Jan Kjærstad:
The King of Europe


Kjærstad on Wikipedia His Homepage Kjærstad presented by the publisher

                                          WhyKinks presents the book:
kjaerstad1.jpg (32246 bytes) New Years Eve 1999: Alf I. Veber sits by his own in a snow-cave in the Jotunheimen mountains, making up status of his life. He has sold his dot-com company, but just in time to get rich. He has written a couple of books, though slaughtered by critics. He had married the upper-class Charlotte, correct in everyday life, brutal in bed. And he has divorced her.

He is a man on his way down, who decides to break up, burn bridges and find the woman he thinks he loves. In London.
But there life takes an unexpected direction. Denied by the woman, he falls further down. He throws his pc's and mobile phone in the Thames, gives away most of his money.  Ends up as a homeless in the big city, where he changes identity with another homeless - and finally entering Europe by train as an englishman.

Jan Kjaerstad thanks for the reciving of The Nordic Council's literatureprize (2001-04-02)

We follow Alf in an interchanging story between now and then (hm), between the streets of  London and his childhood in Oslo.

"The King of Europe is about a man who is far from beeing a king, and a Europe that not necessarily is what the reader first gets in mind. Alf I Veber is looking for a place where the heart and the brain is close, and for a possibility to be a winner even if you look like a looser….In London he meets a strange woman, and suddenly he can use all the popular music that is hidden inside him…", writes the paper VG about this book.And most of this music is, of course, The Kinks:

"..Ray Davies' group hit him strait, took over already after the first single. A music for outsider kings. In Alf's ears the last albums, Face to face, Something Else and The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society, where revelations of the same inscrutible nature as the Holy Trinity."   ( The King of Europe, p.52).

Jan Kjærstad painted by Tom Gundersen - born 1951 in Skien, Norway

 "Helt konge i London" article in Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten link