Vetle Lid Larssen

The Stargazers

De stjernekyndige

A historical page-turner inspired by actual events. Three men. A dizzying goal. A desperate journey through Norway. In 1767, Maximilian Hell, imperial court astronomer in Vienna, is given a surprising task: To travel as far north and east as it is possible to get in the known world to observe the passage of Venus. It’s a 5,000 kilometre journey, under brutal conditions, to the most inhospitable place on Earth, Vardø in Norway, with one overriding goal in mind: to determine the Earth’s distance from the sun. It is an expedition that will take several years, equipped with the most advanced technology of the time, followed with a keen eye by the planet’s scientific elite, faced with unsolvable problems: logistics, isolation, internal contradictions and violent forces of nature. But Maximilian Hell has God on his side; and the not so successful Norwegian Jens Finne Borchgrevink as his personal guide.

Larssen 9788234717413 org

‘Simply put a very good novel.’


‘A rare event. Vetle Lid Larssen is superb at capturing the spirit of the times through language, characters, details, thoughts, smells and moods.’


‘A wild novel.’


‘An adventurous story about brilliant and ambitious people in a very demanding environment.’


‘God, power, prestige and a breakneck expedition. These are the ingredients of Vetle Lid Larssen’s successful novel.’

Vårt Land
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Photo: Svein Finneide

Vetle Lid Larssen has written several essays and novels. Including the bestselling docudrama 1001 night, the autobiographical How to love a father – and survive, the historic epic The last travel of Lucy – which was Norways third most sold novel in 2021- and in 2023 the critically acclaimed The Stargazers with three months on the bestsellerlists.