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Doghead

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  1,386 Ratings  ·  130 Reviews
Doghead is a highly imaginative, exuberant saga that follows three generations of a wildly dysfunctional Norwegian family. When Asger, the narrator, visits his dying grandma, he learns that contrary to popular belief, Grandpa was not a war hero. Instead, his nickname was "Crackpot," and both before and after he escaped from a Nazi concentration camp, he was, to put it blun ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published July 6th 2010 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Bill
May 14, 2010 Bill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, lit-fiction
you know how in american movies...most, not all, something has to be happening all the time...things blowing up, slapstick comedy,megan fox running etc. whereas in most of the european movies i've seen, nothing overly exciting happens at all. in many of the films the vast majority of the time is taken up with people just talking to each other. in other words, they are primarily character studies.

well such is the case with doghead, which is a european book, written in denmark where it won many li
...more
·Karen·
8 CDs ready for us to listen to on the next road trip.

Which we did, stuck in slow moving traffic through the Alps, stuck in the queue to get through the ticket machines at the Brenner pass, stuck in the traffic around Stuttgart, cruising the autobahn past Koblenz and Cologne.

I'm not very good at listening to books, it turns out. I got on much better when I found a printed insert in the box with the family tree of the Svenssons and the Peterssons, and could check on who these people were in relat
...more
Clare
Jul 11, 2009 Clare rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I guess it says something about me that I was surprised when I read the flyleaf of this book and saw that it was described as a story about "a wildly dysfunctional Norwegian family." I didn't think they were all that dysfunctional - it's just that the author describes their dysfunction in such a mesmerizing way. Of course, my own family would never be the poster family for functional.
Ramsland weaves his story back and forth in time so that we begin to understand what makes each character signif
...more
Thomas
May 21, 2008 Thomas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The most fantastic Danish read I have ever read! Highly recommended for any man trying to remember how it was being a boy and any boy trying to figure out what it means to grow up...
Lars K Jensen
Jul 14, 2013 Lars K Jensen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: danish
Dette er en af de største positive litterære overraskelser, jeg har været ude for. For det er herligt at læse stor litteratur, som man ved, er fantastisk - men nogle gange skal man tage fat i den bog på reolen, som vennerne har talt om (syv af mine Goodreads-venner har læst den og giver den fire i gennemsnit), og som man har hørt så meget godt om.

Så det gjorde jeg - og jeg blev i den grad imponeret over, hvordan Ramsland får fortalt en historie om en families slægtshistorie. Det er ikke fordi, h
...more
Nathalie
Feb 18, 2017 Nathalie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Als oma Bjørk op sterven ligt en briefjes naar haar kleinzoon in Amsterdam begint te sturen, kan Asger zijn verleden niet meer ontlopen. Hij keert terug naar huis naar Denemarken om zijn oma nog eenmaal te zien en uiteindelijk het verhaal van zijn familie te vertellen dat bepaald niet over rozen is gegaan.

Zijn familie is afkomstig van Noorwegen, waar zowel de familie van zijn vader als zijn moeder vandaan kwamen. Het verhaal begint bij Askild, die bevriend is met Bjørk's broer Ejlif en waardoor
...more
Simon Hollway
Jan 17, 2014 Simon Hollway rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There's only one thing I enjoy more than reading and that's reading lists describing books I haven't yet read. And there's one thing I enjoy even more than that (which means that, logically, there are two things I enjoy more than reading...ad infinitum) - my OCD purrs with priapic prolepsis when an online bookstore emails through a link to a 24 hour super sale. Oooh yes, 10,000 books to trawl through, many at 95% off. Hours of cross-referencing, researching, checking reviews on Goodreads,checkin ...more
Charles Matthews
Happy families, as Tolstoy noted, are so much alike that they make for dull fiction. It's dysfunction we want. And in his first novel to be published in English, the Danish writer Morten Ramsland has served up a smörgåsbord of dysfunction.

As the novel's narrator, Asger Eriksson (aka The Liar, The Latchkey Kid, The Bastard Boy, The Danish Shrimp, and The Bandit), notes at one point in his saga of three generations of his family, “There was Anne Katrine, who was robbed of her mother's love. There
...more
Lorie
Mar 19, 2015 Lorie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
Últimamente he leído tantas sagas familiares (y variantes) que podría escribir un tratado sobre ellas. Cabeza de perro, de Morten Randstand, ha sido la más reciente, y una de las más interesantes. En primer lugar, yo matizaría un poco la sinopsis oficial de esta novela. ¿Divertidísima? Yo no diría tanto. ¿Originalísima? Permíteme dudarlo. ¿Episodios disparados? No sé yo, me pregunto qué entiende Salamandra por disparatados. Sí que es cierto, sin embargo, ese tono entre cautivador y grotesco, ese ...more
Jeanne
Oct 25, 2008 Jeanne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jeanne by: PW
Shelves: scandinavian
Where do I begin? This novel is translated from the Danish, and the author has been compared to John Irving. Are you tempted yet?

