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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought-provoking, sad and heart-warming...
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...
Published 19 months ago by Chris D

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Approach with caution.
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...
Published 4 months ago by Lola


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought-provoking, sad and heart-warming..., 8 Dec 2012
This review is from: Doppler (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
5.0 out of 5 stars The Doppler effect., 30 Dec 2012
This review is from: Doppler (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
3.0 out of 5 stars Approach with caution., 22 Mar 2014
By 
Lola (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Doppler (Kindle Edition)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For those who accept the harsh criticism and have courage to examine the reasons for own existence, 24 April 2014
By 
Denis Vukosav - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Doppler (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.

Completely misunderstood loner in presented modern and absurd society becomes the bearer of common sense, even though with his actions and ideologies he represents both the culmination of meaninglessness, unrivaled paradox, absurdity in the absurd, illogical logic and the logic of the illogical.

The author, preoccupied with philosophical reflections, criticizes contemporary society in a simple, somewhat rude, but at the same time intelligent and humorous way. ‘Doppler’ is a novel written for those who accept the harsh criticism and have courage to examine the reasons for own existence - "Because this is a military operation. We are soldiers who will fight to the last man. Against diligence. Against stupidity. Because there is a war out there. War."
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4.0 out of 5 stars I wished this book was longer, 3 July 2014
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This review is from: Doppler (Kindle Edition)
This book defies description, but I’ll have a go. It’s about Doppler, a Norwegian guy who after the death of his father has an accident on his bike and subsequently turns his back on civilization to live in the forest. His sole companion is Bongo, an elk calf which he feels responsible for having shot Bongo’s mother for food. The conversations with Bongo made me smile. It’s a tale about family, grief, alienation and a gradual warming towards civilization again, or so you think. No matter how much Doppler wants to be alone, he seems to attract people around him.
It’s a charming tale with a cutting edge. Doppler is happy in the forest but is a keen observer of the society he has rejected. Forced to communicate again with his pregnant wife and two children, he struggles to cope with modern society and his responsibilities, Teletubbies add Bob the Builder included. His teenage daughter Nora, named after an Ibsen character of course, insists on talking to him in elfish. His son Gregus forgets the television and instead helps him carve a totem pole, intended as a memorial to Doppler’s father but which comes to represent the three male generations of Dopplers and Bongo.
I read it quickly and wished it was longer, a book that will yield more for re-reading I think.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Bongo bongo land, 8 Dec 2013
By 
Simon Barrett "Il penseroso" (london, england) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Doppler (Hardcover)
Is masculinity being parodied or are we to take seriously our loner hero, who fuminates against kindness only to adopt an elk calf?
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5.0 out of 5 stars something new, 10 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Doppler (Kindle Edition)
I don't read a lot of books and comment on even fewer. However, I couldn't put this story down. I had see it in a tweet from Ben Fogle and picked it up for holiday reading

A great novel story that makes us think about how complicated our lives have become and how simple they could be. Much hilarity on the way.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A book you will keep reflectling upon., 5 July 2013
This review is from: Doppler (Hardcover)
There are different aspects of this book that I like. Not only is it well written and keeping the readers interest at all times, it also takes up a subject that is very relevant in todays society. We live in a very materialistic world, with societal pressure to always perform better, be wealthier, have more friends, travel the world, be super fit and run triathlons, eat certain ways etc etc... and Erland Loe manages to capture this issue and write what I think, something many people think but do not say outloud. Inspirational!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Starts very well but tailed off a bit, lots to say about modern life, 21 Jun 2013
By 
K. J. Noyes "Katy Noyes" (Derbyshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Doppler (Hardcover)
I loved this at the start - Doppler, a man reverting to a forest life, kills an elk in the woods, and the Bambi-like baby elk follows him. He adopts in and names it Bongo and begins to talk to it. This was funny, the thoughts of Doppler's expressed to the elk wry, intelligent and condemning of modern society.

It was when other people came into the story that I lost interest in the plot a bit!

It's short and fun, but I can't really explain why it didn't connect for me. I thought it had a lot of promise but I thought the first quarter was the best part.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Really good book, 21 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Doppler (Kindle Edition)
I loved this book, it's funny but also quite thought provoking, and the main character is strangely endearing. I would highly recommend it.
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Doppler by Erlend Loe
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