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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Helpful introduction to Denmark
This is a well written, interesting and insightful guide to Denmark and the Danes. It's a short book, but a good summary of Danish history, culture and politics. It's by no means an in-depth study, but it covers the basics both entertainingly and educationally. With chapters on design, immigration, the welfare state, food and education amongst others, it's a concise and...
Published 11 months ago by Amanda Jenkinson

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80 of 95 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Hastily written and a bit dull really
Spurred on by the enthusiastic reviews above (which, now I look at them, arrived suspiciously close to the publication date), I was looking forward to this book.

Unfortunately, it turns out that the writer only spent a couple of weeks in Denmark, appears to have read a couple of books on the country (which he quotes from at great length) and covers familiar...
Published on 26 Nov 2012 by allard33


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Helpful introduction to Denmark, 21 Jan 2014
By 
Amanda Jenkinson "MandyJ" (Cheltenham) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This is a well written, interesting and insightful guide to Denmark and the Danes. It's a short book, but a good summary of Danish history, culture and politics. It's by no means an in-depth study, but it covers the basics both entertainingly and educationally. With chapters on design, immigration, the welfare state, food and education amongst others, it's a concise and eminently readable introduction to the country and a real asset for anyone travelling there. For me it filled in some of the detail of aspects of the country I noted on a recent visit there, and I feel I now have a deeper understanding of the country and people.
I do have one gripe though. There were far too many references to TV dramas such as The Killing, The Bridge and Borgen. The author assumes that everyone here in the UK will have seen these. Well, I haven't and found it very irritating having them mentioned so often. It also means that the book will date quite quickly, which is a shame, and I hope that if there is a 2nd edition such references will be removed. That apart, I don't hesitate to recommend this book to anyone visiting Denmark or anyone merely interested in gaining an insight into the country.
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80 of 95 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Hastily written and a bit dull really, 26 Nov 2012
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Spurred on by the enthusiastic reviews above (which, now I look at them, arrived suspiciously close to the publication date), I was looking forward to this book.

Unfortunately, it turns out that the writer only spent a couple of weeks in Denmark, appears to have read a couple of books on the country (which he quotes from at great length) and covers familiar ground - Danish chairs, the recent TV dramas - in a standard Guardian feature style. Thus the book is full of mistakes - the Danes do not have the lowest gap between rich and poor in the world (that's Sweden); there is no official minimum wage in Denmark (let alone an 'average minimum wage', whatever that might be); the Danish word 'ikke' is not pronounced 'air' (!); Østerbro as Denmark's Notting Hill is a very unlikely comparison; as well as glaring omissions: he writes about Noma but doesn't eat there or interview the head chef; there's a chapter on The Killing, but he doesn't meet its star; he leans heavily on Knud Jespersen's history of Denmark, but is turned down by its author for an interview; there is a whole chapter on architecture, but the major Danish architect of the moment declines an interview.

Perhaps worst of all, in his haste to jump on the Danish cultural bandwagon, the author skirts over all the many problems Denmark faces today in terms of the economy, immigration and the environment (yes they have windmills, but what about all the coal they use?). Bascially, then, an extended, one-dimensonal Guardian eulogy which rehashes all the other newspaper features of the last year. A shame, really.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but lacking lietarature, 18 Feb 2014
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This review is from: How to be Danish: A Journey to the Cultural Heart of Denmark (Paperback)
This book gives you a quick insight on Denmark. And is very effective. I rate it 3 stars because it lacks, almost completely, an approach to danish literature, one of the key elements on any people.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars How to be Danish seen from a Dane's viewpoint, 18 Oct 2013
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As a Dane, I found it amusing in parts and self-obsessed in others. But it was a good attempt at characterising most Danes and some of Denmark
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full of hygge, 29 Jan 2014
This review is from: How to be Danish: A Journey to the Cultural Heart of Denmark (Paperback)
A book of this nature can't possibly be comprehensive. What you hope for is some pointers to topics for your own further exploration. And that's precisely what Patrick Kingsley provides. He gives you just enough on each topic for you to decide whether you need or want to learn more about it - and just enough to know where to look too. An enjoyable read.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book., 29 Dec 2013
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This review is from: How to be Danish: A Journey to the Cultural Heart of Denmark (Paperback)
Fascinating. This is well written, interesting and insightful. Reading this highly accessible book makes me v excited about visiting Denmark.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting book, 11 Dec 2012
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Although some bits can be very dull, it is an interesting and insightful account of life in Denmark which makes up for the long sections on chairs and food!
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10 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Contemporary, informative and clear, 3 Nov 2012
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An excellent introduction to modern day Denmark based on a series of interviews with contemporary Danes. "How to be Danish" is a fascinating insight into Danish culture and mores bringing the land of "The Killing" and "The Bridge" to life. Clearly written in a series of chapters exploring society and life in Copenhagen and beyond.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and helpful, 11 Mar 2013
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Just moved to Denmark and found this book both interesting and helpful as a primer on Danish history, culture and politics.
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9 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent, 12 Nov 2012
Something about the way Patrick Kingsley writes is extremely intriguing. Even when the topic doesn't seem that interesting he manages to keep me engaged. And I'm not one of those people who can read anything, it takes a lot to keep me interested. I'm glad I randomly picked up this book because like I said it's hard for me to find books I really like and want to finish.
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How to be Danish: A Journey to the Cultural Heart of Denmark
How to be Danish: A Journey to the Cultural Heart of Denmark by Patrick Kingsley (Paperback - 4 July 2013)
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