At first, I didn’t see the comparison to Irving, but the more I read, the more I got it. In essence, this is the story of a family. But not just any family. This is a wacky Norwegian family.

Narrated by Asger Erikkson, the novel tells the story of his parents, his grandparents, and Asger himself. We also learn about his great-grandparents. So, it’s a family saga. But i
...more
Simon Dykins
Mar 30, 2010 Simon Dykins rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sorry, but we have to refer to Tolstoy again. To paraphrase, all happy families are alike (and dull), but all dysfunctional families are unhappy in their own unique (and often very amusing) way, and this very dysfunction, and, indeed unhappiness, brings them together. Here is a story (or, rather, a collection of stories, some of which are actually true), told by an unreliable narrator, of three generations of nomadic Scandinavians,jumping back and forth through time, moving from POW camps in 194 ...more
Chris
I picked this book up simply because of the cover and the title. I hadn't heard anything about it before picking it up.


It's really, really good.


I've read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Smilla's Sense of Snow over the past year and noticed a striking similiarity between the two heroines. it was refreshing to read a book that doesn't stick to that female character.

Doghead is a family history as well as a slight tragedy and very funny. The story starts at the end of World war II and continues
...more
Martin
Sep 22, 2009 Martin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow - I REALLY REALLY liked this book! It is most definitely 4.5 stars. All of the newly translated Nordic fiction I'm getting my hands on is really satisfying!!

This is a multi-generational family story told from a male point of view. There is a lot of family dysfunction, troubling childhood experiences, love, loss and, did I mention, a healthy dose of family dysfunction? This one teeters right on the edge of absurd but never really crosses the line. It really held my attention from page one unt
...more
Natasja
Apr 16, 2014 Natasja rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-it, 2014
Heerlijk boek. Naar het einde toe werd het wat rommelig, alsof de auteur nog vlug vlug wat gebeurtenissen aan de verhaallijn wou toevoegen, of wat losse eindjes wou verklaren, maar de - in grote getale aanwezige - personages maken alles goed.
Een boek dat bol staat van de liefde voor familie, vol treurnis ook, en aanvaarding van een verloren leven. Fantastisch geschreven, luidop lachen grappig, en ondanks het vleugje magisch-realisme, en personages die Appelkop en Flapoor heten (waarom ken ik zo
...more
Clayton H
Sep 02, 2013 Clayton H rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013
This is a family saga that is very well written and actually worth the time. If the thought of an intricate generational journey is the kind of book that might be a turn off, well, I was sceptical too. But if you let Askild and Bjork take you on their quirky 50 year roadtrip of a Nordic cum Danish dynasty where alcohol, dynamite, dog-shit on a stick and cubist art regularly appear you'll discover echoes of your own family, and dare I say it: yourself.
Ginisez
Jul 24, 2010 Ginisez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
being 1/2 norwegian from the Bergen area this book intrigued me. what a read! Its a family history told in different voices at different times, in there history. I did need to keep checking the family tree to keep everyone straight. they all go by various childhood and adult nicknames. all I can say is Yes!! a great read.
Harpa Dis
Verulega óaðlaðandi kápa og ég átti ekki von á neinu sérstöku þegar ég byrjaði að lesa hana. Hefði aldrei lesið hana ef ég hefði ekki verið skikkuð til þess í Lestrarfjelaginu Skruddurnar.

Söguþráðurinn er fínn, en mér fannst stundum erfitt að fylgja honum eftir, um hvern var verið að fjalla hverju sinni. Framsetningin svolítið tætingsleg.

Kathy
Aug 11, 2009 Kathy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very good story of a man who tries to figure out the truth about and make sense of three generations of family history, discovering maybe more than he ever wanted to know (even about himself). Funny, but kind of dark in places which made me like it even more. Of course the families were all dysfunctional, but with a more European spin. Translated from Danish.
Geraldine
Pages 1-50: "I love this book! Wacky adventures, quirky characters, distinctive writing style! I am moving to Norway!"

Pages 50-100: "Didn't I just read 50 pages of wacky adventures?"

Page 102: "Life is too short. This book is going back to Scandinavia in the morning."
Lanew-yorkaise
Jul 20, 2009 Lanew-yorkaise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From http://lanew-yorkaise.com/

“Somewhere in Eastern Germany, my grandfather Askild is running across an open plain. The Germans are after him, and he has lost one of his shoes; it’s freezing. The half moon casts a pale glow over the landscape, transforming it into a ploughed field with frozen soldiers partly buried in mud….My father has not yet been born. My grandmother Bjork, who had arrived too late at the prison in Oslo and therefore never got to say goodbye, is not yet married to Grandpa A
...more
Mebhe
" Entre Norvège et Danemark, des années trente à nos jours, ce récit cocasse célèbre la famille, pour le meilleur comme pour le pire."



