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Naive. Super [Paperback]

Erlend Loe , Tor Ketil Solberg
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 5.59 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

7 July 2005
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 what life is all about, he writes 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, friendly, enigmatic and frequently poignant - superbly naive.

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Naive. Super + When I Was Five I Killed Myself + Grow Up
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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd; Main ed edition (7 July 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841956724
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841956725
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 11.7 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 55,769 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Erlend Loe's cult novel Naïve. Super, about a 25-year old who is unable to find any meaning in his life, was a huge success in his native Norway, and a bestseller throughout Europe--and it isn't difficult to see why.

The narrator has given up on doing his Masters and gone to stay at his brother's house. His brother is away on business and needs his mail redirecting via fax. Aside from that there is nothing to do. So he makes lists, worries about time, befriends a small boy who lives next door, worries about his good friend and his bad friend and tries to understand what being, and being here and now, means. In mostly very short, sometimes elliptical, wry but never ironic chapters Loe works at his character's fear of the meaningless and works meaning into the slightest of material. There is a lovely moment toward the end of the novel when the narrator's brother picks up and plays with the child's toy he has previously berated the narrator for holding on to. Sometimes, we feel, imputing meaning to the simpler things may well be the only route to understanding the more complex ones.

The novel is reminiscent of "60s" writer Richard Brautigan at his best, has the knowing artlessness of Douglas Coupland and shares a love of lists with Nick Hornby but Loe has bagfuls of his own unique charm. This is a beautifully unaffected, funny book, refreshingly free of cynicism, which manages to raise serious existential questions while retaining throughout the lightest of touches and the quirkiest of observations.--Mark Thwaite --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

* Loe certainly has some of Salinger's lightness of touch, and often comic voice of his unnamed narrator recalls Salinger's Holden Caulfield. A charming debut novel. The Times * it displays a canny lightness of touch and a great deal of charm. An effortlessly hip and savvy antidote to the rainy day blues. Sleazenation * It is fascinating, how much depth this young author can convey in a simple language - a major talent. Oldenburgische Volkzeitung, Germany * A book overflowing with creative talent on just about every page. Well calculated naivety. Dagbladet, Norway

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
68 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Naive. Simple. 29 Jan 2007
Format:Paperback
After having ordered this item off Amazon, I read the blurb and I seriously thought I'd made a wrong decision in ordering it because although I tend to like most books I read, I'm only sixteen and I was in need of something light to read, not something about a struggling twenty-five year old.

After reading the first couple of lines, however, I was hooked on to it and now I am in need of something similar to read.

This is definitely one of the best books I've ever read.
Because it made me re-believe.
In trees, and bikes and in people.

It's simple. Nothing too bad happens. Nothing too exciting.
It's real.
It's everything we're short of in today's society.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not at all naive but definitely super 10 Feb 2008
Format:Paperback
This book sums up how everyone feels at one point in their life. It's a "what the hell am I doing here?" book, but unlike other books where the hero is some obnoxious idiot who has everything and is still not satisfied, the (unlikely but completely lovable) hero of this book is an average, intelligent man who wants to find some meaning in his life.
I finished this book in a matter of hours after purchasing it and will definitely come back to it.
It's very reassuring and really entertainly written. There's a fantastic little twist at the end as well which had me smiling for ages.
A little gem of a novel. Read it and fall in love with it.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely unique 25 Nov 2002
Format:Paperback
Unfortunately, it is want of some people to always want to compare books to others they like or appreciate. While this works well sometimes, I feel that comparisons tend not to do "Naive. Super" much justice at all. It is completely unique. I do not remember reading a book quite so fresh. Erlend Loe's childlike narrative voice is spiritual. It make you yearn for the immediacy and wonder that many attribute to the years of childhood.
Indeed, the "story" is really secondary. When I first read the description of what happens in the book, it sounded interesting but perhaps a little derivative. Not until you read this brief, delightful book - and I so recommend that you do - will you realise that it is only the descriptions of the book that are derivative. One of the best books I have read this year, without a doubt.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Has stuck with me for years 25 Mar 2008
Format:Paperback
I haven't read this book for about 5 years. In fact, when pushed to think about it, I'm not even entirely sure which bookshelf this book is currently residing on. It may even be in the overflow book park in the loft. But it was brought to mind this morning by something I was reading about Nordic literature in translation, and I suddenly remembered how much I had loved this book.

