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Doppler Hardcover – 1 Dec 2012

23 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Head of Zeus (1 Dec. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781851050
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781851050
  • Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 13 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 73,214 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'Wonderfully subversive, funny and original' Observer.

'A darkly comic fable which makes some astringent points about the way we live today' Independent.

'It gripped me from the very first page and I read the entire thing in a single day. It was unusual in that it was both powerful and entertaining; a rare combination that is difficult to pull off' Farm Lane Books.

'Funny and a touch dark ... [Doppler] is like a Nordic Obi-Wan' Big Issue.

'An absurdist, hilariously subversive novel' Saga.

'Compelling, disquieting and perceptive' Adresseavisen.

'Shamelessly charming without intellectual fuss' Stavanger Aftenblad.

'With Doppler Erlend Loe has become Norway's most alarming writer' Dagens Næringsliv.

'There's much to enjoy in Loe's dead-pan comedy.' Financial Times.

About the Author

Erlend Loe is a Norwegian novelist. His eight books have been translated into over twenty languages.

Don Bartlett and Don Shaw have collaborated on two previous novels.


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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Chris D on 8 Dec. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Doppler isn't a straight-forward read, so it doesn't get a straight-forward review. Have you ever thought about walking away from everything you know - society, family, job, community - with just a few possessions and starting again? Doppler has. Or at least after his cycling accident, that's what he does. It isn't clear as to whether the accident is the reason - is it a head injury? or it's just an awakening? But he goes. To the woods. To be alone and live a simple life of a longed for solitary boredom.

But he doesn't find it easy. He's hungry, the summer fruits have run out, the locals have started putting locks on the doors to stop him stealing food, and he kills an elk. He's not moved far enough away from his former home to either avoid people coming to see him or to avoid the pull of his former life. The elk has a calf and, with some hesitation - Doppler adopts him and calls him Bongo, after his own recently-deceased father, whose name wasn't Bongo...

After a brief period of contentment, things start to go wrong. People impinge. Doppler obtains a follower who mimics his moves. His pregnant wife tries to pull him back into the life he turned his back on. It's not what he hoped for...

Nothing is quite clear in Doppler. It raises lots of issues - family, loneliness, mental breakdown, death and rebirth - but doesn't solve any of them. And why should it? Good books make you think about things. Doppler does that in spades. And it's warm and human and sad and touching. And laugh out loud funny in places. If you need a quiet 160-odd page break from the family at Christmas - without actually heading for the woods - this is a good book to take you there.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By brianmcinally on 30 Dec. 2012
Format: Hardcover
Came across this quite by chance in 'Waterstones' (yes, I know a real bookshop!) just before Christmas, and read it over the festive period. I had read something else by Erland Loe about 12 years ago called 'Naive.Super' the title of which sums up his style quite aptly. 'Doppler' could well become a future Christmas classic and one which I may return to year after year. It's a short, sharp shock of a novel which becomes more and more misanthropic as it goes on, but it is also very funny at the same time. 'Doppler' the protagonist, co-opting out of a materalist society, abandoning his pregnant wife and young son to go and live an austere life in the woods, with only a baby elk whose mother he has slaugtered on the opening pages for company is somewhat like 'Scrooge' on a reverse trajectory. However, scenes including a fight with his neighbour Dusseldorf involving giant bars of 'Toberlone' are guaranteed to have you laughing out loud, and there's some hilarious digs at the work of JRR Tolkien, the 'Teletubbies' and the construction of a bizarre totem pole. (infact there's a lot of things beginning with 'T' in this wonderful, eccentric, and occasionally disturbing piece of fiction, not least the ending which hints at a sequel. Or possibly not.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lola TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 22 Mar. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Ah Erlend Loe, I was forever amused by his "Volvo Lastvagnar" (sadly, not translated into English), and was hoping that "Doppler" will deliver the same kind of sarcasm and striking humour. And it kinda did, but I was disappointed.

Loe's original, dark-humoured narrative is recognisable in this tale of an unhappy and self-diagnosed "failed" man, who one day drops everything (i.e. his bourgeois Oslo existence) and goes to live in the woods in the manner of Thoreau's Walden. It's not entirely clear (and maybe it does not matter) if this change from "nice" to crazy comes due to the concussion (Doppler falls off his bike prior to his re-valuation of his life) or if he is simply depressed and shaken by his father's death. Anyway, before you know it, his life as a misanthrope with a pet moose Bongo attracts more attention than he needs, and his way of life gets a following.

The novel is quirky and amusing in a lot of ways and there were parts of it I really liked (the man who spends his life re-creating the World War II scene, all the interactions with Bongo). Erlend Loe's humour is also the reason I keep reading his books.

It took nearly a decade for "Doppler" to be translated into English language, and I guess some of the sharpness and novelty of the novel was lost with age.

Overall, a light read, and the humour will not appeal to everybody. Approach with caution.
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Format: Hardcover
In the spirit of existentialism Erlend Loe in ‘Doppler’ speaks about self-realization of the individual, of the absurdity of human existence, finding life equivalent to the paradox of Schrödinger's cat. Alienation, both physical and psychological, is derived from the inner consciousness of the main character Doppler who finds satisfaction in denying everything that comes out of a man. Retreating into the forest, he will find his entire essence realized in his friendship with an animal while in his resignation he finds enlightenment and relief.

Looking at life, like his namesake Doppler , although strictly metaphorical , he observes the results of mutual approaching and withdrawing of source and observers, seeing alienation as only proper direction. With dichotomy “me – others’ he directly emphasizes his reluctance to others, following Stoic philosophy and their motto "Living in harmony with nature" with complete apathy, freed from all the feelings, he reaches the so-called highest good.

Diligence is one of the society characteristics due to which we are wasting life, according to Doppler. He tolerates only his son Gregus who occasionally stays with him in the woods, and Bongo, a small elk whose mother was killed (and eaten) by Doppler’s hand. Everything human is strange to him, as evidenced by his ridiculous relationship with Dusseldorf and Roger, two characters who represent the irrational in our society. Sharply criticizing the ruling right wing and, in his opinion, counterproductive consumerism, advocating the commodity exchange. With his stay in the forest Doppler protects the people of his hatred and sarcasm, and himself from their stupidity.
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