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on 18 July 2017
A very informative book about the whole Scandinavian picture, Michael Booth explains in great detail the political, social etc...
The author wrote some harsh and unclear opinions about other countries in general, but as I read the harsh things in over again I can see what he's trying to say.
Overall it's his book, his legacy.
- A.R
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on 30 May 2017
Great book. I gobbled it up in no time at all. Very readable, funny and interesting. Makes we want to visit Denmark despite what the author says!
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on 23 May 2017
Funny and interesting read. Anyone who's spent some time in Scandinavia will recognise a lot here.
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on 31 March 2017
Very enjoyable read, nice to get a slightly different perspective of Scandinavia.
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on 24 July 2017
Great product.
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on 19 October 2015
Funny and intelligent. Definitely worth it.
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on 25 August 2017
Great book!
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VINE VOICEon 22 February 2014
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.
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on 29 January 2015
Booth is a sexual refugee in a land he would never have chosen otherwise.
His account of Denmark is honest and will be greeted with grateful recognition by other expats.
His analysis of "hygge" is alone worth the cost of the book.
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on 25 August 2015
After starting reading this I thought it was a funny old book. The title 'The Almost Nearly Perfect People', suggested this was going to be a continuation of the myth of the Scandinavian utopia but early on the author seems to dismiss that notion, describing his sometimes dreary and often 'over-taxed' life in Denmark. This may have been for the best in some cases without the rose-tinted glasses you seem to get a more realistic insight into Scandinvian life.

As the book goes on you can feel a gradual thawing from the Michael Booth towards people's fetishisation of Scandinavian culture though, which makes the book a much more enjoyable read. Particular highlights are the Finnish sauna experience, which as recent tourist to a sauna I could completely relate to, as well a visit to a famous Swedish crayfish party. These chapters, and similar ones with personal experiences, for me, make the book as sometimes the chapters that involve social questions and statistics seem a little short and underdeveloped to provide real explanations for say why Finland has so many guns or Norwegian people don't always work so many hours.

The books epilogue is a warm and heartful message to Scandinavians that left with me a great big smile on my face, though I do wish this attitude had been more common throughout the book as sometimes, in my opinion, contained a bit too much cynicism, which the author does appear to acknowledge. However given that, after a recent holiday, I'm starting to become a bit of a IKEA-loving, Borgen-watching meatball-eating Scandi-phile, maybe any sign of negativity was going to be too much for me. Either way I still learnt a lot from this book and Michael Booth does straddle quite well the line between rose-tinted enthusiasm and cynicism to provide an interesting and often entertaining book on Scandinavian life.
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