Read: January 2017
A bestseller in Scandinavia — Doppler is the enchanting, subversive, and very unusual story about one man and his moose.
This beguiling modern fable tells the story of a man who, after the death of his father, abandons his home, his family, his career, and the trappings of civilization for a makeshift tent in the woods where he adopts a moose-calf named Bongo. Or is it Bongo who adopts him? Together they devote themselves, with some surprising results, to the art of carefree living.
Hilarious, touching, and poignant in equal measure — you will read it with tear-stained cheeks and sore sides — Doppler is also a deeply subversive novel and a strong criticism of modern consumer culture.
After reading his book Naive. Super, I’ve come to never expect the normal from Norway author, Erlend Loe. I can’t even remember what brought me to buy this book a few years ago – I think I had been looking for my own copy of the first book of his I had read since I had mailed my original copy to a friend since I loved it so much, and I came across this little book, featuring a moose on the cover, and I just had to have it.
Erlend’s books are … different. He has this amazing humour that seriously had me laughing out loud for the whole book, but the story was also sad. The main character is coming to terms with his father’s death – and maybe going through a bit of a midlife crisis at the same time. As the story goes on, he meets other characters who are going through the same thing – one is also mourning the loss of his dad, another is going through a midlife crisis, trying to make a living for his family. They all befriend one another in their own quirky way and I think they all helped one another deal with their issues. Emphasis on quirky. Seriously, parts of this book are ridiculous and I have to wonder how much truth there is to it, how much of it actually happened in this fictional world – like the moose playing cards? That’s got to be talking about something else that I just didn’t understand.
I love the people in Erlend’s books – they’re not your normal characters and even the ones who seem slightly more normal don’t have the same reactions a normal person might have in real life. So many things happened that had me saying, ‘Huh?’ but in the same way I’d shake my head and just say, ‘Oh, Erlend, you cheeky bastard.’ How can you not love this book? It’s quaint, it’s poignant, it’s sad, it’s relatable. I loved about 95% of it but did not get the ending. Actually, that’s not true, I wished it hadn’t been part of a series, something I didn’t know when I bought it. I won’t be continuing with the series because, honestly, I thought the book would end differently. But then again, it’s Erlend, and I don’t think he does anything normal.
At any rate, this was a fun and very quick read (I started it when I went to bed one night and finished it in the wee hours of the morning before the kids got up), but I wouldn’t recommend reading it until you’ve read Naive. Super, which is amazing.