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The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia [Format Kindle]

Michael Booth
5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

"Comprehensive and occasionally downright hilarious... I was laughing out loud" (Mariella Frostrup Observer)

"An affectionate and informative study of a region." (Ian Critchley Sunday Times)

"[An] entertaining, warts-and-all, English expat look at the Nordic miracle." (Daily Telegraph)

"A thoroughly entertaining read, written brilliantly" (Bernard Porter Literary Review)

"A welcome rejoinder to those who cling to the idea of the Nordic region as a promised land...the substance, more often than not, is spot on." (Financial Times)

Présentation de l'éditeur

The Danes are the happiest people in the world, and pay the highest taxes.

'Neutral' Sweden is one of the biggest arms manufacturers in the world.

Finns have the largest per capita gun ownership after the US and Yemen.

54 per cent of Icelanders believe in elves.

Norway is the richest country on earth.

5 per cent of Danish men have had sex with an animal.

Michael Booth has lived among the Scandinavians, on and off, for over ten years, perplexed by their many strange paradoxes and character traits and equally bemused by the unquestioning enthusiasm for all things Nordic that has engulfed the rest of the world.

He leaves his adopted home of Denmark and embarks on a journey through all five of the Nordic countries to discover who these curious tribes are, the secrets of their success and, most intriguing of all, what they think of each other. Along the way a more nuanced, often darker picture emerges of a region plagued by taboos, characterised by suffocating parochialism and populated by extremists of various shades.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 2440 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 418 pages
  • Editeur : Vintage Digital (6 février 2014)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Non activé
  • Composition améliorée: Activé
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°51.008 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Commentaires en ligne

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Commentaires client les plus utiles
0 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 good 11 mai 2014
Par Luis
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
it is a good book and everything went just fine.
why do i have to write 20 words? bum bum
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Amazon.com: 4.4 étoiles sur 5  31 commentaires
8 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Provocative, informative, and often funny -- very readworthy! 30 décembre 2014
Par Vagabondage - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
My family's heritage is almost entirely Danish, Swedish and Norwegian, so of course this book and its great -- and very apt -- title caught my eye.

Unlike some other non-Scandiavian writers who attempt to give the lowdown on life in that region, sometimes on the basis of a mere few weeks spent traveling there, Jonathan Cape is a Brit married to a Dane, a longtime resident of that small Nordic kingdom who is raising a family there and has numerous social and business contacts upon which to draw for his insights.

Cape devotes a section to each of the Nordic countries, including Finland and Iceland. His reportorial style is anecdotal and often quite amusing as he travels around the lands of the northern lights to look at some of the iconic/quirkier aspects of life there. I found his account of a visit to a public Finnish sauna a classic, for example. However, this is not simply a funny-book. He deals with serious subjects such as the rise of right-wing parties in the region, friction over immigration, alcohol stats, and the tragic 2011 massacre of 69 young people at a Norwegian summer camp by a xenophobic extremist -- the worst attack in Norway since World War II.

While I don't always agree with Cape's take on each aspect of these countries, his comments are always thought-provoking, often laugh-inducing, and totally candid. He disabuses us of the overly romanticized picture often painted by each Nordic country's tourist office, while making it clear that despite these Scandihoovians' imperfections, life among them is a joy.
12 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A funny and suprisingly insightful look into a region which is usually a blind spot 17 septembre 2014
Par Malleus Maleficarum - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
A few years ago, I remember seeing an episode of the Simpsons which parodied the Nobel Prize ceremony held in Stockholm. In the Simpsons world, Sweden is a country of clean roads, blonde men and women and female traffic cops directing traffic in the nude. This caricature probably accurately encapsulates what much of the world pictures when you say 'Scandinavia'. This book does a good job laying bare (!!) the Nordic miracle and makes a clean breast (!!) of what makes these societies tick

This is a funny and irreverent yet at times insightful book on a group of nations that are low profile yet have quietly, in the author's words, created some of the most successful societies in human history. Michael Booth is an outsider who's on the inside of the Nordic Miracle - an Englishman who's married to a Danish woman, he lives the Nordic life but is detached enough to observe the eccentricities and quirks of his adopted homeland. If one had to summarise the author's view, it would be this - the Nordic countries may seem to be bland, homogenous and ultimately boringly efficient utopias, but look below the surface, there are enough quirks, eccentricities and hidden secrets and these societies are constantly looking to evolve in response to these challenges. For all their successes, there are some not so enviable facts about these countries - the Norwegian economic miracle is built on exporting tonnes and tonnes of oil and gas, alcoholism among Finns is a major concern, Sweden has a rape crisis and Denmark has an increasingly xenophobic and Islamophobic right-wing polity. The Nordic region as a whole has rather successfully adopted the socialist welfare state model which has been very successful in eliminating poverty and ensuring its people are cared for - on the flip side though, the state is such a predominant entity in Scandinavian life that at times, it reads less like Utopia and more like a Stalinist gulag (exaggeration mine) - in no place is this more evident than in Sweden where the state's stated goal is to free individuals from the bonds of family and 'help them take their place in the collective' - a manifesto more chilling than anything the Khmer Rouge ever wrote. Yet, and the author keeps reminding us, nothing succeeds like success and the Nordic societies have to be commended for eliminating the kind of income inequality in society that breeds poverty and violence. Weighing in the positives and the negatives, the author comes down firmly on the side of the Nordic model - as he says in his book, it's a wonderful place for the average person - and given that the world will always be dominated by the average, the Nordic countries have arrived upon the most optimal social for nation building. I suppose different people will agree to varying degrees with the author's conclusions and some may be put off by his flippant tone but for my money, this book offers a good and somewhat surprisingly deep look into the dynamics of a part of the globe which is a blind spot for most of us.
8 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Funny, witty 2 novembre 2014
Par Phil Zuckerman - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Funny, witty, wry, curmudgeony, and extremely well-observed. I lived in Denmark for two years and have been a Scandiaphile for about 30 years -- I've spent lots of time in Sweden and Norway, less time in Finland and Iceland -- and I found this book insightful, sharp, and extremely sensitive to many subtle and not so subtle facets of modern Norden. Sociological, historical, ethnographic, and journalistic in equal measure, this extremely engaging book will be loved by those who love Scandinavia, as well as those who kinda hate it.
12 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 An interesting social journey through all things nordic 10 février 2014
Par Toxoscot - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle
What`s behind the statement that the Nordic cousins are "the happiest people on the planet"? It deserves an investigation. Michel Booth a resident of Copenhagen provides a good extended synopsis; written with a dry sense of humour.
What makes these nations enjoy an unrivalled security; cradle to grave social care? The recurring concept of "hygge" (an untranslatable that means a complete absence of anything annoying). A word that appears in everyday speech in Denmark, but a concept that permeates the Nordic world. However, if all is well in the northern front, why not an en masse migration from their European cousins? Perhaps all is not well in the "state of Denmark" and its Nordic neighbours. The author explores the paradoxes, and taboos that permeates the Nordic world. A great amusing and educational read.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Despite its claim to offer the "truth, " it ... 22 mars 2015
Par mary10075 - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Despite its claim to offer the "truth," it could have used more objective research, not simply interviews, and fewer generalizations. The author's seemingly unfounded biases surface throughout. In addition, the text would have benefited from a firmer editing hand. It is neither reliably scientific nor purely anecdotal.
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