Friday, February 18, 2011

Book Review: History of Danish Dreams by Peter Hoeg

There's a pretty rad book exchange off a side street in Asmali Mescit neighborhood here in Istanbul. Full of old folks who tell awesome stories and let you take books from 'em for free...yeah, it's a good deal.

And I was sitting there, trying to find some more books, when I stumbled upon The History of Danish Dreams. Considering I have Danish friends and turn into a deaf mute whenever talk gets going about their homeland, I figure it would be a good introduction. And the author apparently is an ex-mountaineer, ex-fencer, and ex-ballet dancer, so he seems like the kind of dude I'd patronize.

So the book follows 4 generations or so of a family tree from Denmark's medieval feudalism into the 1970's. Apparently most of that change happens in the 20th century, and the book could be better called "Denmark in the 1900's: a novel"

There's some likable characters and some fun quotes. The 1920's were an awesome time to be rich, apparently. And lawyers and the law make for terrible people, but if you ran in my circles, you'd know this already.

And honestly, I finished this book a few weeks ago and it didn't make that much of an impression on me. Maybe it was a mediocre translation, who knows? But let's just move on and start talking about Central Asia again sometime soon.

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