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Norwegian by Night

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  6,266 Ratings  ·  1,067 Reviews
He will not admit it to Rhea and Lars - never, of course not - but Sheldon can't help but wonder what it is he's doing here..

Eighty-two years old, and recently widowed, Sheldon Horowitz has grudgingly moved to Oslo, with his grand-daughter and her Norwegian husband. An ex-Marine, he talks often to the ghosts of his past - the friends he lost in the Pacific and the son who
Paperback, 303 pages
Published June 2012 by Scribe (first published 2012)
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Jan 09, 2013 Raven rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I must admit to having a slight crisis of confidence in writing this review, questioning whether I could do justice to just how marvellous this book is. From the first few pages, I was totally immersed in the life of Sheldon Horowitz, our curmudgeonly hero of the piece: a man haunted by the ghosts of his former life and coping with the daily frustrations of growing old. From the synopsis, it is impossible to harness all the themes and subtlety of prose that this book conveys to the reader. On on ...more
Diane S ☔
Dec 24, 2013 Diane S ☔ rated it really liked it
If it wasn't for a few of my Goodread friends, this book probably would not have come to my notice. I would have missed a book that was wonderful, had all the elements that that I look for in something I read.

Sheldon, a Jewish man who served in the Korean War, moves to Norway with his grand-daughter and her husband. There he finds himself as a defender to a young boy whose mother has been killed. Sheldon is a wonderfully complicated character, said to be suffering from dementia, he is sharper th
Dec 24, 2013 ☮Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nook, favorites
Edit: I read this in 2014 but just now, 2016, decided to change it to 5. Didn't mean for it to go out into the update feed.

What a great book! The first chapter is one of the best I have read in years. The book is philosophical, intelligent, heartbreaking. The lead character, 82 year old Sheldon Horowitz, is all that too, plus so wise and virtuous. All while maintaining a sense of humor to balance the bad things that have happened in his long life, mainly that everyone around him dies: his
May 22, 2013 Jill rated it really liked it
Let’s start with the good stuff: Derek B. Miller’s novel is refreshingly original. What other book can YOU name that takes an octogenarian widowed American Jew who mourns a son “who named his daughter for a Greek Titan before being killed by a Vietnamese mine in an effort to please his Marine father who was once a sniper in Korea.”

Just – wow! Add to the fact that the American Jew – Sheldon Horowitz – may be suffering from dementia and also harbors a great deal of guilt for the death of Saul, his
Cathy Cole
May 01, 2013 Cathy Cole rated it it was amazing
First Line: It is summer and luminous.

When you're in your eighties and a widower, the last thing you want to do is to move from your home in New York City to a new place with your granddaughter and her Norwegian husband in Oslo, Norway. But as Sheldon Horowitz knows, sometimes the last thing you want to do is the only thing you can do. He's lonely and wants to be with his granddaughter. His granddaughter has seen signs of dementia in her beloved grandfather and wants to keep him close to her.

Helen (Helena/Nell)
Feb 02, 2014 Helen (Helena/Nell) rated it it was amazing
I started to read this book while staying with my mother, who has Alzheimer's dementia. My sister recommended it, and lent me her copy,and there was a kind of relevant link in that the main character, Sheldon Horowitz, may also have dementia. He's an old man, and he's the hero.

When I began reading, I got confused. I don't know whether this was something to do with staying with my mother, whose illness always seems infectious. I'm much more easily confused with her, and by her, than elsewhere. Bu
João Carlos
“É um dia de Verão resplandecente. Sheldon Horowitz está sentado numa cadeira de realizador, num recanto sombrio do parque Frogner, em Oslo, numa posição sobranceira ao piquenique e longe da comida. Tem uma sanduíche de karbonade no prato de papel pousado no colo, meio comida porque não lhe agrada.” – assim começa “Um Estranho Lugar para Morrer”, primeiro livro do norte-americano Derek B. Miller.

Parque Frogner - Oslo

Sheldon Horowtiz é um judeu americano, com oitenta e dois anos, viúvo, ex-milita
Dec 22, 2013 Marianne rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Marianne by: jeniwren
Shelves: favourites
Norwegian By Night is the first novel by American-born author, Derek B. Miller. When 82-year-old American widower, Sheldon Horowitz goes to live with his granddaughter, Rhea and her Norwegian husband, Lars, in Olso, the last thing he expects is to find himself on the run from the police with a small boy in tow. But the ex-Marine, suffering dementia, according to Rhea, has witnessed the murder of the boy’s mother and feels compelled to keep the boy safe. He heads for the hills, unaware that every ...more
May 23, 2013 Shawn rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book. In fact, I was all prepared to love it. The premise was intriguing, the writing decent. However, two things ruined my ability to even get all the way through it. First, it is told at times in the voice of an elderly man believed to be suffering from a touch of dementia a'la old age. Fine, I get that. He's in his 80's so, could be. But, his telling can in no way be trusted. Again, that's not necessarily a bad thing -- unreliable narrators I can do. Not, though, when th ...more
B the BookAddict
Jan 06, 2014 B the BookAddict rated it really liked it
Recommended to B the BookAddict by: Marianne's review

Sheldon's answer to a question about life...