Here's the Amazon blurb:

"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 what life is all about, he writes 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, friendly, enigmatic and frequently poignant - superbly naive."

And it was deceptively simple. I remember it leaving me utterly sleepless the night that I stayed up into the wee small hours to devour it one sitting. I lay there thinking up my own lists, and wondering whatever happened to this girl I had known a couple of years before who had gone away to university to read meterology. I idly pondered figuring out a way to get in touch with her again so that I can ask my own meaningful questions. I never did work out how to find her. I couldn't remember her surname, other than the fact that it was Italian.

Chi, if you're out there, hello.

It must be a good sign that years after reading Naive. Super I still remember so much about it, and remember it so fondly. I think it might be time to find it in the piles at home, and give it another read.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Super, and not quite so naive. 8 July 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Naive. Super is both naive and super, but the super should come first. In a bid to find a reason for living the 25 yr old narrator quits his MA course and travels to New York recounting everything he sees around him in minute detail. Obsessed by time and by space, Loe's deceptively simple prose style is a highly original study into human behaviour and the complications of the soul. A yearning to get to the bottom of life and the best route to live it results as funny, sad, exciting and deeply poignant on each and every page. Naive. Super is Adrian Mole for the cool.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Short, sweet, overrated 10 Feb 2009
By Peter Lee TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
This is a strange little book, written in very flat prose. It doesn't really hang together as a novel as each chapter is more of a short vignette about the life of our anonymous (until the final page) narrator. Although curiously engaging nothing really happens, apart from our "hero" writes a lot of lists, searches for authors with rude names on a library computer (there must be about twenty pages of the resultant search data reproduced towards the end, the joke being that each page has a rude word written on it apparently by hand), goes to New York about two thirds of the way through, and also buys one of those hammer and peg toys you probably had as a child. Not a lot else happens. By the end I found it inconsequential and, as I turned the last few pages, disappointing, with the words "is that it?" going through my mind. Enjoyable as a bit of a curiosity, but a disappointment for me as I'd wanted to read it for a long time.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Genius
Having read this book many times I have today ordered my very own Brio Hammer & Peg. Its time to make life fit together :)

This book is so good. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Mr. D. J. Connop
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
Not quite sure what I expected of this book. There were a few interesting points that were made. Some of it I didn't really see a purpose of. But still quite enjoyable.
Published 3 months ago by Joanne Hewer
3.0 out of 5 stars strange little story
It may be that I am too simple minded to really appreciate this book. Nothing much happens. The protagonist evidently has quite serious mental health problems. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Dr. Melanie J. Bartley
5.0 out of 5 stars kindle bought
A beautifully simple book with a character you can't help but feel absorbed into. If you liked "The Curious Incident" this is for you.
Published 4 months ago by dasha
3.0 out of 5 stars Strangeat times
To be honest there were a few times in this book where i got lost (in translation maybe) other than that it has a lovely storyline of someone trying to overcome their mental... Read more
Published 6 months ago by PixcyPants
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice read.
This was a nice find. I really like the style of the writing and the story was very enjoyable. The characters are good and drew me in. Glad I found it.
Published 9 months ago by L Being
5.0 out of 5 stars It wasn't what i expected.
If you like Mark Haddon's book 'The curious incident of the dog in the night time' then i'd definitely recommend reading this. It was interesting, thoughtful and also quite funny. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Hayley
5.0 out of 5 stars my school review. I thought it could be helpful for some people :-)
The latest book I have read is a novel called Naive. Super" and is written by the Norwegian author Erlend Loe and translated in English by Tor Ketil Solberg. Read more
Published 10 months ago by AZZ
5.0 out of 5 stars Cool Book
Lovely book. Really happy thing to read. Doesn't take long at all and I didn't want it to end. Have read another book by this author called Doppler which I would also highly... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Mrs. C. M. Griffin
5.0 out of 5 stars Small but great
The young man of this story reminded me of me when I was 16. At that age I lost the will to live, everything seemed pointless, former passions became silly, I stayed in my bedroom... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Teresa Fortes
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