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Naive. Super by Erland Loe

Naive. Super (original 1996; edition 2005)

by Erland Loe

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1,047188,051 (3.87)15
Title:Naive. Super
Authors:Erland Loe
Info:Canongate UK (2005), Paperback, 208 pagina's
Collections:Your library

Work details

Naïve. Super by Erlend Loe (1996)

  1. 00
    Inglorious by Joanna Kavenna (jayne_charles)
    jayne_charles: Another list-making person having a philosophical crisis, though 'Inglorious' is longer and more detailed
  2. 00
    Zoology by Ben Dolnick (sanddancer)
    sanddancer: Both are quirky coming-of-age stories with naive but likeable central characters.
  3. 00
    Cronopios and Famas by Julio Cortázar (Anonymous user)

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» See also 15 mentions

English (12)  Finnish (3)  Dutch (2)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (18)
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
a very fast read. i definitely chuckled (yes. chuckled.) through it. some fun observations of every day little things. prose are very choppy and to the point. also a bit of stream of consciousness. ( )
  mawls | Apr 4, 2013 |
VOTO: 8,7

Questi sono libri che mi piacciono, leggeri e abbastanza profondi insieme *_*
E il protagonista mi sta simpatico.
E Erle è bravo U_U ( )
  Malla-kun | Sep 22, 2012 |
The twenty five year narrator is confused, a graduate who has just withdrawn from his masters degree course he is confused, he is hung up on time and space, he has diffusivity understanding such concepts, and as he explains, it is easy to see why. He expresses himself in very simple terms, many sentences are just three or four words in length, yet what he is considering is frequently profound. He considers what he has, and what he does not, he likes making lists.

Looking after his older brother's apartment in Norway while his brother is away on business, he makes friends with a young boy of kindergarten age who lives in the same building, he meets a girl, and enjoys the caring attention of his brother.

Naïve. Super is like no other book I have read, while the narrator is concerned about certain concepts, he is also concerned about friendship, life, and being a good guy. It makes for a fascinating and very different reading experience. ( )
  presto | Apr 24, 2012 |
This is one of those slightly off the wall books I would probably never have found if I didn’t go poking around in second hand shops. In it, the unnamed (aren’t they all nowadays?) narrator tells of a mini-breakdown in his life which caused him to question just about everything in his life and, in particular, the nature of time.

He drops out of university, spends ages throwing a football against the wall, and plays games with the five year old next door. The parents of the said five year old agree to leave the child in his care for the day, despite discovering that he (the narrator) has spent the previous day playing with a child's hammer and peg board. Bizarre. Next thing, they are racing up and down the road in a Volvo. It's a sort of random stream of thoughts and events, some of which had me nodding and thinking 'yes, I often feel like that too', and others which made me want to give him a kick in the pants and tell him to pull himself together.

Despite its weighty topics, this book is very easy to read and is the sort of thing you could whizz through in a day. The chapters are short, there are frequent lists, and towards the end there are whole pages devoted to a visual joke which probably works better in the original Norwegian and which I skimmed over in less than ten seconds.

This was an enjoyable read inasmuch as it represented something different from the norm: a trip along a literary back-alley. A world view filtered through unfamiliar eyes with some fascinating facts thrown in. On the other hand I would have preferred it to last a little longer and to provide something more substantial to chew on ( )
  jayne_charles | May 15, 2011 |
Of course, this is the sort of novel that could only happen in a relatively benign place like Norway where a grown man playing with a little boy doesn’t inspire the need in every passerby to call Chris Hansen, and to a person who has a brother with an empty apartment. The protagonist is the most earnest character an American like me can possibly hope to read. With so many novels so sickeningly drenched in irony, the protagonist in Naïve. Super is completely devoid of it. And because he is not self-referentially hip in his depression and his attempts to make meaning of his world, it is tempting to write him off as simple, possibly stupid. It means something when, confronted with earnestness and a complete lack of irony, it is tempting to dismiss it as lacking intellect. I’m too tired to discuss what that means, but believe me when I say the protagonist is not mentally retarded or otherwise lacking in intellect. He’s just finding himself in a manner that does not involve utter self-destruction and the delivery of oh-so-clever one-liners. That having been said, in the midst of such simplicity, this is a deeply funny book.

The protagonist begins the novel explaining that he has two friends, one good and one bad, and his brother, who is less friendly than him, but a good guy nonetheless. One has to agree that his brother is a good man, because he permits his 25-year-old brother, a man who rather enjoys spending hours playing with Brio toys and making seemingly pointless lists, stay in his apartment in exchange for just giving him his messages. When his brother returns from his trip, he realizes the protagonist is having a gentle nervous breakdown combined with a mild existential crisis, and cares for the protagonist, including taking him on a trip to New York. Perhaps the brother senses that brutally beating the protagonist at croquet was what initially made the protagonist feel like there was no purpose to life. Even so, it’s hard to fault the brother. People who need a villain in a book will not like Naïve. Super because this is a novel filled with nice people. Nice, quirky and not entirely familiar people, but nice people nonetheless. You can read my entire review here: http://ireadoddbooks.com/naive-super-by-erlend-loe/ ( )
1 vote oddbooks | Apr 6, 2011 |
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» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Erlend Loeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Menna, OutiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Thanks to my Family,
to my little brother Even, and
to Kim, Egil, Kjetil and Alice.
'Anybody who rides a bike
is a friend of mine.'

      Gary Fisher
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I have two friends.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Troubled by an inability to find any meaning in his life, the 25-year-old narrator of this deceptively simple novel quits university and eventually arrives at his brother's New York apartment. In a bid to discover his raison d'tre he writes his lists. He becomes obsessed by time and whether it actually matters. He faxes his meteorologist friend. He endlessly bounces a ball against the wall. He befriends a small boy who lives next door. He yearns to get to the bottom of life and how best to live it. Funny, enigmatic and frequently poignant.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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