The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia

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9780099546078: The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia

As heard on Book of the Week, Radio 4

The whole world wants to learn the secrets of Nordic exceptionalism: why are the Danes the happiest people in the world, despite having the highest taxes? If the Finns really have the best education system, how come they still think all Swedish men are gay? Are the Icelanders really feral? How are the Norwegians spending their fantastical oil wealth? And why do all of them hate the Swedes?

Michael Booth has lived among the Scandinavians, on and off, for over ten years, perplexed by their many strange paradoxes and character traits and equally bemused by the unquestioning enthusiasm for all things Nordic that has engulfed the rest of the world, whether it be for their food, television, social systems or chunky knitwear.

In this timely book he leaves his adopted home of Denmark and embarks on a journey through all five of the Nordic countries to discover who these curious tribes are, the secrets of their success and, most intriguing of all, what they think of each other. Along the way a more nuanced, often darker picture emerges of a region plagued by taboos, characterised by suffocating parochialism and populated by extremists of various shades.

They may very well be almost nearly perfect, but it isn't easy being Scandinavian.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Product Description:

The Danes are the happiest people in the world, and pay the highest taxes.

'Neutral' Sweden is one of the biggest arms manufacturers in the world.

Finns have the largest per capita gun ownership after the US and Yemen.

54 per cent of Icelanders believe in elves.

Norway is the richest country on earth.

5 per cent of Danish men have had sex with an animal.

Michael Booth has lived among the Scandinavians, on and off, for over ten years, perplexed by their many strange paradoxes and character traits and equally bemused by the unquestioning enthusiasm for all things Nordic that has engulfed the rest of the world.

He leaves his adopted home of Denmark and embarks on a journey through all five of the Nordic countries to discover who these curious tribes are, the secrets of their success and, most intriguing of all, what they think of each other. Along the way a more nuanced, often darker picture emerges of a region plagued by taboos, characterised by suffocating parochialism and populated by extremists of various shades.

Review:

"Comprehensive and occasionally downright hilarious... I was laughing out loud" (Mariella Frostrup Observer)

"An affectionate and informative study of a region." (Ian Critchley Sunday Times)

"[An] entertaining, warts-and-all, English expat look at the Nordic miracle." ( Daily Telegraph)

"A thoroughly entertaining read, written brilliantly" (Bernard Porter Literary Review)

"A welcome rejoinder to those who cling to the idea of the Nordic region as a promised land...the substance, more often than not, is spot on." ( Financial Times)

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 198 x 129 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. The next Bill Bryson. (New York Times). Winner of the Best Narrative Travel Book Award from the British Guild of Travel Writers. The Danes are the happiest people in the world, and pay the highest taxes. Neutral Sweden is one of the biggest arms manufacturers in the world. Finns have the largest per capita gun ownership after the US and Yemen. 54 per cent of Icelanders believe in elves. Norway is the richest country on earth. 5 per cent of Danish men have had sex with an animal. Michael Booth has lived among the Scandinavians, on and off, for over ten years, perplexed by their many strange paradoxes and character traits and equally bemused by the unquestioning enthusiasm for all things Nordic and hygge that has engulfed the rest of the world. He leaves his adopted home of Denmark and embarks on a journey through all five of the Nordic countries to discover who these curious tribes are, the secrets of their success and, most intriguing of all, what they think of each other. Along the way a more nuanced, often darker picture emerges of a region plagued by taboos, characterised by suffocating parochialism and populated by extremists of various shades. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099546078

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 198 x 129 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. The next Bill Bryson. (New York Times). Winner of the Best Narrative Travel Book Award from the British Guild of Travel Writers. The Danes are the happiest people in the world, and pay the highest taxes. Neutral Sweden is one of the biggest arms manufacturers in the world. Finns have the largest per capita gun ownership after the US and Yemen. 54 per cent of Icelanders believe in elves. Norway is the richest country on earth. 5 per cent of Danish men have had sex with an animal. Michael Booth has lived among the Scandinavians, on and off, for over ten years, perplexed by their many strange paradoxes and character traits and equally bemused by the unquestioning enthusiasm for all things Nordic and hygge that has engulfed the rest of the world. He leaves his adopted home of Denmark and embarks on a journey through all five of the Nordic countries to discover who these curious tribes are, the secrets of their success and, most intriguing of all, what they think of each other. Along the way a more nuanced, often darker picture emerges of a region plagued by taboos, characterised by suffocating parochialism and populated by extremists of various shades. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099546078

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Book Description 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 129mm x 198mm x 23mm. Paperback. The Danes are the happiest people in the world, and pay the highest taxes. 'Neutral' Sweden is one of the biggest arms manufacturers in the world. Finns have the largest per capita gun own.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 416 pages. 0.250. Bookseller Inventory # 9780099546078

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Book Description Vintage, 2015. Book Condition: New. The Danes are the happiest people in the world, and pay the highest taxes. Norway is the richest country on earth. The author leaves his adopted home of Denmark and embarks on a journey through all five of the Nordic countries to discover who these curious tribes are, the secrets of their success and, what they think of each other. Num Pages: 416 pages. BIC Classification: 1DN; WH; WTL. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 201 x 131 x 26. Weight in Grams: 294. . 2015. 0th Edition. Paperback. . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780099546078

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Book Description Vintage. Book Condition: New. The Danes are the happiest people in the world, and pay the highest taxes. Norway is the richest country on earth. The author leaves his adopted home of Denmark and embarks on a journey through all five of the Nordic countries to discover who these curious tribes are, the secrets of their success and, what they think of each other. Num Pages: 416 pages. BIC Classification: 1DN; WH; WTL. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 201 x 131 x 26. Weight in Grams: 294. . 2015. 0th Edition. Paperback. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780099546078

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Book Description Vintage Publishing. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia, Michael Booth, The Danes are the happiest people in the world, and pay the highest taxes. 'Neutral' Sweden is one of the biggest arms manufacturers in the world. Finns have the largest per capita gun ownership after the US and Yemen. 54 per cent of Icelanders believe in elves. Norway is the richest country on earth. 5 per cent of Danish men have had sex with an animal. Michael Booth has lived among the Scandinavians, on and off, for over ten years, perplexed by their many strange paradoxes and character traits and equally bemused by the unquestioning enthusiasm for all things Nordic that has engulfed the rest of the world. He leaves his adopted home of Denmark and embarks on a journey through all five of the Nordic countries to discover who these curious tribes are, the secrets of their success and, most intriguing of all, what they think of each other. Along the way a more nuanced, often darker picture emerges of a region plagued by taboos, characterised by suffocating parochialism and populated by extremists of various shades. Bookseller Inventory # B9780099546078

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