Posted by: Ele Quigan | September 14, 2013

The Ringmaster’s Daughter – Jostein Gaarder

The Ringmaster's DaughterHoliday fiction continues, this time with the book club request – The Ringmaster’s daughter. What felt like a book within a book within a book, well written, and slightly unusual – it was a really interesting read.

I raced through it – kinda feeling on the periphery, not sure whether that was because I was more interested in the beach, sunshine and overall feeling of being on holiday rather than being really involved in another potentially depressing book.

It’s about writing, and having a million ideas without putting them to paper (effectively selling them) which weirdly totally related to the next book I read (1Q84), which did resonate.

It wouldn’t be a Jostein Gaarder without a ‘twist’ which I picked out fairly early on – but of course you’re drawn back to an early comment in the book where when the protagonist mentions he’s writing his life story, how you should take it with a grain of salt.

Of course that’s the thing when you’re writing about yourself, there’s always an element of ‘self sanitisation’ so who knows how much of it is supposed to be real…

It’s well written and easily draws you in – and doesn’t feel translated. With bright and at times fluffy language, it doesn’t have that stilted, odd feel that some translated books seem to have.

The thing about book club books, is the “questions” going round the table. I could almost pick them out as I was reading, almost feeling like it was written in that way on purpose, a bit like a treatise on being an author, and then a slightly cynical nod to that element of reading these days.

I dunno, It was a good read, will be interesting to see what everyone says on the 2nd…



  1. To that end then, do you want to send me some questions? The book’s not that well-known so I can’t seem to find many online. So unless you’re happy answering the usual drivel of ‘Who would you like to have dinner with?’ and ‘Is Petter just a bit of a dick?’, I may need some help. Ping me any you think of if you get time before wednesday. snogs x

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