until it is put down without fanfare and the next object is grabbed at.
And I love Dostoevsky, Ulysses, and such. I can handle long religious conversations, or just plain not knowing what the hell is going on. This book... it is written concise, and the author makes some very sage short statements, but they tend to come one per chapter and leave you wondering, if that's the pearl, what exactly is the rest of all that shuffling around for?
On the cover it says "Easily among the best books I have ever read." What a statement! Why did they say that?
I think the story must be well translated because the short and deceptively simple sentence structure comes across well. It's one of those books that you can't put down, yet can't explain why it is so compelling and engrossing. The depiction of a very different way of life is fascinating, the characters are interesting and believable, and the chapters flow at just the right pace. The characters' speech is rendered phonetically in a way that sounds a bit Scottish - I guess this is the translator's attempt to reflect whatever the original used but in English. It's well done in that it's still readable and it creates the same impression of people who don't speak grandly that I presume the author conjured up in the original Norwegian.
I sometimes get bored with literary novels as so many are overlong, overwordy or pretentious. But Jacobsen's work is none of those things. He doesn't waste words and he conjures up a strong sense of place. I'd highly recommend this book to readers in general. Also his novel 'The Town of Burned Out Miracles' is another excellent read and worth trying if you enjoyed this.
Despite a stranger visiting the island, deaths and disappearances happening at odd moments, there is little tension in this story. It's still a surprisingly compelling and engaging read though, as if I'd been taken by the hand and given a tour of what life was like for people a century ago who had to subsist on little else but the nature around them and each other.
The language is central in that it conveys the bleakness of the climate, the lack of flourish of the people's lives beautifully. There are very few dialogues, but when the author chooses to let a character 'speak', the strong dialects complements the setting perfectly. It's a gem of a book!
I have just seen that Roy Jakobsen has written another book about this subject and I will be reading that also.