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Benny and Shrimp Paperback – 6 Mar 2008

4.3 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Paperback, 6 Mar 2008
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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Short Books Ltd (6 Mar. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1904977413
  • ISBN-13: 978-1904977414
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 21.5 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,420,102 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"an offbeat, down-to-earth love story, refreshingly light to read and slightly addictive.... a novel that touches love's fundamentals." -- The Observer, March 2008

About the Author

Katarina Mazetti began her career as a teacher and gradually moved into broadcast journalism. She is a prize-nominated author, commentator, musician, poet and producer of 'Freja', a programme for women on Swedish Radio. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I loved this book. The writer did a great job bringing out both sides of the story. The passion seemed so real and tangible. It broke my heart and made me laugh. It seemed so real in that it wasn't given the Hollywood treatment. The characters were flawed, raw in places and full of the same range of mixed feelings we all have. I will definitely buy the sequel. Buy it, tell your friends and pass it on. It is a modern classic.
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Format: Paperback
Benny and Shrimp is a novel about discovering a new passion, and trying to make it work against the day to day problems of everyday life. When they meet at a cemetery - while Desiree (or "Shrimp") mourns her late husband, and Benny tends the shared grave of his parents - it is most definitely not love at first sight. Yet, against the odds, passion grows between Shrimp, the pale, bookish librarian and Benny, the overworked milk farmer. Katarina Mazetti writes in a quirky manner about the trials and tribulations of passion versus practicality: Shrimp is looking for a man who will come with her to the opera and who reads books for pleasure; Benny requires a woman who can keep the farmhouse running while he tends to the cows.

The chapters are told from alternate viewpoints, which made this read all the more pleasurable. Being able to see the same incident from both viewpoints ensured the reader always had sympathy and empathy for both parties in the relationship - unlike most love stories, where it is easy to throw your lot in with one injured party. Mazetti shows us that, most often, misunderstandings are the root of all problems in a relationship.

I adored the little bits of spiky poetry and commentary that headed up each of Shrimp's chapters - they gave a good measure of how she was feeling regarding Benny and the relationship:

"I have to get through the minutes one at a time, swallow them like bitter pills, try not to dwell on the vast number still left."

The strength of the novel is the realism with which the love story is presented. Benny and Shrimp are chalk and cheese and there is no automatic happy ending for them (although I am not going to spoil how it ends for the reader!) as there would be in a standard chick lit novel, say.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is translated from Swedish and although appearing to be simplistically written, its observations are beautiful and intelligently observed.
It is structured in chapters that alternate between Benny and Shrimp; their voices feeling very real and engaging. I would recommend this book to anyone who would like to understand more about relationships, and why they do and don't work. The male and female perspective work very well indeed and reiterate the Men Are From Mars and Women are From Venus message, which I think is a valid one.
I really liked the characters, and not just the protagonists, but the other characters too, such as Shrimp's best friend Marta and her work colleagues at the library, all of them playing a part in portraying Shrimps perspective and outlook on life. The core theme of the book, in my opinion, is loneliness and our search to find our place and purpose in the world, through love, distractions or hobbies.
I feel like I've read my first chick-lit novel ... it was an easy read, and was over too quickly for my liking, with only 221 pages. All in all a very enjoyable novel, but for me, I would prefer something with a bit more depth.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This was a short book, just 224 pages, but it still managed to get into the heads of the two main characters. I found it quite amusing in parts but it also became somewhat frustrating and was let down by a ridiculous ending.

The chapters were narrated in turn by both Shrimp, a mousy widowed librarian, and Benny, a farmer, tied to the legacy of the farm that has become fossilised in time since the death of his mother. The two meet in the cemetery while visiting neighbouring graves and a flash of attraction sparks between them.
Each of these chapters begins with a snippet of irritating poetry, supposedly written by Shrimp.

Although they are immediately attracted to each other, they are also very different personalities, wanting very different things from life. Benny cannot leave the farm
"If you take my John Deere away from me and put me in a suit, I shall feel like a transvestite." and Shrimp cannot imagine how she could possibly "sprout an apron overnight".
Loc 772: "He asked if I made my own bread, and I said I thought bread grew on trees, and you either picked it as little rolls or let it ripen into big fat loaves."

It was these anecdotes that enlivened the book for me, but the ending was a disappointment. Strangely, within our book group there were two different endings. Some people finished with the metaphorical purchase of a pair of strappy, blue leather shoes, others had another chapter involving a meeting between Shrimp and Benny, with a rather ridiculous outcome. (I'll say no more).

This would make for an entertaining beach read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this story in Swedish a few years ago. It made me laugh a lot as well as enjoying the love story. An easy read for the beach or a rainy day. the sequel is even better, couldn't stop laughing.
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