Fishing in Utopia: Sweden and the Future That Disappeared Paperback – 4 May 2009
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'... Mr Brown's prose is as clear and bewitching as the lake waters which he learns to fish ... Readers who know the Nordic countries will delight in the author's keen ear and eye for the nuances of language, landscape and social customs' - Economist' - he is a deft writer with a real descriptive talent and a humorous touch - this is an affectionate and insightful portrait, offering a much deeper understanding of the country than the usual, often politically motivated, tendency to stereotype' - Financial Times'Fishing in Utopia is a lament for a lost Eden. But it is more than that. Essentially it is a story of modern rootlessness and the search for something to believe in. The fact that that something turns out, absurdly, to be fishing only makes it more tragic. I can see it becoming a cult book, and not just among anglers' - Sunday Times 'His evocations of his early years in the country are miracles of sensuous recollection' - Telegraph
About the Author
Andrew Brown writes for the Guardian and is the editor of their website on religious affairs. He also contributes to Prospect and the New Statesman and writes and presents Analysis programmes for BBC Radio 4. His other books include The Darwin Wars and In the Beginning Was the Worm.
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Top Customer Reviews
in his 20's when he was married to a Swedish woman,and working
in a timber mill.When his marriage broke up ,after the birth
of his son, he moved back to England.In this wise and balanced
book he returns to Sweden to explore his relationship with the
country.As he endeavours to define Sweden we learn of his childhood experiences,his working class life in the timber mill,his fishing,
and of the desolate beauty of Northern Sweden.He considers
Sweden's 'social experiment' portraying its faults as the country,like many others in Europe tries to come to terms with immigration and the disintegration of rural life.He does this -respectfully-and despite its shortcomings ,he regains his affection for much of what is Swedish. A wonderfully written fascinating read.
Andrew Brown tells his story of living in Sweden with a Swedish partner (who he met in England) in the 1960s, after the break-up when his career as a British journalist took off, to the near present day when he re-journeys in a Saab to discover if Olof Palme's dream had sustained. Throughout a chronological structure, is weaved a passion for fishing - the author's commune with nature, and possible existentialist and cosmological solace. I am sorry to admit that I found my concentration slipping at repeated references to the finer intricacies of fishing technology.
Though the book is in essence an autobiography, Brown's writing style appeared to shield his personal reflections and those close to him, which has a somewhat noble aspect. However a blanket of privacy seemed to pervade the book, and I was left with the impression that the author is an intensely insular man, in love with his fishing retreats, and still an outsider.
Where this book excels is in its journalistic leanings that provide many commentaries on Swedish life.Read more ›
and again in his 20's when he was married to a Swedish
woman,and working in a timber mill.When his marriage
broke up,after the birth of his son,he moved back to
In this wise and balanced book he returns to Sweden to
explore his relationship with the country.As he endeavours
to define Sweden we learn of his childhood experiences,his
working class life in the timber mill.his fishing,and of
the desolate beauty of Northern Sweden.He considers Sweden's
'social experiment'-portraying its faults as the country,
like many others in Europe,tries to come to terms with
immigration and the disintegration of rural life.He does this-
respectfully-and despite its shortcomings,he regains his affection
for much of what is Swedish .A wonderfully written fascinating read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Starts off okay, but descends into a bit of a self-indulgent ramble. I lost interest before the end.Published 20 months ago by SweLiz
Chose this book by mistake, What a happy accident. Informative, varied, personal account, examining the idea of what is a nation. If anything.Published on 11 Jan. 2014 by muriel murray
As a Swede, now living in another country, I found this book fascinating. It added understanding for me to the country I come from. Read morePublished on 29 Sept. 2013 by Green Trees
i wanted to learn about Sweden and this book gives an idiosynscratic view of the country. Brown includes information from his view about life in Sweden in the 1970's in a very... Read morePublished on 10 Aug. 2013 by Margaret Costello
'I had a job, a wife, a child, and a car, and these achievements mattered; but it seemed to me that they all derived from the man I became in the woods. Read morePublished on 13 July 2013 by Simon Barrett 'Il Penseroso'
It is always interesting to hear someone from abroad give his version of a country as a foreigner living in a country. Read morePublished on 23 Nov. 2012 by Bernt Ersson
I think the author uses the term himself on a couple of occasions, and this book can be described as 'elegiac'. Read morePublished on 11 May 2012 by E. Granter
Part memoir, part nostalgic reminisce of a lost Sweden, part insight into a life of thoughts and words.
It's an entangled journey. Read more
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