It is Christmas Eve, and 55-year-old Professor Pål 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 paralysed by indecision. Desperate for respite, the professor sets off to a local sushi bar, only to find himself face to face with the murderer.
Professor Andersen's Night 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?
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An excellent choice for the brooding intellectual in your life. - Metro
Dag Solstad, Norway's most distinguished living writer, is a clear-eyed moralist who takes an existentialist's interest in the compromises, evasions and accommodations we make to get through life... Wryly humorous and needle-sharp in skewering pretension, Solstad is unlike anyone currently writing in English... A deeply rewarding novel. - Sunday Times
[An] exquisitely composed novel... Dag Solstad is an unflinching explorer of the plight of educated humankind in the face of the inexplicable whose artistry matches his ambitious theme. - Independent
At times dark and moving, even, on occasion, unexpectedly funny, Professor Andersen's Night tackles a premise which would prove just as intriguing in a pacey thriller... It is visceral in its investigations into the derailing of one man's life in all its sticky, existential glory. - Scotland on Sunday
This is a subversive little novel in which morality becomes a football. Whereas Novel 11, Book 18 pivots on a decision that defies everything, Professor Andersen's Night confronts morality, justice and compromise. Dag Solstad, who is frequently compared, with some justification, to Chekhov, has written a moral, almost allegorical novel in which he is far less interested in heroics than he is in humanity. - Irish Times
A clever psychological inaction thriller, which uses the witnessing of a crime as the catalyst for a midlife crisis. - Guardian
A penetrating combination of Hitchcock’s Rear Window, Camus’ existential ennui and Larkin’s social embarrassment. - Times Higher Education Supplement
Solstad has an outstanding ability to portray mental processes accurately; here, the bleakness of Andersen's outlook is offset by the lightness of the prose, nimbly translated by Agnes Scott Langeland, and by the wry humour at play in it. - Times Literary Supplement
Dag Solstad is one of Norway's leading contemporary authors. His work has consistently won critical acclaim and he is the only author to have received the Norwegian Literary Critics' Award three times. All three of his novels available in English have been listed for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize: Shyness and Dignity was shortlisted in 2007 and Novel 11, Book 18 and Professor Andersen's Night were longlisted for the 2009 and 2012 prizes respectively.