In Cod We Trust: Living the Norwegian Dream
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In Cod We Trust: Living the Norwegian Dream

3.52 of 5 stars 3.52  ·  rating details  ·  162 ratings  ·  40 reviews
"Eric Dregni's great-grandfather Ellef fled Norway in 1893 when it was the poorest country in Europe. More than one hundred years later, his great-grandson traveled back to find that (mostly due to oil and natural gas discoveries) it is now the richest. The circumstances of his return were serendipitous; the notice that Dregni won a Fulbright Fellowship for a year arrived...more
Hardcover, 216 pages
Published September 22nd 2008 by Univ Of Minnesota Press (first published 2008)
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Justine
Well-intentioned and sweet, but weak. My grandma was Norwegian, I eat herring at the new year, I love Kings of Convenience, and I have often fantasized about living in Norway. I really wanted to like this book. Unfortunately, it gave me the impression that it was written at the last minute to fulfill whatever Fulbright obligations Dregni had. Bits of trivia are weakly linked together to fill space between unsatisfying anecdotes. Many passages are unclear. The last paragraph of one chapter comple...more
Elizabeth
I flat-out adored this book, but it's probably because I'm really, really biased. Like me, Eric Dregni is a Norwegian-American who grew up in the Twin Cities. While getting his MFA in Creative Writing at the U, Dregni wins a Fulbright Scholarship that allows him and his wife to live in Trondheim, Norway for a year. He then writes about his experiences and publishes this book, which is a funny and fascinating memoir about exploring the culture of your ancestors. I honestly think that anyone would...more
Karen
Oofta! What a fun read! Having a Norske background with tastebuds for lutefisk and lefse is not required to enjoy this Norwegian author's sense of humor, but if you fall in that particular genetic strain this book is doubly fun to read. Amongst the chuckles you just might learn about the culture of present day Norwegians which may reveal our own American culture in a different light (or lack of light depending on the time of year!).
Shana
Eric and Katy move to Norway on a Fulbright fellowship. Adding a pregnant woman, then newborn to the mix makes for an entertaining tale. As one with some Norwegian ancestry, many of the stories were familiar. Not sure how I'd do with the dark winters! I do think the U.S. has something to learn from the Norwegians when it comes to childbirth and family leave.....
Ted L.
An enjoyable book.

Eric Dregni wins a Fulbright Fellowship to study for a year in Trondheim Norway. Taking his pregnant wife along for the ride, Dregni researches his Norwegian ancestry, meets long lost relatives, and recounts it all in a humorous travelogue.

One discovery is that Lutefisk enjoys the same place in Norwegian society in Norway as in Minnesota. A few folks are devoted Lutefisk enthusiasts and everyone else spends the year dreading the one annual and unavoidable Christmas meal of the...more
Gtpaulson
I smiled as I read this book. As a Norwegian American (on my father's side) my childhood was revisited..... Norwegian food! On rare occasion, thankfully, my mother and father would produce a true Norwegian meal and the five kids would squirm in their chairs until we were dismissed.
Kathee
Not particularly good wordplay but Dregni does do a nice, brave job of sharing his general experience as an American living in Trondheim. Having lived there myself years ago, I did enjoy both revisiting via the description of a familiar venue as well as the insight he provided about certain details. I definitely learned things through which I might reframe my own experience, which can be valuable. Fascinated by tidbits about local dialect, Trondersk --so different from standard Norwegian.
Kiri
I might be being hard on this book, with the 2 star review... but it didn't do a lot for me. I didn't feel transported into the Norwegian experience, didn't feel a great deal of insight into the immigrant life... Dregni's writing style is fairly detached, probably deliberately light and amusing, but the absence of any real meditation on what it all means left me with... not much. I would have appreciated more scholarship rather than the superficial travelogue.
Angela
This book is a delightful treatise about why Norwegian-Americans call themselves simply "Norwegian", even after 4 generations since immigrating. Dregni spent a year researching and chronicling both Norwegian history and current culture as a Fulbright Fellow on both sides of the ocean.I think my father would have loved it, and I'm considering sending a copy to my former college roomate, who still lives in Norway.
Mike
Jan 09, 2012 Mike rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who wants to live in Norway
Recommended to Mike by: no one found at random
This was a great book on the adventures of the author and his wife and his search for where his family came from. Added to the mix is the fact his wife is pregnant and the reader has a look at how the Norwegian government treats its people in regards to healthcare -- very well I might add. Recommended for anyone who wants to read about life in another country and its ways and customs.
Linda
Cute. A young Minnesota couple spends a year in Norway on a Fullbright grant. They had a baby, so had first-hand experience of the Norwegian health care system. Cross-country skiing in Norway---the trails marked "easy" in Norway would be considered double black diamonds in Minnesota. The "dark time" (long nights in winter) is hard to imagine. A quick read.
Erica
A light, entertaining read. Probably only of interest to Norwegian Americans. While I generally liked the book I would have loved to hear him delve more deeply into some of the cultural issues he raised, bats about a bit, and then dismisses in favor of more scatter shot observations about life in Trondheim.