In this life, my body has become a withered twig, where once I stood tall...
In this life, I hobble as an old man, when once I could fly over doubts and contradictions.
In this life, my memories are the smoke I choke on, burning my eyes.
In this life, I remember hungers that will never return, when once I was a lover with the bluest eyes...
This life! This life is coming to an end without any explanation or apology...
This life was an abrupt and tragic
Dec 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I am generally stingy with five stars and I am having a hard time justifying the fifth star for what appears to be a suspense or thriller novel. That's what the jacket flap makes it sound like but Norwegian by Night is somehow so much more that it defies my ability to pin down that much more in a short review.

I was snared by the title. Loved the picture on the front of the silhouette of the boy in a viking helmet. It's a debut novel, written by an American (so in English) who lives in Norway. J
Derek B. Miller has written an intelligent thriller that takes the reader to Oslo, New York City and the jungles of Vietnam. His fascinating and well-written character "Sheldon Horowitz" was one of the 30,000 Jewish veterans that served in the Vietnam war and he is haunted with secrets. His own wife of many years, who dies in the beginning of the book, did not believe that her husband was a sniper. She tells him he is going senile in old age and that he was a only a clerk. Sheldon proves to be s ...more
Feb 02, 2013 Richard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
This is a gem of a book, which I have been waiting to read for sometime. That delay has been my loss; this is an excellent literary thriller, worthy of the hype. This is crime fiction at its best and a first rate novel.
With a memorable main character, Sheldon Horowitz, an 82 year old widower and a plot that is tense but never gets in the way of the story, here is a book you long to read and seldom find.
Beautifully written, character driven and relationship centred the story speaks with universal
Jan 05, 2017 Tristan rated it really liked it
I think, like many people, with the international success of Stieg Larsson's "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" series, I jumped on the Scandinavian bandwagon: reading Nesbo and Mankell and scouring Netflix for similar fare. That said, it was probably the title of Miller's novel that first caught my eye, and the abstract seemed unconventional and intriguing enough, so I figured "Why not?"
I had never read anything by Miller before, and I was quite unprepared for just how much I would like this nov
Mike W
Mar 02, 2017 Mike W rated it it was amazing
Review to come. I do want to get one thing across though: You should add this to your TBR shelf stat. A thriller so literary it'll leave lit fic lovers with not only zero guilt but the rewarding feeling of reading time well spent.
Jacki (Julia Flyte)
Feb 19, 2014 Jacki (Julia Flyte) rated it it was ok
Ok, it's my failing, no doubt, that I didn't get more out of this book. So many people have loved it that you can take my two star rating with a grain of salt. I just didn't get it, from the title - what did that mean? - to the motivations of the central characters to the genre. Yes, even the genre - was it a thriller or a story about a man looking back on his life or a black comedy had elements of all of those things but it didn't really deliver on any of them.

The hero is Sheldon Horowi
I wasn’t sold on this book until the last paragraph.

It was the same with Cloud Atlas. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Cloud Atlas while I was reading it, and I enjoyed Norwegian by Night while I was reading it, but the very last words of the book wildly changed my perspective.

This book is a ponderer- its interesting that so many of the problems discussed by the police chief are things that I struggle with myself (for instance, I want to be optimistic, even forgiving, but also practical in the way so
Susan Johnson
Apr 04, 2015 Susan Johnson rated it liked it
I am really not sure what I think of this book. It is so dark which is an odd comment to make on a mystery but I actually felt depressed after finishing it. I wonder if it's the lack of sunlight that makes the Scandinavians write such gloomy stories but they have cornered the market on that.

The story centers around an 82 year old New York Jew who is moved to Norway to live with his granddaughter and her husband. Sheldon Horowitz is very much a fish out of water. He doesn't speak the language,
I would have given this book 3.5 stars if I could. It was a good read but a few things stopped it from being a great read for me. It was quite engaging and the pace was quick and towards the end it was almost "unputdownable" but I felt that the story line and the characters could have done with a bit more filling in. I also would have liked a bit more resolution at the end. I think too, the editing wasn't great as there were a few errors that annoyed me. Overall though an enjoyable read and one ...more
Reading Reader
Sep 11, 2013 Reading Reader rated it it was amazing
Wow... just: wow. I loved this book. The tone, the characters, the humor, and the dialogue are all spot on. There's so much here, on so many levels and subjects. Norwegian by Night has things to say about aging, culture, sanity, politics, family, influence, war, memory -- and yet it manages to stay away from preachyness or telling you what to think. Best novel I've read in a while.
With the death of his beloved wife Mabel, eighty-two year old Sheldon Horowitz was persuaded by his grand-daughter Rhea to join her husband Lars and Rhea in Norway. Sheldon had lived in New York for a long time, but with the passing of Mabel and the possibility of having dementia, he grudging made the journey. As a former Marine sniper in the Korean war, the fact that his only son Saul was killed on a second tour of duty in Vietnam did something terrible to Sheldon. He blamed himself for Saul’s ...more
Jul 08, 2013 Nicholas rated it liked it
I really wanted to like Norwegian by Night. The descriptions I heard of it made me want to find a book that I could pass on to others and say it's funny, suspenseful, and the characters were great. But, it wasn't any of those things really. The problem is that I never connected with any of the characters. So it was none of those.

