Jonas Wergeland has been convicted of the murder of his wife Margrete. What brought Norway's darling to this end? A professor has been set the task of writing a biography of the once celebrated, now notorious, television personality; in doing so he hopes to solve the riddle of Jonas Wergeland's success and downfall. But the sheer volume of material on his subject is so daunting that the professor finds himself completely bogged down, at a loss with how to proceed, until the evening when a mysterious stranger knocks on his door and offers to tell him stories which will help him unravel the strands of Wergeland's life.
'With The Conqueror Jan Kjærstad has brilliantly taken his place amongst Europe's most outstanding younger novelists of the moment – a master in full flower' Niels Frid-Nielsen, Aktuelt
'Kjærstad drags his hero through the dirt to create a pearl. Scintillating story and philosophical equanimity. Five Yin/Yang stars to Kjærstad' Susanne Bjertrup, Politiken (Denmark)
'It is possible that I'll change my mind, but now, after a single night with this thousand-pager, I can't think of a single novel from contemporary European literature I'd rather have than these two by Jan Kjærstad' Weekend-avisen (Denmark)
'Kjærstad's novels are redolent with the fantastic profusion of the stories they tell, of all that flows forth from them, presented in ever-new guises' Die Zeit