Tête de chien, c'est le surnom du narrateur (Asger, de son vrai nom) qui raconte l'histoire de sa famille, transbahutée entre la Norvège et le Danemark.



Tout commence par le grand-père Askild, échappé d'un camp de concentration en Allemagne, en échange de la vie d'un autre. Un passé dont ce grand-père, alcoolique notoire et peintre cubiste à ses heures, ne se reme
...more
Troels
Læste de første 100 sider, sprang nærmest de næste 200 over og skimmede de sidste 100. Ikke noget for mig, denne gang i hvert fald.
La Viduite
Tête de chien est le portrait d'une famille haute en couleurs. Mortem Ramsland nous livre ici une fresque truculente, drôle et plaisante. Tête de chien entremêle les histoires et reconstitue la part imaginaire sur laquelle repose chaque existence.

https://viduite.wordpress.com/2017/02...
yexxo
Jul 12, 2012 yexxo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to yexxo by: Silva
Kaum vorstellbar - ein Acht-Stunden-Hörspiel und dennoch wünscht man sich nach der letzten CD, es möge nochmal so lange dauern.
Eine Familiengeschichte über drei Generationen, erzählt vom Jüngsten der Familie, Asger Eriksson, der nach sieben Jahren in Amsterdam kurz vor dem Tod seiner Großmutter nach Hause zurückkehrt, um ihr diesen Wunsch zu erfüllen. Eine Geschichte voll von Tragik, Absurdität, Grausamkeit, Freude undundund, ach, einfach allem.
Da gibt es Großvater Askild, der mit seiner Krieg
...more
Lars
Jul 14, 2013 Lars rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: danish
Dette er en af de st��rste positive litter��re overraskelser, jeg har v��ret ude for. For det er herligt at l��se stor litteratur, som man ved, er fantastisk - men nogle gange skal man tage fat i den bog p�� reolen, som vennerne har talt om (syv af mine Goodreads-venner har l��st den og giver den fire i gennemsnit), og som man har h��rt s�� meget godt om.

S�� det gjorde jeg - og jeg blev i den grad imponeret over, hvordan Ramsland f��r fortalt en historie om en families sl��gtshistorie. Det er ik
...more
Øystein Bjaanes
May 29, 2013 Øystein Bjaanes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
The first thirty-fourty pages of this novel had me wondering whether I'd finish it or not. After that, the reading went easily, and I finished it in two sittings.

My reason for wondering was that Hundehode is a family chronicle, and I feel like I've read too many of those. Also, the first pages were not all that promising, they did not manage to build much excitement. Neither did they convey a sense that this book was anything out of the ordinary.

Once I got into the book, however, reading was a b
...more
Narine Gizhlaryan
Մորտեն Ռամսլանդ, «Շան գլուխը»
Թարգմանիչներ՝ Կարինե Աղաբեկյան, Ալեքսանդր Աղաբեկյան
«Գիտանք» հրատարակչություն

Ահա մի լավ գիրք, որը խորհուրդ եմ տալիս կարդալ․ շատ հավանեցի։ Մի ընտանիքի, նորվեգա-դանիական մի գերդաստանի պատմությունն է, յուրատեսակ սագա՝ գերդաստանի կրտսեր անդամի աչքերով ու խոսքերով։ Դանիացի գրողը վարպետորեն, թել առ թել հյուսում է ուշագրավ պատմություն մարդկային ճակատագրերի, փոխհարաբերությունների ու էն ամենի մասին, ինչ պատկերացրիք, որ կարելի է պատմել էս կտրվածքով :)

«Հայացքս իջեցնում եմ ներ
...more
Leraymer
Just finished reading this book for my bookgroup. It is written by a Danish author and received a lot of hype and buzz in the reviews. I felt that the book fell short of the reviews but overall it was a worthwhile read. It is a story of a 3 generation dysfunctional Norwegian family. I thought the book was going to be funny, edgy, raucous, unconventional, a new twist on an old theme - family dysfunction. In actuality I found the book to be typical of many books I've read about dysfunctional famil ...more
Ishmael Seaward
Oct 30, 2011 Ishmael Seaward rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very entertaining. Three generations of a dysfunctional family. I have known some dysfunctional families here in the states and read about others. This family seems dysfunctional in a subtlely different sort of way; maybe it's the culture. Like the kid bicycling through the city blindfolded, with his girlfriend runnning behind giving him directions. Or the mentally challenged grossly overweight aunt who quite literally tries to smother her nephew with her weight when he tries to escape her clutc ...more
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dark humor 1 19 Mar 04, 2009 03:22PM  
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“Не позволяй тьме пройти сквозь тебя! - сказал мне когда-то отец. - Гораздо лучше самому пройти сквозь тьму.” 1 likes
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