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Naiv. Super

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  6,643 ratings  ·  296 reviews
Troubled by an inability to find any meaning in his life, the 25-year-old narrator of this deceptively simple novel quits university and eventually arrives at his brother's New York apartment. In a bid to discover what life is all about, he writes lists. He becomes obsessed by time and whether it actually matters. He faxes his meteorologist friend. He endlessly bounces a b...more
Hardcover, 201 pages
Published 1996 by J.W. Cappelens Forlag (first published January 1st 213)
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Feb 23, 2009 Addie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone. You have everything to gain and nothing to loose.
Shelves: favourites

I tried to send Erlend Loe himself a letter once.
I couldn't find his address so I tried his e-mail. I wrote him a long nice one with loads of questions, but the one he gives in the book is defunct and when I contacted his publisher they started asking questions.

I was too intimidated to make anything up.

I really wish I had. He seems like the sort of person that needs to be e-mailed.
Milica Chotra
This was a quick, easy and enjoyable read. (Maybe) I'll write a proper review later, but thought I could post the list I'd written last night, just in case Loe wants to see it :)

What used to excite me when I was little:

- animals, especially cats, birds and baby goats
- betting my life on everything - if this does/doesn't happen, I die; racing against buses - if I lose, I die
- broken toys and old things, small parts of broken things
- building blocks / construction toys
- buttons
- cardboard boxes
- c...more
Anita Dalton
Of course, this is the sort of novel that could only happen in a relatively benign place like Norway where a grown man playing with a little boy doesn’t inspire the need in every passerby to call Chris Hansen, and to a person who has a brother with an empty apartment. The protagonist is the most earnest character an American like me can possibly hope to read. With so many novels so sickeningly drenched in irony, the protagonist in Naïve. Super is completely devoid of it. And because he is not se...more
Kristilyn (Reading In Winter)

from my blog Reading In Winter

Naïve. Super is one of those books that you will want to treasure, after consuming it, but then feel like you can’t just keep it for yourself—you have to share it with people.

As soon as I finished reading Erlend Loe’s brilliant novel, I promptly breathed a sigh of satisfaction, packaged it up, and mailed it to someone I thought would appreciate it.

Seriously, I’m not even going to get into reviewing this book until you promise me you’re going to read it. Promise? OK.

Nelly Aghabekyan
Simplicity's best and simply the easiest - and this book is an exact example for this. There's no need to try hard and make things more and more complicated when there's an easier way to solve the problems: just stay ignorant to them. Be childish. Ask simple questions which always have answers, and do not spend forces on finding answers to questions that don't even make sense really.

This book is naive. This is why it's super
Hareton Linton
ძალიან ვიხალისე, როდესაც ახლა, მეც 25 წლის ვარ და მეც, დაახლოებით იგივე პრობლემა მაწუხებს, რაც მთავარ გმირს.
პირველი რამდენიმე გვერდი რომ წავიკითხე, უცებ გავიფიქრე "ოი, ჩემნაირი ბიჭი წიგნში!". ეს პირველი შემთხვევაა როდესაც ჩემი ახლანდელი მდგომარეობა ბევრ რამეში ემთხვევა წიგნის გმირს და რაღაცნაირად უცნაური და უცხო იყო. ამიტომ ამიჩუყდა გული ცოტა :დ
აბა, წარმოიდგინეთ, 24 წლისას ან 26 წლისას რო წამეკითხა- სულ ყველაფერი სხვანაირად იქნებოდა.

ეხა მე გეტყვით რა აღმაფრთოვანებდა ბავშვობაში:

Probabilmente il miglior libro letto quest’anno. Devo confessare che mi ha sorpreso: dello stesso editore avevo già provato Che ne è stato di te, Buzz Aldrin? che pure mi era piaciuto, ma è un libro completamente diverso, decisamente più drammatico, e mi aspettavo qualcosa in quel solco. Al contrario, Naif.Super è un romanzo fresco e ironico, assolutamente delizioso. Lo stile di Loe è di una semplicità disarmante, quella semplicità che chi scrive sa quanto sia difficile raggiungere. La storia è...more
I didn't realise until I was selecting the right edition here that the English translation of this book was published by Cannongate. Somehow it didn't surprise me, for I can't think of a bad book that they've published (if you've read one, please don't disillusion me), and they're Bookcrossing-friendly too.

