Review of 'Unreliable Man' on 'Storygraph'

3 stars

The book is a long letter written by the main character, Jakop, to a women, Agnes, about his life and his encounters with the members of the Lundin family through the years. Jakop is a university professor of humble origins and with poor social skills - he makes me think of Stoner, and similarly I couldn’t relate to him but ended up feeling some sympathy for him. The pace of the story is quite slow, so much that I was tempted to leave the book unfinished at some point, but various colourful characters are presented along the way but the second part becomes more interesting and we slowly see Jakop changing and becoming more aware of his needs.
I loved Gaarder’s books in the past and I was happy to read him again after many years. The theme of storytelling is one he has used in the past, but here the overall tone is different. I can’t say I loved it but it’s well written and the topics are interesting. It’s all about the need for social interactions, family ties, it’s about living through stories and imagining yourself in a better life.
I did like the ending, but I’m not going to say anything else about it!