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4.5 out of 5 stars
77
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 27 November 2012
a fan of Albert Camus' The Stranger? a fan of Sylvia Plath's the Bell Jar?
well, this is a modern author's take on the genre of initrospectivity, the wrapped up world of one's own thoughts and the question of whether we're actually ok ("sane").
it offers an outlook on life where the questions of existence conjure up even more questions - why dont we see life like others? are we in slow motion? is there such a thing as 'excitement', 'normality' etc?
honestly, this book is worth a read if you're interested in how people's minds work. its not about happy endings or startling conclusions, but a person's journey and struggle through every day life. it's not page turning in the sense that there are cliff hangers, but it is quite a compelling read.
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on 8 March 2017
I think this book is just a joyful little hymn to simple pleasures and being good and finding fun in looking up scandanavian swear words on library archives. Read it and just feel happy.
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on 26 April 2016
Ludicrous, took me 5 years, but it's really good, you were right.
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on 28 April 2017
Insightful book which makes you realise thinking deeply is both good and unproductive. The simple things in life are the most amazing...everything else is just white noise.
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on 19 April 2017
Brilliant condition.
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on 13 June 2017
Easy to read and makes you want to read on.
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on 17 April 2017
As if the world needs yet another book about self discovery in an unfathomable world - if you are going to write about this stuff it better be good. And to say the least this is very good. It is a simple tale, very little plot, the narrator is often irritating and you just want to reach into the pages and tell him to sort himself out. And that is what I liked so much about the book, I wanted to be part of the story, I wanted to be there with him and help him make sense of his world. His relationships with his small number of acquaintances are touching, especially the friendship he develops with the young child next door. It is book that is hard to describe but easy to recommend, read it, go with the flow and be prepared to be very satisfied with the ending.
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on 10 February 2008
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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Read in the original language for the best experience.
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on 25 March 2008
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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