Professor Andersen's Night
A master of Norwegian literature critiques contemporary society with wry wit in an existential murder story
It is Christmas Eve, and 55-year-old Professor Andersen is alone, drinking coffee and cognac in his living room. Lost in thought, he looks out of the window and sees a man strangle a woman in the apartment across the street. Professor Andersen fails to report the crime. The days pass, and he becomes paralyzed by indecision. Desperate for respite, the professor sets off to a local sushi bar, only to find himself face to face with the murderer. This is an unsettling yet highly entertaining novel of apathy, rebellion, and morality. In flinty prose, Solstad presents an uncomfortable question—would we, like his cerebral protagonist, do nothing?