Anyway, to the book: I loved it. The deceptively simple style gave a moving description of a quiet and reflective time in the narrator's life which maybe didn't go as far as being a story, bu...more
Да, она наивна, да, в чем-то супер. Быть наивным в нашем мире — супер. У парня кризис веры в себя, он замыкается на простых вещах, таких как составление списков вроде «что я любил в детстве» и битью по доске-колотушке. Досочку можно увидеть на обложке.

Эта та книга, в которой выводы делаешь сам — если захочешь. Я углядела для себя дельную мысль одну — в детстве все было гораздо проще.

Итог: читать, если настал кризис самоверы. Во всех остальных книга скорее всего будет раздражать.
Jul 24, 2007 Ariel rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: safran foer/haddon enthusiasts, simple-worded folk, raison d'etre seekers
cute. a little redundant at times. frustrating at points. fast read. i like thinking that it's translated from norwegian . i especially like the words that don't get translated quite right (i.e. "plaster" instead of "band-aid"). the prominent presence of lists was appreciated, as were character names such as Børre and Lise.
Jun 21, 2007 Erica rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE!
I can't say enough good things about this book. I loved it, made me laugh, made me think. Everyone should be able to identify with the semi-deperssed main character, who is rebuilding his life and going about it in a very sweet, funny matter. Such a clever book. Go on, go read it already!
Sometimes I see a bunch of coloured lines which is called modern art and I don't get why it costs one million. Same with this book. It is a bestseller, and some people actually find wisdom and logic in this story, but... really?

Here is a 25-year-old man who 1) sits at home in depression; 2) writes like he is 5 years old; 3) has no job; 4) has no real friends; 5) can throw a ball against the wall for several hours; 6) wants to be a kid again; 7) spends money for kids toys to play wi...more
Odio cuando los mapas te sueltan eso de 'Usted está aquí'.

La mayor parte del tiempo es una mentira como un camión. Porque hace falta una clase intensiva de econometría para geolocalizarte en un espacio en el que puedas gritar abiertamente: ¡Sí, estoy! Dudo que cualquier cartógrafo del tres al cuarto pueda llegar a resultados concluyentes sobre tu capacidad para ubicarte en el mundo.

De este resquemor contra el sistema preestablecido surge esta novela iniciática sobre un chico que, de pronto, se...more
“To me, growing older has for a long time been associated with a certain uneasiness. I generally don’t give a toss about space, but I have a problem with time.” -- pg 6

“Yesterday I made a list of what I have and what I don’t have…
Every time I have looked at the list today, I’ve noticed that I have more than what I don’t have. I have 11 things. I lack 6 things. This ought to be a source of optimism.
But having read the list closely it has become clear to me that it is an altogether unbalanced and...more
Easy to read, fun, simple, yet insightful. The protagonist is a young adult who suddenly hits the great wall of meaningless in his life and takes some time off to contemplate his existence; someplace that I find myself from time to time, while not a self-help or motivational book, it certainly did show me that I don't have to be all negative about such situations and that there is a better way to cope with it.

As a tribute to the book, the list of things that used to excite me when I was a child...more
Matthew Rhodes
Naive Super is probably the most influential book I've read in terms of my own writing.

This is a brave book. Dialogue is just discarded for the most part. The unnamed narrator is almost anti-protagonist. He is a nice guy. There aren't many books purely about nice guys. There are, however, countless good works about nice guys battling against adversity. The interesting thing about Naive Super is that the adversity is the character's own doing. The adversity is his depression. Almost like a quarte...more
Amiable. Philosophical. Kind of similar to Douglas Coupland, but simpler, deeper and more likeable.

