Written by Ingvar Ambjørnsen
Number 5 in Elling
Publisher: Cappelen Damm
Genre: Norwegian, Humour, Contemporary
Original Language: Norwegian
Read from 2020-06-29 to 2020-07-05
Read in Norwegian
Review: I knew that Ingen kan hjelpe meg would be a bit of a departure from the rhythm in the regular Elling books, but I wasn’t aware of quite how much of a departure it would turn out to be. This isn’t a story about Elling where he happens to be reading the book Lanzarote — it’s a book analysis of Lanzarote, written by Elling, during which we happen to get some tidbits from Elling’s life.
This made me all the more glad that I read Lanzarote before reading this book, though I am a little disappointed that I didn’t get more of Elling. He exhibits the same warmth, likability, and eccentricities as in the more regular books, but we see it almost exclusively in the context of him speaking to himself about a book he’s reading. All his observations are pretty much what one would expect from him, so rather than being exciting or challenging, Ingen kan hjelpe meg is more of a reassurance. Elling is still there, and still the person we know him as.
If you’ve read and liked the other Elling books you should read this one too, just to check in with him, but I would recommend reading Lanzarote first. Knowing that this book exists will make Lanzarote more interesting, and having speculated about what Elling will think while reading Lanzarote will make this book more interesting.