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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not at all naive but definitely super
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...
Published on 10 Feb. 2008 by Kitty Killin

versus
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Short, sweet, overrated
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...
Published on 10 Feb. 2009 by Peter Lee


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not at all naive but definitely super, 10 Feb. 2008
This review is from: Nave. Super (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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72 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Naive. Simple., 29 Jan. 2007
This review is from: Nave. Super (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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Has stuck with me for years, 25 Mar. 2008
This review is from: Nave. Super (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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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely unique, 25 Nov. 2002
This review is from: Nave. Super (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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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
This review is from: Naive. Super (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 (Manchester ,United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Nave. Super (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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Naive. Super, 13 Sept. 2009
This review is from: Nave. Super (Paperback)
This book is very simple. There is no extensive plot, nothing too complex in it. It's the everyday observations of a man in his twenties who is housesitting for his brother, mixed in with questions about who we are, why we are here, and what it's all for. It's full of simple questions and philosophical wanderings that many people will relate to. He does some across as very child-like in this book (the title is apt) but it's somehow endearing, especially to anyone who has technically become an adult, but doesn't really feel prepared to be one yet. It reminds you of simpler things, the basic stuff you forget to appreciate when you reach a certain age.
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5.0 out of 5 stars my school review. I thought it could be helpful for some people :-), 27 May 2013
This review is from: Nave. Super (Paperback)
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. The novel was first published in 1996 by JW Cappelens Forlag, Norway.
The story takes place in Norway and tells the story of an unnamed narrator who just had his twenty-fifth birthday. When his brother defeats him in a croquet game everything breaks apart and he loses his life sense. The narrator takes time to question life and quits college, moves in the empty apartment of his brother while he is on a business trip. He does not do much all day long till he finds a science book about time and the universe. He is amazed by the fact how big the universe and how complex time is. Not all of the quantum theories are understandable to him but this book seems to keep him grounded and little facts fascinate him.
He also starts throwing a ball against the wall, he faxes with a friend, plays with a child's hammer and peg board which he had as he was little. He does these things the whole day.
One day he becomes friends with a little five-year-old boy called Brre. He watches him when his parents do not have time and it seems to be good for the narrator to spend time with a child who is innocent and does not worry so much about big and serious things. Through Brre, the narrator gets to know a girl who he starts to date. She persuades him to accept the gift of his brother to visit him a week in New York City. There, he learns new things, strengthens the relationship to his brother and returns with a new life sense back to Norway.
The novel is written in short sentences which are easy to understand even for people who's mother-tongue is not English. But it is not the author's intention to make it easy to read for people. He uses this simple sentence structure and simple register to transport the narrator's fragility and that he is may not able to say a whole lot at this time. Furthermore, the author gives the twenty-five-year-old main narrator despite all that a sense of humor in which he sometimes hides the big questions.
Actually, there is nothing naive in Naive. Super". The readership have to take a time out and stop thinking about the many daily things they have to do or want to do and make them think about life and time. Maybe that is the naive thing.
I think it is an well-written book and deals with a topic which concerns everybody sooner or later. In "Naive, Super." a croquet defeature is enough to come to a point where the narrator says that nothing makes sense anymore and all the bottled-up feelings just want to break out. Who does not know this feeling? Who never asked himself/herself what if...- what if I quit for instance school, college or work, what if I stop doing whatever I am doing because that cannot be the life sense. There has to be more. It is much courage necessary to really do that and search for the life sense. Some people are afraid of such a step and will never know and others may are lucky to leave everything behind and just go - living the day. For them, other things than go and search for fulfillment would not make sense for them because everything is immortal anyway. So, why work hard for the typical things which suppose make people happy (for example material things as a big house, car, money). In the end, it is probably all about being happy. And that is what the narrator also tries to archive. He searches a thing or a task which fulfills him.

I definitely think, "Naive, Super." is a book worth reading and I would recommend this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars naive?...definitely super, 11 Sept. 2010
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This review is from: Nave. Super (Paperback)
This is a deceptively simple but fantastic little novel. It is quite spare in and very simple in it's use of language and because of that I think incredibly effective in its evocation of the innocence of the thoughts we have when we are young and growing up. So, here we have a 25 year old narrator looking upon his life with the mind of an almost innocent, trying to finding meaning among the web of complications and seriousness we find ourselves thrust into as we find we have to make life defining choices and build relationships with others etc. Hence the friendship which gradually grows between the 25 year old narrator in this novel and a young boy; although seemingly an escape from the complications of everyday adult life, it gradually dawns on you as the reader the things that we lose as we find ourselves launched into the world of work, relationships, second guessing what others think of us. I found myself wondering how I ended up where I have, doing what I do and how easy it is to lose a sense of enjoying simple things for their own sake as we build meaning (and anxiety) around the things that are expected of us. In this way this book is very clever...it triggers serious thoughts about life and its meaning within a very readable, entertaining and charming (never thought I would use that word) narrative. Anyway, enough of the big words: fact is, I have bought 5 copies of this book for friends (both male and female) and everyone single one has declared it one of the best novels they have ever read..what more do you need?
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5.0 out of 5 stars So good! and difficult to pin point why, 12 Aug. 2009
This review is from: Nave. Super (Paperback)
This is one of the best books I've ever read, although its not immediately obvious as to what makes it so special. I guess its because its one of the few books written where you don't feel like the author is constantly trying to impress you with hip language, edgey visuals and overly descriptive details.

To put it another way its as if Erlend Loe has written this book purely for him and noone else, its so refreshing to read something where the author is clear of its underlying message and tells it as only he knows it in its most direct and pure form without any overembelishment or bells and whistles, there is never a time where you find yourself saying "He has only included this to make the book more appealing to the reader" and that is a very hard thing for any writer to achieve.

I would say it resounded with me because I relate to the situation the main narrator of the story finds himself in, Won't bore you with a sympathy story but needless to say I'm going through the cliched 'difficult time in life' and this although not providing any clear answers somehow simplifies life and to some extent puts a new perspective on things. One thing I really enjoyed in the book are the simple lists the narrator compiles of things noticed in life, it seemed to have significance on some level.

Lets be honest this book will not appeal to those that don't want to contemplate aspects of their own life situations, It is far from an so deemed 'exciting read' If you are the kind of person that only reads edge of your seat thrillers and put a premium on action and excitement you will find little here that you will enjoy but for those of us who can appreciate a simple tale of a man searching for meaning in lifes ups and downs or are maybe at a difficult crossroads in your life you will find much to enjoy here, you will take different things from this book depending on your outlook on life. Highly recommended
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Nave. Super
Naïve. Super by Erlend Loe (Paperback - 7 July 2005)
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