First, there is a crime in the story, and it drives the action, but the real background story is how the main character tries to cope with the loss of his son which he
Mary Lins
Jan 03, 2017 Mary Lins rated it it was amazing
Shelves: complete
I ordered Miller's "Norwegian by Night", while I was still reading his latest book, "The Girl in Green", because I was loving his writing so so much. I'm glad I did because I thoroughly enjoyed "Norwegian by Night" and remain in awe of Mr. Miller's talent for spinning a story that is by turns funny, heartbreaking, timely, and suspenseful. This (as well as "The Girl in Green") would make a terrific movie.

American, octogenarian, ex-Marine, Jewish, possibly demented, Shelton Horowitz, is on the run
Aug 26, 2014 Rosana rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, 2014
Yesterday we had our first serious snowfall. It was a grey and humid day that made me feel depressed at the idea that winter is here after all. So I declare it a “reading day” and sat at the couch with this book. It has been a long time since I read a whole book in a single day…

The book is a genre defying mystery – all the mysteries I have come across lately are genre defying – about an old man transplanted to Norway to live with his only relative, his granddaughter, where he witness a murder a
Jul 29, 2015 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Cranky old Jewish snipers, Norwegian archers and lady cops
This book is a rare bird, with a protagonist who's an old man on an adventure. Sheldon Horowitz is an octogenarian who's moved from New York City to Norway, brought there by his daughter, whom he and his wife raised after their son died in Viet Nam, and his Norwegian son-in-law. Sheldon is as cranky an old widower as you'd expect for someone living with past regrets and transplanted to another country where he doesn't speak the language. But underneath his irascible and pedantic exterior, he's a ...more
May 10, 2015 Banner rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
When you get to a certain age you can get by with anything, or so says Sheldon (our utterly delightful protagonist). Not that I have such experience, I try stuff but I don't get away with it.

Sheldon is now an old man that has lived with his inter-demons a long time. He barely missed serving in WW2 but headed straight into the Korean War. I really hesitate to say too much about Sheldon, because if you stereotype him, you will miss so much. He is his own character. The author made a comment at the
Most reviews I had read before starting this book were kind of negative. I thought this was because the book was often described as a "literary thriller" and that it probably didn't have enough crime/thriller elements for many people. As I really enjoy literary thrillers I decided to give it a chance. There also seemed to be similar structures The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared which I enjoyed very much. Now I have to admit that my assumptions were wrong.
Cátia Santos
Dec 06, 2014 Cátia Santos rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Este delicioso livro está classificado como policial mas vai muito para além deste género. Há um assassinato, investigação criminal e por aí fora, mas na verdade a história centra-se na vida do protagonista, Sheldon, um homem de 82 anos, que tem de lidar com os seus fantasmas, com as mortes das pessoas que lhe eram mais queridas, e com a transição da América para a Noruega, local onde vai viver com a sua neta e com o marido dela.

Pelo meio, há referências às guerras da América com a Coreia do Nor
Aug 06, 2016 Lisa rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Norwegian by Night follows the adventures of Sheldon Horowitz, an 82 year old ex-Marine and transplanted New Yorker in Norway. I listened to this book on a road trip and it fit the various needs of my family members - literary, witty and plenty of action.
Michael Robotham
Nov 06, 2013 Michael Robotham rated it really liked it
Funny, poignant and wonderfully written, this is an inspired first novel.
Sheldon, aged 82, retired jeweller, slightly demented, grieving for his lost wife, turns into a kick-ass hero.
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Derek B. Miller is an American novelist and international policy specialist.
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“Only the educated stop to look for words - having enough to occasionally misplace them.” 22 likes
“Everyone gets killed in the shower. Don't you go to the movies? Psycho. Dead in shower. The MExican in No country for Old Men. Dead in shower. Michelle Pfeiffer in What Lies Beneath. Almost dead in shower, or in the bath, anyway. But she did that thing with her toe and got out OD. Still the shower, though...Glen Close in Fatal Attraction. Dead in shower. John Travolta in Pulp Fiction. Very dead in shower. But never closets. I can't think of anyone shot in a closet. This is why I hide in closets.” 14 likes
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