3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Highly recommended - and much better than the Radio 4 edited version.,
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This review is from: The Almost Nearly Perfect People: The Truth About the Nordic Miracle (Paperback)
You know that moment when you're a couple of chapters into a new book and you're enjoying it so much that you turn to the front to see what else the author has written? This is one of those. It's a delightful and thought-provoking analysis of the Nordic countries; I'm particularly impressed with his range of enquiry, which runs from the minute details of social interaction through to some pretty penetrating economic and political analysis, taking in several centuries of history on the way. It's a book that I'll be recommending to friends esteemed for their curiosity, because I can imagine how much pleasure it'll give.
One thing I did want to say, though: this was Book Of The Week on Radio 4, and for once I think that the editing didn't do it justice. The reading concentrated too much on the trivial (and on the intra-Nordic rivalries, which are fiercer than I knew); so much so that I was surprised - pleasantly - when I found that the author gives more in-depth analyses of more serious subjects. It's much more than the advanced 'misogynist guide' that the radio programme conveyed.
It has, of course, made me want to visit almost everywhere, although I've now been warned not to expect too much by way of chatty conversation, to be prepared for very high prices, and at all costs to avoid any delicacy made from shark. And if I were lucky enough to be more than a hovering tourist, this book will have helped me understand much more of what I'm experiencing. Highly recommended.