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Norwegian by Night by Derek B. Miller

Norwegian by Night (2012)

by Derek B. Miller

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Sigrid Ødegård (#1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5463918,349 (3.95)58
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    Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow by Peter Høeg (charl08)
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    The One Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson (kristenl)
    kristenl: Both are Scandanavian stories centered around eccentric old men, and both contain historical flashbacks.
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    One Boy Missing by Stephen Orr (infosleuth)
    infosleuth: Insightful about father/son relationships and orphaned children.

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» See also 58 mentions

English (37)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  All (39)
Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
This was an amazing novel that featured a character so complex and yet very ordinary in many ways. I loved this book for so many reasons. It is a great combination of literary fiction and crime thriller. I went into the book thinking it was a mystery and it was, but the mystery part of this story is merely a vehicle to look back on the life of the main character. In the course of the story, the reader gets acquainted with Sheldon Horowitz, 82, who lived through three wars, found love and experienced excruciating loss, and near the end of his life was thrown into a dramatic sequence of events that unfolded as a crime thriller. Whew! How did the author get so much into this story without going overboard? The delightful surprise was the quality of the writing. The story was revealed in a meaningful way without unnecessary information or emotion. I am amazed at the skill Miller brings to telling the story intertwined with the suspense he created for the crime plot line. The mystery drove the story to a satisfying if not definitive conclusion. I loved it! So well done...I will pick up his other books also as time permits and I hope I will enjoy them as much as this one. ( )
  beebeereads | Jan 22, 2018 |
Eighty-two-year-old Sheldon Horowitz is widowed and grudgingly agrees to leave his New York apartment to move with his granddaughter, Rhea, and her husband, Lars, to Oslo, Norway. Alone in their shared apartment he witnesses an argument between the woman upstairs and an aggressive man. On an impulse Sheldon grabs the woman’s young son, and flees with him form this violent scene. Neither of them speak Norwegian, nor do they speak a common language, but somehow Sheldon communicates that he will keep this boy, whom he calls Paul, safe.

What an unlikely hero! Though it is never named or specifically diagnosed, Sheldon clearly suffers PTSD from his service in Korea, as a Marine sharp-shooter – a military history he has kept from his family. He also carries a heavy burden of guilt for the death of his only son, Saul, who died in serving in Vietnam, presumably to gain his father’s admiration as a warrior. Now, Sheldon is a frail, shadow of his former self; isolated by language and by dreams / fugue states that are every bit as real to Sheldon as reality.

I marveled at his inventiveness and boldness in finding his way, eluding both the bad guys and the police. My heart about stopped several times, when Sheldon, Paul and/or Rhea faced dangerous situations.

The book is also full of many humorous scenes that serve to lessen the tension. Even the bad guys fall into comic situations. (Hasn’t a love of cinnamon buns been everyone’s downfall at some point?)

Miller also gives us wonderful supporting characters. Police Chief Inspector Sigrid Odegard has few scenes, but she makes an impact – strong, resourceful, a born leader, and courageous. Her colleague Petter Hansen is the quintessential quiet detective; he pays attention to small oddities and ferrets out information that others might disregard as unimportant.

And Paul. He is a completely silent character, never saying a word, and yet Miller gives us such a clear picture of him. Frightened, isolated by language and culture, unaware of who this giant American grandfather is or why he’s doing so, Paul goes along with Sheldon. He doesn’t complain, he doesn’t balk as what he’s asked to do, he simply trusts that Sheldon knows what should be done. And he clearly feels safe with the old man.

