Abel is the only son of a miserly lighthouse-keeper and an alcoholic mother growing up in a remote Norwegian village. As a boy he loves Olga, the pharmacist's daughter, and on returning from America as a young man they fall in love. However, Abel is haunted by the secrets of his travels and his only ambition is to live on the barest of necessities and pursue a life without desire or ambition.With a central character as iconoclastic as Hunger and an evocation of the restrictions of small town life as acute as Mysteries this is one of Hamsun's greatest novels.

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