Hope his son started sleeping better at some point.
Mary
Sons of Norway book for January. I liked Amy's review: This was a fun little book. I have Norwegian ancestors and would love to have the opportunity he had. I do have to say I wanted to know more, mainly because I want to go to Norway and absorb everything I can. It was very interesting to hear how they lived their lives for the year's visit. Brrr.
Laurie
I really wanted to like this book. I even went to an author reading a couple of years after I read it to change my mind. Nope.

The observations were trite and superficial. He generalized the behavior and character traits of all Norwegians based on a few acquaintances.

I'm not sure the Fulbright organization got its money's worth.
Amy
This was a fun little book. I have Norwegian ancestors and would love to have the opportunity he had. I do have to say I wanted to know more. Mainly because I want to go to Norway and want to absorb everything I can before I go over there. It was very interesting to hear how they live their lives over there. I can't wait to visit!
Elaine
This is the story of Eric's adventures in Trondheim, Norway as a Fulbright student. I was more than happy to read about his cultural discoveries and blunders because my own son, Erik, lived in Trondheim for a semester a few years ago, and my husband Tom and I just returned from our own cultural experience in Ankara, Turkey.
Peter Namtvedt
Mar 21, 2009 Peter Namtvedt rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who wants a humorous look at Norway
Recommended to Peter by: Mary Ann
I found this book a delightfully humorous travel memoir. Norwegian jokes should be told by Norwegians.

My own experience, living in Norway, was similar. It was marvelous to see how they loved their flag, it was weir how unfriendly they were out in public in the city (except for students who had relocated).

Kelly
Stories about an American couple living for a year in TRONDHEIM (where I am moving!). I definitely laughed out loud and found myself nodding in agreement to many of the observations of the author. If you want a little taste of what life in Norway is like (granted, a bit dramatized), check it out!
Liam
Dregni seems a reluctant observer, spending his year in Norway being suspicious of Norwegian culture rather than attempting to understand or involve himself in it. The book lacks a clear structure, reading more like related vignettes than a narrative, but it was a pleasant, readable book.
Randi
Contemporary memoir of college student with wife (and baby born in Norway) spending a year in Norway -- where his great-grandfather had immigrated from 100+ years before. Lightweight, but humorous. Really a collection of anecdotes showing contemporary Norwegian life and culture.
Brittany
A great little story about a guy and his pregnant wife who moves to Norway for a year. It shares a lot about what to expect for cultural differences as well as experiencing their food and arctic living. A cute light read.
Diane
Delightful, informative little book. I am not Norwegian but living in MN and being married to a Norwegian, I can vouch for the authenticity when describing the charachteristics of Norwegians here! Very quick, easy read.
Andrea
Eric travels to “homeland” of Norway to study for a year on a Fulbright grant to study the humble Norwegians with pregnant wife in tow. Eilif is born there, named for his great-grandfather – enjoyable, light read
Beth
Being of Norwegian heritage, of course I enjoyed this book. It helped explain why some of my family members are the way they are. Good for anyone who is Norwegian or interested in Scandaniva in general.
Eric
Read on my Kindle. Great book by Fulbright scholar who lived a year in Norway with his newly pregnant wife and experienced the modern Homeland for all us Norwegian heritage Americans of the Midwest.
Elizabeth
I wanted to like this book, but sadly, it was neither as insightful nor as funny as it could have been. While reading, I itched to edit - always a bad sign. I'm sorry.
bookinglibrarian
An unexpectedly insightful and delightful humorous account of Norwegian character and society as experienced by the author's year spent in Trondheim on a Fulbright.
Kjes
Cute. Fun reading. Except for the long, cold, dark winters and the food and the reservedness of the people, Norway sounds like a great place to live!
Nathan
This is a light pleasant travel memoir of a fellow who goes to Norway with his pregnant wife. Some of the stories were laugh-out-lough funny.
Sue
A funny look at Norwegians. It was slow but a light read. I enjoyed it since my heritage is Norwegians. Now I understand myself better!
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Eric Dregni has written nine books including Midwest Marvels, The Scooter Bible, Ads that Put America on Wheels, and Grazie a Dio non Sono Bolognese. As a 2004 Fulbright Fellow to the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Eric researched Scandinavian culture and roots for a forthcoming book. His time is divided between Italy, Norway, and Minneapolis where he is the curator f...more
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