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The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind the…

The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian…

by Michael Booth

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2661342,770 (3.51)16



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Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
This was a very informative, funny, and quick read about the Scandinavian countries. It explores the similarities and differences among the cultures of Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Finland, and Sweden. This book explores each country's history, geography, politics, and culture in a fun way, and delves into the reasons for certain stereotypes concerning these societies. Excellent read! ( )
  smilez4u1390 | Jun 26, 2017 |
Excellent. I learned a lot about Scandinavia, and although the author tries to find all the faults with the purported happiness of Scandinavians, he actually ends up highlighting the reasons for their happiness. He has not dimmed my longing to move to Norway. ( )
  bness2 | May 23, 2017 |
Since I didn't finish this book, I won't be rating it. But I do want to share what I think.
Not sure what I was expecting from this book, but it was clearly notbwhat I received. Downright hilarious? Entertaining read? Are we talking about the same book?

I love travelling to the Nordic countries (Finland snd Iceland are the only ones still on the 'to travel to-list'. I usually love to read about other persons' travels or emi-/immigration stories and am quite fond of learning about other cultures or languages. The combination of these ingredients in this book however was at this moment for me not the right one.
I didn't like it, the story didn't catch me and after reading a few pages I found myself looking for an excuse to put it away and do something else.
So I decided not to finish it and give my reading time to another book that fits me better right now.
  BoekenTrol71 | Feb 4, 2017 |
In a currently hygge-obsessed world, this book is quite refreshing. I originally saw it as a Book of the Month Club pick, but it was already sold out in their store. Instead, I put my library card to good use and I am glad I did. Booth writes an bitingly honest and witty first-hand account of what really lies behind the facade of the world's "happiest" countries. Yes, they enjoy complete egalitarianism and security, which are incredibly attractive. On the other hand, extremely high taxes, dark winters, and several other aspects of the Nordic utopia tell me it might be more happy pills than true happiness (just look at their astronomical suicide rate). Everyone interested in cultural geography, Nordic culture, and socialist experiments should take a look. ( )
  knivae | Jan 11, 2017 |
Check out my full length review.

*initial thoughts*
This book started out really strong -- factual yet hilarious -- but got bogged down at the end in politics so it wound up feeling like a drag. Wish it'd been shorter and avoided the politics quite so much. ( )
  gaialover | Nov 21, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
"When Booth is not taking the Scandinavians to task, he is being charmed by them, and when he is not doing that he is generalizing from their history. "

"The indulgence of half-baked theories is a minor offense, though. Booth’s project is essentially observational; it aspires to a comic genre that might be called Euro-exotica."
added by jodi | editThe New Yorker, Nathan Heller (Feb 16, 2015)
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To Lissen, Asger, and Emil
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Early one dark April morning a few years ago I was sitting in my living room in the Danish capital, Copenhagen, wrapped in a blanket and yearning for spring, when I opened that day's newspaper to discover that my adopted countrymen had been anointed the happiest of their species in something called the Satisfaction with Life Index, compiled by the Department of Psychology at the University of Leicester.
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The whole world wants to learn the secrets of Nordic exceptionalism: Why are the Danes the happiest people in the world, despite having the highest taxes? If the Finns really have the best education system, how come they still think all Swedish men are gay? Are the Icelanders really feral? This book deals with these questions.… (more)

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