This is a wonderful debut, and I’m eager to read more by Miller. ( )
  BookConcierge | Oct 23, 2017 |
A most affecting literary suspense novel, with important universal themes such as grief, parent-child relations, revenge, violence, and guilt. Sheldon, an elderly Jewish watch repairman, has been displaced from New York City to Oslo to join his daughter and her Norwegian husband, following the death of his wife and the news that his grand daughter is pregnant. His late wife and now his grand daughter believed he is suffering from dementia, but there's much evidence to contradict that assumption, although he does have visions of people and situations from his past. After a Serbian woman is murdered in Sheldon's bedroom while he hides in the closet with her son, he flees with the boy to escape from the violence and the unknowns of the situation. Although the story is told primarily in the third person from Sheldon's perspective, the narrative shifts occasionally to what is happening to his grand daughter, the police inspector who is trying to find the murderer, and the Kosovan perpetrators. The strength of the novel derives from the power of the back stories of Sheldon, his Korean War experience, and his relationship with his son. Sheldon's guilt for his perceived responsibility for his own wartime activities, as well as for his son's death in Vietnam, are combined with his acute grief over the many losses he has experienced. Although this is a page-turner that we want to rush through for its suspense, it is a book to savor and remember. ( )
  sleahey | Oct 10, 2017 |
Fantastic! ( )
  Mitchell_Bergeson_Jr | Aug 6, 2017 |
Norwegian by Night. Derek B. Miller. 2012. OMG Jim would have loved the subtle ethnic humor in this book! Sheldon Horowitz, a widowed, Jewish Korean War vet and watch repairer has moved to Oslo to be with his granddaughter. Sheldon opens the door one morning to see the woman who lives upstairs and her young son running for their lives. He manages to save the little boy but the mother is killed as she tries to give Sheldon time to save her son. Sheldon decides to take the boy to his daughter’s summer house until he can sort things out. The police are hunting for him as are the men who killed the boy’s mother. In his mind Sheldon visits with his dead son, and his deal comrades from the war so we have an idea of what he has been through. He uses his sniper training to save the boy. I agree

with the The Jewish Week: “ funny, moving and, thoroughly griping.” This is one of the best books I’ve read in ages. ( )
  judithrs | Jul 4, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Miller, Derek B.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Larsstuvold, RuneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Roth, OlafÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0547934874, Hardcover)

A literary novel, a police thriller, and the funniest book about war crimes and dementia you are likely to read anytime soon.
Sheldon Horowitz—widowed, old, impatient, impertinent has grudgingly agreed to move in with his granddaughter Rhea and her new husband Lars in Norway: a country of blue and ice with one thousand Jews, and not one of them a former Marine sniper in the Korean war turned watch repairman, who failed his only son by sending him to Vietnam to die. Not until now, anyway.

Home alone one morning in unfamiliar Oslo, Sheldon witnesses a dispute between the Balkan woman who lives upstairs and an aggressive stranger. When events turn dire, Sheldon seizes the neighbor's young son to shield him from the violence, and the two flee the scene. But old age and circumstances are altering Sheldon's experience of time and memory. As he and the boy attempt to make their way to safety, Sheldon becomes haunted by dreams of his son Saul's life and guilt about his death. In looking for a safe haven in an alien world, reality and fantasy, past and present, weave together, forcing Sheldon and the boy ever-forward to a dramatic climax.

Norwegian by Night introduces an ensemble of unforgettable characters—Sheldon and the boy, Rhea and Lars, a Balkan war criminal named Enver, and Sigrid and Petter, the brilliantly dry-witted investigating officers—as they chase each other, and their own demons, through the wilderness at the end of the world.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:59:02 -0400)

Sheldon Horowitz -- widowed, impatient, impertinent -- has grudgingly agreed to leave New York and move in with his granddaughter, Rhea, and her new husband, Lars, in Norway -- a country of blue and ice with one thousand Jews, not one of them a former Marine sniper in the Korean War turned watch repairman. Not until now, anyway. Home alone one morning, Sheldon witnesses a dispute between the woman who lives upstairs and an aggressive stranger. When events turn dire, Sheldon seizes and shields the neighbor's young son from the violence, and they flee the scene. As Sheldon and the boy look for a safe haven in an alien world, past and present weave together, forcing them ever forward to a wrenching moment of truth. --… (more)

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 1921844884, 1922070424

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