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Benny and Shrimp [Paperback]

Katarina Mazetti
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.99
Price: 8.67 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Paperback 6.93  
Paperback, 6 Mar 2008 8.67 Trade-In Store
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Book Description

6 Mar 2008
Why is it so impossible to get a relationship to work between two mature single people, driven by enormous longing and loudly ticking biological clocks?

In alternate chapters, Benny and "Shrimp" tell the story of a love that started by mistake in a village cemetery, a love that should not really be as complicated as it seems. She is a childless young widow with a sharp intellect and a home so tidy that even her jam jars are in alphabetical order. He is a gentle, overworked milk farmer, who fears becoming the village's Old Bachelor. The attraction between them is powerful. But how will she learn to accept that he falls asleep at the opera and has a house full of his mother's embroidered wall hangings, and how could he ever feel at home in her minimalist apartment, bare as a dentist's waiting room?

Set against a charming Swedish backdrop, Benny & Shrimp is a quirky, humorous tale, beautifully told, in which Katarina Mazetti breathes new life into the age-old conundrum that is love...

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Short Books Ltd (6 Mar 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1904977413
  • ISBN-13: 978-1904977414
  • Product Dimensions: 21.2 x 13.4 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,156,311 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"an offbeat, down-to-earth love story, refreshingly light to read and slightly addictive.... a novel that touches love's fundamentals." -- The Observer, March 2008

About the Author

Katarina Mazetti began her career as a teacher and gradually moved into broadcast journalism. She is a prize-nominated author, commentator, musician, poet and producer of 'Freja', a programme for women on Swedish Radio. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Original, quirky, best read in a long time. 1 Jan 2009
By Tara
I loved this book. The writer did a great job bringing out both sides of the story. The passion seemed so real and tangible. It broke my heart and made me laugh. It seemed so real in that it wasn't given the Hollywood treatment. The characters were flawed, raw in places and full of the same range of mixed feelings we all have. I will definitely buy the sequel. Buy it, tell your friends and pass it on. It is a modern classic.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A quirky and beautiful love story 1 July 2010
Benny and Shrimp is a novel about discovering a new passion, and trying to make it work against the day to day problems of everyday life. When they meet at a cemetery - while Desiree (or "Shrimp") mourns her late husband, and Benny tends the shared grave of his parents - it is most definitely not love at first sight. Yet, against the odds, passion grows between Shrimp, the pale, bookish librarian and Benny, the overworked milk farmer. Katarina Mazetti writes in a quirky manner about the trials and tribulations of passion versus practicality: Shrimp is looking for a man who will come with her to the opera and who reads books for pleasure; Benny requires a woman who can keep the farmhouse running while he tends to the cows.

The chapters are told from alternate viewpoints, which made this read all the more pleasurable. Being able to see the same incident from both viewpoints ensured the reader always had sympathy and empathy for both parties in the relationship - unlike most love stories, where it is easy to throw your lot in with one injured party. Mazetti shows us that, most often, misunderstandings are the root of all problems in a relationship.

I adored the little bits of spiky poetry and commentary that headed up each of Shrimp's chapters - they gave a good measure of how she was feeling regarding Benny and the relationship:

"I have to get through the minutes one at a time, swallow them like bitter pills, try not to dwell on the vast number still left."

The strength of the novel is the realism with which the love story is presented. Benny and Shrimp are chalk and cheese and there is no automatic happy ending for them (although I am not going to spoil how it ends for the reader!) as there would be in a standard chick lit novel, say.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars another great read from Sweden 7 Mar 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I read this story in Swedish a few years ago. It made me laugh a lot as well as enjoying the love story. An easy read for the beach or a rainy day. the sequel is even better, couldn't stop laughing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars quirky romantic tale 15 Dec 2009
Refreshingly honest, thoughtful,heartbreaking and funny. Didnt know whether to laugh or cry sometimes. The writing is brilliant and I challenge anyone not to enjoy this quirky love story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Swedish Delight 19 Aug 2009
By M Ruis
For me this book is in a category of its own with other favourites such as "Three Cups of Tea" and "Oscar and the Lady in Pink". I read the book as soon as it arrived and never left it down until I was finished. It has a deliciously quirky sense of humour and is so imaginative in its approach that I was amazed that anyone could be so talented as to think it up. It is like the "Oscar" book in its originality. I seem to be the only male reviewing it so far. I intend to send copies to special friends.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars simply wonderful 14 Nov 2008
this was such a wonderful, gripping story, I couldn't put it down. I read in the review below that there's a sequel and I so hope it will be translated, too! Or I might have to learn Swedish, fast.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars chick lit really 11 Jan 2011
I was hugely disappointed with this book which came recommended by a friend (though she had read the French version). It raised a few smiles and it was interesting to see how different life was in Sweden, but I was glad when it came to an end (with the most improbable ending).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An original and pleasant story
I found the book very original and well written. Easy to read too, possibly due having the events presented through the alternating viewpoints of the two protagonists. Read more
Published 2 months ago by SG
5.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting
An enchanting read. I cared desperately about both characters and couldn't put it down until I found out their fate. That is very rare for what is essentially a love story. Read more
Published 7 months ago by RAP
4.0 out of 5 stars An engaging, exhilarating, playful and insightful novel
This book is translated from Swedish and although appearing to be simplistically written, its observations are beautiful and intelligently observed. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Writer
2.0 out of 5 stars unreal - unlikely -
started off quite well but within no time, one realises those two have nothing in common except loneliness. Read more
Published on 18 Mar 2012 by scottish reader
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable read
Without wishing to spoil the ending Benny & Shrimp was an engaging story and a book that I have recommended to friends. Read more
Published on 26 Sep 2010 by E. P. Newman
5.0 out of 5 stars Opposites do attract
As different as chalk and cheese Benny and Shrimp are an unlikely couple, have little in common and aren't willing to make the changes necessary to make the relationship work. Read more
Published on 30 May 2010 by Elka
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely chalk and cheese romance
Both heartwarming and heartwrenching, this romance of two thirtysomethings who are totally chalk and cheese was a truly wonderful story to read. Read more
Published on 3 Mar 2009 by Annabel Gaskell
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