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

Extended Audio Sample The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia, by Michael Booth Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Michael Booth Narrator: Ralph Lister Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Journalist Michael Booth has lived among the Scandinavians for more than ten years, and he has grown increasingly frustrated with the rose-tinted view of this part of the world offered up by the Western media. 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 one another.

Why are the Danes so happy, despite having the highest taxes? Do the Finns really have the best education system? Are the Icelanders as feral as they sometimes appear? How are the Norwegians spending their fantastic oil wealth? And why do all of them hate the Swedes?

In The Almost Nearly Perfect People, Michael Booth explains who the Scandinavians are, how they differ and why, what their quirks and foibles are, and he explores why these societies have become so successful and models for the world. Along the way a more nuanced, often darker picture emerges of a region plagued by taboos, characterized 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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Part travelogue, part cultural history…[and] crammed with some truly bizarre facts.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Booth’s project…aspires to a comic genre that might be called Euro-exotica….In this sense, Booth’s book is as much about Anglo-American power as it is about the Nordic way.”

    New Yorker

  • “Outrageously entertaining…Like members of a family, each of these five nations, despite a strong shared resemblance, has its own character, and Booth really is the guy you want to explain the differences to you…[It] offers up the ideal mixture of intriguing and revealing facts.”

    Salon

  • “[An] insightful, entertaining, and very funny book. Booth also happens to be a terrific ambassador to the often insular and sometimes baffling behavior of the Nordic peoples…Anthropological research has never been this much fun.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “[Booth’s] dry wit permeates the book…He has written an immersive, insightful, and often humorous examination of a most curious culture.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “An affectionate, observant, engaging look at Scandinavia, where trust, modesty and equality proudly prevail.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Narrator Ralph Lister does a splendid job covering this informative and often humorous look at Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, and Iceland…Lister’s sterling pronunciation of personal and place names as well as regional terms adds to the feeling of being in each distinct country. He remains evenhanded as he reveals Booth’s personal views and deftly shares his self-deprecating humor. Most fascinating are the many insightful quotes from government officials, ordinary folks, and immigrants.”

    AudioFile

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About the Author

Michael Booth is the author of five works of nonfiction. His writing appears regularly in the Guardian, the Independent, the Times, the Telegraph, and Condé Nast Traveler magazine, among many other publications. He is the Copenhagen correspondent for Monocle magazine and Monocle 24 radio, and he travels regularly to give talks and lectures on the Nordic lands and their peculiar, nearly perfect people. He lives in Denmark with his wife and two sons.