Like many of Coupland's characters, the anonymous narrator of Naïve.Super is a bright young guy from a comfortable background who sounds mildly depressed and feels that his life lacks meaning and direction.

The most remarkable thing I found in this novel is the lack of ego, and this is where the difference from similar writers is so apparent. Nowhere is there any discussion of status, fame or recog...more
Naive. Super was the book that started my newly found interest in reading.

I read this book in a time where I really needed to something to cheer me up, or at least to take my thoughts away from the dismal situation I was facing. And let me tell you, Naive. Super did that to an extend that made me quite sad when the book ended.

The premise of the novel is that a guy around my age just suddenly collapses in desperation and finds his life completely lacking of anything. He then takes this situation...more
Puhtalt subjektiivsed kiidusõnad: Oh kui kena lugeda, et minusuguseid nö naiivseid leidub veel ning et mõned neist kirjutavad raamatuid ning et need raamatud osutuvad pealekauba nii populaarseteks. Erlend Loel see vähemalt on õnnestunud. Naiv.Super on tema enimtõlgitud romaan. "Me kõik oleme teatud määral autistid," selgitas üks mu õppejõud kord ning ma olen temaga ühel nõul. Inimesed on autistlikumadki, kui alguses oletada. Lihtsalt, nad on minust enamasti sellisel kaugusel, et ma eriti pole ne...more
"Mieluiten haluaisin tulla sellaiseksi, joka voi tehdä maailmasta hiukan paremman. Se olisi paras vaihtoehto. Mutta en tiedä, onko se mahdollista. En tiedä, mitä maailman parantamiseksi vaaditaan. En ole varma, riittääkö pelkästään se, että hymyilee kaikille vastaantulijoille. "

Sydän. Tämä kirja oli lempparini yli kymmenen vuoden sitten, kun sen ensimmäistä kertaa luin ja nyt muistan taas miksi. Tämä kirja on niin sympaattinen ja ihana, että sen pariin olisi voinut jo aiemminkin palata. Erilaine...more
Jul 03, 2009 Sarah rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like lists, non-linear time, simple pleasures, who want cohesion and meaning
Recommended to Sarah by: Casey Bernard
Shelves: favorites
An absolutely beautiful book about plastic balls, hammers and pegs, Paul, lists, time, and perspective. The simplicity of Loe's work allows the seriousness of the main character's semi-depression to come out in a delicate and endearing way. I think it's because I tend to find myself in a similar situation at the moment, I want a feeling of cohesion. I want things to join together. I want things to have meaning. I absolutely love the concept of past, present, and future existing all at once, that...more
Jamie Felton
I finished this on the eve of my birthday. I wa shaving some anxiety about not having really accomplished anything. This book made me feel better somehow. The protoganist is a Norwegian male who is 25 and has suddenly realized he is no longer enthusiastic about anything. He is a list-maker like I am (read: someone who makes lists to help with anxiety), and his lists range from Things That Made Me Happy as a Child to Words in English That Mean Something Dirty in Norwegian. He references Paul Davi...more
Me encantó la perspectiva de alguien conociendo Nueva York por primera vez. Pero no llegue a entender si el narrador tenía un problema de socialización o qué. Muchas veces sentía que estaba leyendo a un niño cuando era un adulto de 25 años y bueno, me lo vendieron como una lectura ligera y lo cumplió.
Somehow I expected this book to be better than it turned out to be. I know that its genius was supposed to be the simple and naive way it was written, the systematic way the protagonist solved the small and big problems he'd started to have with the meaning of life and what it's all about, but I guess I prefer eloquent and deeper books. I liked it, anyway, although it didn't offer me many new bright ideas or "liberating laughs" like the back cover promised. The non-existent plot leaned much on t...more
გემო ვნებიანი
მარტივი ენით დაწერილი ერთგვარი დღიურის ტიპის წინგი. "ნაივური სუპერი" - გარკვეულწილად წარმოადგენს სხვადასხვა საგნების მიმართ აღძრული ემოციების კრებულს გადატანილს ფურცელზე. ერთი ამოსუნთქვით წასაკითხი.
This book really didn't do much for me. I didn't like the way it was written, and the story was almost non-existent. Like, really, I've read a lot of books on the subject of losing your gusto, questioning the meaning of life and all that.. but this book didn't even get anywhere.
I skimmed some of it. A lot of it. Heck, most of it.

