The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia Audiobook, by Michael Booth Play Audiobook Sample

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

The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia Audiobook, by Michael Booth Play Audiobook Sample
FlexPass™ Price: $12.95
$9.95 for new members!(Includes UNLIMITED podcast listening) Add to Cart learn more
Regular Price: $21.99 Add to Cart
Read By: Ralph Lister Publisher: Tantor Listen Time: at 1.0x Speed 8.83 hours at 1.5x Speed 6.63 hours at 2.0x Speed Release Date: April 2015 Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download ISBN: 9781494581961

Quick Stats About this Audiobook

Total Audiobook Chapters:


Longest Chapter Length:

29:41 minutes

Shortest Chapter Length:

05:46 minutes

Average Chapter Length:

17:17 minutes

Audiobooks by this Author:


Other Audiobooks Written by Michael Booth: > View All...

Publisher Description

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, and 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.

Download and start listening now!

“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 


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

    — Entertainment Weekly
  • [A] quick and enjoyable read that is perfect for readers interested in deeper understanding of the cultures behind the headlines.

    — Library Journal
  • “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

The Almost Nearly Perfect People Listener Reviews

Be the first to write a review about this audiobook!

About Michael Booth

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.

About Ralph Lister

Ralph Lister is an actor, voice actor, and AudioFile Earphones Award–winning narrator. He spent fifteen years in London theater before moving to the United States to focus on film and television. He has held numerous roles in Shakespeare and modern dramas, as well as starring roles in independent films. His voice and character work can be heard in Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearland 13 Going On 30. He lives in Los Angeles.