In this fifth volume of Karl Ove Knausgaard’s epic My Struggle series Karl Ove moves to Bergen to attend a course at the Writing Academy. It turns out to be a huge disappointment. He wants so much, knows so little and achieves nothing. With no apparent reason to feel a spirit of enterprise he continues his writing and reading. Most of his contemporaries have their manuscripts accepted and make their debuts as writers while he begins to feel the best he can do is to write about literature.
Gradually his writing changes. His relationship with the world around him changes too. This becomes a novel about new, strong friendships and a serious relationship that transforms him until the novel reaches the existential pivotal point: his father dies, Karl Ove makes his debut as a writer and everything disintegrates. He leaves for Sweden.