Maybe it's better in norwegian. I don't know. But I can tell that the english translation is less than perfect. And anyway, if you're not norwegian some parts of the st...more
Michael Bafford
I read this several years ago and enjoyed it immensely. As I recall... I found it at the library the other day and could not for the life of me remember what it was about! Oh, well, the pleasures of Alzheimers - nothing to joke about really - but even a bad memory can give you new experiences all over again.

It was the Norwegian philosopher, Arne Naess, who suffers from Alzheimers but taught me you can joke about it. Riding the train up to his mountain cabin he told the reporter that the beautif...more
Det här är en av mina favoritböcker och jag har läst den flera gånger. Jag faller pladask för det genomsympatiske berättarjaget och för Loes naiva och lakoniska stil. Men det är något mer, något magiskt mellan raderna som gör mig så fascinerad. Jag tror det är en skickligt förmedlad känsla av vardagens tillräcklighet och de små sakernas storhet och den dröjer sig kvar långt efter avslutad läsning. Jag blir så väldigt glad när jag läser den här boken.

Bokens berättare genomgår en kris. På sin 25-å...more
Michael Scott
+ read to get accustomed with new wave of Norwegian lit
+ story of withdrawal from society, of understanding one's way in the modern society
+ protagonist is a late bloomer, college student about to drop out, no plans, only a thorough misunderstanding of the why
+/- similar, but not as good as Goodnight Punpun by Inio Asano, many other Japanese manga about coming of age, The Glass Bead Game of Hermann Hesse, The Alchemist of Paulo Coelho... The competition is simply too good. But this one is a...more
This book is my Catcher in the Rye. It came to me during a messed up, wacky time in my life, gently took me by the hand, assured me everything was going to be okay in a meaningless/meaningful kind of way, and at the end, faded quietly away, leaving a warm, happy glow in its wake. Erlend Loe, you complete me.
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Erlend Loe is a Norwegian novelist. He worked at a psychiatric clinic, and was later a freelance journalist for Norwegian newspaper Adresseavisen. Loe now lives and works in Oslo where in 1998 he co-founded Screenwriters Oslo - an office community for screenwriters.

In 1993 he debuted with the book Tatt av kvinnen, and a year later published a children's book, Fisken, about a forklift operator name...more
More about Erlend Loe...
Doppler Muleum Volvo Lastvagnar Tatt av kvinnen L

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“A human being weighing 70 kilograms contains among other things:
-45 litres of water
-Enough chalk to whiten a chicken pen
-Enough phosphorus for 2,200 matches
-Enough fat to make approximately 70 bars of soap
-Enough iron to make a two inch nail
-Enough carbon for 9,000 pencil points
-A spoonful of magnesium
I weigh more than 70 kilograms.

And I remember a TV series called Cosmos. Carl Sagan would walk around on a set that was meant to look like space, speaking in large numbers. On one of the shows he sat in front of a tank full of all the substances human beings are made of. He stirred the tank with a stick wondering if he would be able to create life.
He didn’t succeed.
“We shall never meet, but there is something I want you to know. My time is not the same as your time. Our times are not the same. And do you know what that means? That means that time does not exist. Do you want me to repeat that? There is no time. There is a life and a death. There are people and animals. Our thoughts exist. And the world. The universe, too. But there is no time. You might as well take it easy. Do you feel better now? I feel better. This is going to work out. Have a nice day.” 30 likes
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