Charlotte Isabel Hansen / I Travel Alone

Renberg, Tore: Charlotte Isabel Hansen

Winner of the Booksellers' Prize 2008

What does the world need yet another child for? Do we really need another little naïve blonde scallywag, troubling herself over what the distance to the moon is, or whether flowers can cry, or who picks the leaves from the trees in the autumn?

Jarle Klepp, 25, is a student of literature. He lives in Bergen, and relishes his academic existence. Student life offers Jarle everything he has ever dreamt of: He is considered an illustrious young talent by the eccentric professor Robert Göteborg, and has an intense and exclusively physical affair with the stunning Herdis Snartemo. He has discovered his analytic skills, his effective charm; his future.

Then a letter arrives. From the police, summoning him for a DNA test.

It is time for Jarle to grow up. But is he able to?

Does he want to, really?

Charlotte Isabel Hansen is the third book in Tore Renberg's series of freestanding novels about Jarle. The other books are THE MAN WHO LOVED YNGVE and THE ORHEIM COMPANY .

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Click here to see movie trailer with English subtitles


"The text is marked by an exciting playfulness, the story rushes forward in lively parody and loud, joyful prose […] If anybody has been missing humour in Norwegian novels, they will get plenty here […] it’s done in such a skilled and charming way that this novel can be an intoxicating reading experience.”
VG, Norway

”Renberg is well on his way to conquering the title of the great story teller of contemporary Norwegian literature […] the story is exhilaratingly good, amusing, thrilling, gripping, believable and – everything at once […] it’s a nice book, a book that provokes pleasant and painful thoughts, that makes you chuckle as well as shed a tear. I recommend it unconditionally.”
Fædrelandsvennen, Norway

”A book full of humour, rhythm elegant transitions, quick-witted characterizations and peculiar imagery”
Dagbladet, Norway

“funny, revealing, sharply observed, elegantly written, ironic in tone, sentimental at its core, yes; to cry over…. Stylishly executed!”
Adresseavisen, Norway

“Full steam ahead, in the way we almost take as granted with Renberg… You might as well surrender!”
Stavanger Aftenblad, Norway

”funny in a subtle, ironic yet warm way. But this author’s greatest strength is the portrayal of people, his insight into the dynamics of friendship and family, and his understanding of why people are the way they are… And we as readers only grow more fond of [Jarle Klepp] as we read on”
Aftenposten, Norway

"Popular literature often deserves better reviews than it gets (or doesn't get). Not only does some of its authors possess an obvious talent, but the distribution of its techniques and style call for admiration. This is the case with Tore Renberg and his novel Charlotte Isabel Hansen, where the very simple intrigue is an illusion [...] The style is as simple as it is brilliant, it is not content with merely entertaining the readers; it manipulates and captures our attention, nearly without us noticing [...] Perfectly built [...] The truth of this book lies partly in its precision and at the same time in its staging of a certain type of youth. Renberg sketches a highly convincing portrait [...] The characters make Charlotte Isabel Hansen shine. Their humanity, their vulnerability and their diversity [...] The result is an atmosphere of intelligent intimacy and musicality that truly has every reason to seduce the reader. Charlotte Isabel Hansen is far from a light-weight"
Le Monde, France

“Tore Renberg is a name worth noticing! Both a satire from the University of Bergen, and a contemplation of fatherhood and individualism; Charlotte Isabel Hansen is a cheerful read…very ambitious and completely seductive.”
L’Express, France

“It may seem that every novel from the young talent, Tore Renberg, is a success…His third book about Jarle Klepp is no exception. … the characters are present and captivating.”
La Croix, France

“In this third novel, Tore Renberg – one of the most award-winning, filmed, and popular authors of his generation – makes a hugely successful entrance into France. The consistently subtle Charlotte Isabel Hansen is an optimistic human comedy about the different ways to create and transform a family’s life.”
Livres-Hebdo, France

Det er et stort generationsportræt, men så sandelig også generationskritik og ikke kun af Jarles eget æggehovedemiljø. Først og fremmest er det en på én gang fornem og letlæst demonstration i netop Prousts ånd af, hvor meget litteraturen kan gøre os klogere på, hvor vi kommer fra, og hvor vi står nu - men også af, at det kun er os selv, der kan beslutte at komme videre.”
Jyllandsposten, Denmark

“Renberg is a skilled storyteller who pushes the story forwards through powerful images and great rhythm. The reader can barely halt his good laughter, so obvious is the young man’s self-deceit. And still, even though [the main character] moves somewhat clumsily through the days with Charlotte Isabel, he reaches the reader’s heart.”
Oberhessische Presse, Marburg

“Renberg tells a warm and entertaining story … in a beautiful way he opens up the life of a seven year old to us … A warm novel that you clutch in your hand until you’ve swallowed the final page”
Suite 101, Germany

“Very beautifully written, with irony and straight from the heart. One moment it’s funny, the next  you try to imagine yourself in the characters’ situation. Episodes and series of events make this novel all the more believable and thereby also sadder. At the same time the story is refreshing and entertaining. I would like to say more about the content, but that would be revealing too much. This is a book you have to read yourself!”
Papa-Ya, Saarbrücken, Germany

“A heartwarming novel about being and becoming an adult and a child.”
Neues Wort, Germany

“The ironic and lovable story about a man in the middle of a chaos, who suddenly discovers fatherly love.”
Freundin, Münich, Germany

“a humorous and thoughtful book”, Germany

”It’s nice. And that probably sounds like a very lukewarm and bland verdict, but I don’t mean it that way, because it’s nice in an entertaining, smart way. You care for Jarle. He is so incredibly pretentious at times, but still ...”, Sweden

”heartwarming and funny”
Norran, Sweden

First published: Oktober, 2008
Tore Renberg: Biography and bibliography

Rights sold to

Language Foreign publisher
Brazilian Portuguese DBA Editora
Danish Batzer & Co.
French Mercure de France
German dtv
Hebrew Ha'kursa books
Hungarian L'Harmattan
Lithuanian Gimtasis Zodis
Polish BC Edukacja
Russian Azbooka
Swedish Gilla Böcker

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