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Naïve. Super Paperback – 7 Jul 2005

4.6 out of 5 stars 70 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Canongate Books; Main edition (7 July 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841956724
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841956725
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 1.8 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,204 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

Erlend Loe's cult novel Naïve. Super, about a 25-year old who is unable to find any meaning in his life, was a huge success in his native Norway, and a bestseller throughout Europe--and it isn't difficult to see why.

The narrator has given up on doing his Masters and gone to stay at his brother's house. His brother is away on business and needs his mail redirecting via fax. Aside from that there is nothing to do. So he makes lists, worries about time, befriends a small boy who lives next door, worries about his good friend and his bad friend and tries to understand what being, and being here and now, means. In mostly very short, sometimes elliptical, wry but never ironic chapters Loe works at his character's fear of the meaningless and works meaning into the slightest of material. There is a lovely moment toward the end of the novel when the narrator's brother picks up and plays with the child's toy he has previously berated the narrator for holding on to. Sometimes, we feel, imputing meaning to the simpler things may well be the only route to understanding the more complex ones.

The novel is reminiscent of "60s" writer Richard Brautigan at his best, has the knowing artlessness of Douglas Coupland and shares a love of lists with Nick Hornby but Loe has bagfuls of his own unique charm. This is a beautifully unaffected, funny book, refreshingly free of cynicism, which manages to raise serious existential questions while retaining throughout the lightest of touches and the quirkiest of observations.--Mark Thwaite --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Loe certainly has some of Salinger's lightness of touch, and often comic voice of his unnamed narrator recalls Salinger's Holden Caulfield. A charming debut novel." (The Times)

"it displays a canny lightness of touch and a great deal of charm. An effortlessly hip and savvy antidote to the rainy day blues." (Sleazenation)

"It is fascinating, how much depth this young author can convey in a simple language - a major talent." (Oldenburgische Volkzeitung, Germany)

"A book overflowing with creative talent on just about every page. Well calculated naivety." (Dagbladet, Norway)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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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Format: 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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By A Customer on 25 Nov. 2002
Format: 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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Format: 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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought this book for my Mum for her book club.
From what she said of it, "It was an interesting read. However, it is translated from ____ so sometimes it can be a little difficult to understand and interpret the translation, but on saying that, it is a very good read."
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Format: 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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Format: Paperback
The narrator of this story is a 20-something, and with the use of simple sentences and his naive/childlike take on the world around him, gains him a certain empathy from the reader that makes this book a joy to read.
the story concerns the narrator and his attempts to figure out 'what it's all about'. It takes in a trip to new york, making new friends, sorting out his love life, a hammer and peg, and trying to understand the theory of relativity.
at times sad, at times laugh out loud funny yet always beautifully written...a must read.
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