Professor Andersen's Night

Professor Andersen's Night
Dag Solstad
Reviewed by Nicola Manning
Thu, 03/11/2011

Professor Andersen’s Night follows the story of Pal Andersen, an ageing university professor who is witness to the strangulation of an unknown young woman in his neighbour’s front room on Christmas Eve. It examines the professor’s dilemma with the ethical and moral reasons behind reporting or not reporting the crime he has just witnessed.

Solstad takes us through the professor’s array of emotional questions aside from those relating to the reporting of the crime, such as the dwindling of beliefs he and his colleagues held in their youth and the philosophical questions of life and the nature of being itself. One cannot help but think of Solstad as a modern day Chekov, and the book as not only a journey through one man’s witness to a crime and his struggle to report it, but through his resulting downward spiral into a philosophical mid-life crisis that examines his own origins and the resulting break-down he experiences as he comes to realise that his lifelong studies have run to dead-end.

Understated, bleak, wry and also overwhelmingly intelligent, Professor Andersen’s Night will have you asking yourself the question: “If you were witness to a violent crime in your neighbour’s house, would you choose to report it?”

Add comment

Login or register to post comments

Books in this genre

After Helen
Paul Cavanagh
Review by Katy Hepburn
Beautiful You
Chuck Palahniuk
Review by Leanne Leveaux
Getting Colder
Amanda Coe
Review by Sally Hughes
The Fires of Autumn
Irene Nemirovksy
Review by Jo Harding
  • x
  • x