The Werewolf

Sandemose, Aksel: Varulven

The Werewolf is a boldly drawn novel of the tyranny of love over men and women and the unending trials of strength between good and evil in human nature. Its main characters are of heroic stature yet deeply flawed, moving against the backdrop of Norwegian society from World War 1 to the 1960s.

Over the novel broods the symbol of the Werewolf, which for Sandemose represents all the forces hostile to a full, free life – the thirst for power over others’ lives, the lust to destroy what cannot be possessed or controlled. In their private encounters with the Werewolf, few can claim total victory. Sandemose’s characters all bear the scars of lost battles.

Praise for The Werewolf:

“In this, his greatest novel, Sandemose carried his fictional experimentation to a triumphant conclusion… He handles the problems of fictional time as adeptly as such writers as James Joyce and Virginia Wolf. His sensitivity, his lyrical capacity…create a novel of beauty as well as of truth”
(American-Scandinavian Review)

“Leaves you grasping at what is left of your shattered vision of normality”
(Harper’s)

First published: 1958

Aksel Sandemose: Biography and bibliography

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