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Norwegian by Night

(Sigrid Ødegård #1)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  12,908 ratings  ·  1,882 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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Derek Miller
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Joseph Just before confronting the Kosovars, we are told this about Sheldon: "At the front door, he smiles his last smile and stands as straight and tall as …moreJust before confronting the Kosovars, we are told this about Sheldon: "At the front door, he smiles his last smile and stands as straight and tall as he can muster." So he dies.(less)

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Average rating 3.93  · 
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 ·  12,908 ratings  ·  1,882 reviews

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Jan 09, 2013 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
Larry H
Apr 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Sigh. I really wanted to like this one.

Derek B. Miller's Norwegian by Night tackles a lot of weighty issues—growing older, how we deal with grief, being a stranger in an unfamiliar place, reconciling our spiritual identity, unrest among Eastern European countries, and bonds that form between strangers. It's a pretty ambitious mission for a book that's supposed to be a bit of a thriller.

Sheldon Horowitz is nearing the end of his life. His beloved wife Mabel has died, and he has never gotten o
May 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
I am a bit late to the party on this book but I am so glad I finally read it!
Funnily enough, although the story contains a murder and a police case it still does not feel like a mystery or a thriller. To me the overall feeling was rather like The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared. The main theme in both cases being that of an elderly man who breaks out of the position society expects him to hold and goes on one last adventure. Due to his life experiences and an a
Diane S ☔
Dec 24, 2013 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
Oct 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was just great on so many different levels.

It’s a thriller of course. But for me the beauty of the book was the insightful look into the world of an 82 year old, ex army sniper, American Jewish man, Sheldon (Don) Horowitz.

I am no longer a young man, not quite as old as Don, but getting there all the same. As a result I found this book most edifying. Because you get to a certain age, in this case 82, people start treating you like a two year old. Everything that comes out of your mouth is
Feb 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio
3.5 stars, rounded up

After seeing strong reviews on this book on Audible and from several of my GR friends, I decided to give it a try. Sheldon is 82 years old, a Korean War vet and a recent transplant to Norway when he moves in with his granddaughter after the death of his wife. His granddaughter believes he’s starting to show signs of Dementia. When the woman next door is murdered by a Balkan gang, he goes on the run with her six year old son. Sheldon and the boy, whom he names Paul, don’t sha
May 22, 2013 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
Jenny (Reading Envy)
This is not a Scandinavian crime novel. I feel like I need to say so because that is what I thought it was, and I think the publisher likes for you to think that way. Because WE ALL LOVE SCANDINAVIAN CRIME NOVELS, the numbers prove it.

This is an American author with an American protagonist who happens to live in Norway.

I really disliked the narrator of this novel. He is an 82-year-old veteran and he is a bit addled in the brain. It is unclear if he did some of the things he said he did in the w
Dec 24, 2013 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
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
Helen (Helena/Nell)
Feb 02, 2014 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
I don't usually read thrillers, which is what this is. Will an eighty-two-year-old man be able to save a young Albanian child whose mother has been murdered? The setting is Oslo, Norway, around 2010.

The story drags at points, building to a crescendo at the end. As thrillers tend to do.

The elderly man is Sheldon Horowitz. Now what does his name tell you? That is right, he is Jewish, except he questions God. He is from New York, his wife has died and he is at a loss of what to do with himself. L
Cathy Cole
May 01, 2013 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.

May 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4.5 * ‘Norwegian by Night’ by Derek B. Miller is not just a suspense thriller; it’s an articulate and intelligent character study. The cover, which I did not notice at first (it’s understated), is absolutely perfect which becomes clear only as the story unfolds. My cover is different than the one shown on GR. It has the shadow of an older man with a boy beside him wearing a Viking helmet.

Octogenarian Sheldon Horowitz moves to Norway with his granddaughter Rhea and her Norwegian husband Lars. She
Alex Cantone
Mar 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2018, thriller sober consideration was being given to the very real question now haunting all of Western civilisation – namely, ‘How tolerant should we be of intolerance?’

Sheldon Horowitz is an elderly American Jew, recently widowed and with Alzheimer’s, who has moved from New York to live in Oslo with granddaughter Rhea (who he and his wife raised) and her husband Lars. He is alone when the woman in the apartment above knocks on his door in desperation, speaking some Balkan language, pushing her young s
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
Dec 22, 2013 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 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
Mar 11, 2018 rated it liked it
I know I said “review to come,” but I’m not feeling highly motivated here.

This book just wasn’t for me. And I really wanted it to be. Because I’m actually all about Scandinavia. I had a brief love affair with all things Danish for a while (blame that hottie Mads Mikkelsen). To the point I started learning Danish (without telling a soul), thinking it’d be really funny to surprise my family with a trip to Denmark when I was secretly fluent .... and then just start speaking it when we got there! I
B the BookAddict
Jan 06, 2014 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
Roman Clodia
Feb 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a wondrous book this is! I came to Miller via the possibly even better The Girl in Green and wasn't really drawn to the blurb plotline of this one. But I'm glad that I trusted both the friend who recommended it (hi, Sue!) and Miller himself - plus I wanted to read the latest book (American by Day) but realising that it features a character from Norwegian By Night thought I'd better go back before moving forward... all of which is to say that even if the blurb doesn't grab you, *read this bo ...more
Entertaining but ambiguous.

Retired watchmaker and ex-US Marine, Sheldon Horowitz, agreed to move from New York to Oslo to live with his married granddaughter, when his wife passed away. This was a relief to Rhea, as she believed the family lore that her grandfather was suffering from dementia - claiming to have been a sniper during the Korean War.

Home alone in the Oslo apartment one day, Sheldon heard yet another terrible fight taking place between the 'Albanian' couple upstairs, and in a move t
Feb 02, 2013 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
Jul 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Norwegian by Night is a modern crime thriller with more heart than I thought possible in this type of novel. Miller's highly readable style really caught me off guard and I found myself flying through this, completing it in just two days!

The characters were so well developed and the dialogue was witty and smart. I love Sheldon Horowitz with my whole heart!

The most badass octogenarian around!

Jacki (Julia Flyte)
Feb 19, 2014 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
Mike W
Mar 02, 2017 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.
Michael Robotham
Nov 06, 2013 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.
Oct 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book to be rewarding on many levels. I particularly enjoyed the abilities under pressure displayed by 82-year old American man who was a veteran of Vietnam and Korean wars.
Sheldon Horowitz displayed courage and ingenuity as he attempted to save a young boy whose mother had just been killed in Oslo. Newly arrived from New York he had little time to adjust to Norway before getting thrown into this crisis as he and the boy were on the run and hiding from the natural father, a Kosovar
Book Concierge
Eighty-two-year-old Sheldon Horowitz is widowed and grudgingly agrees to leave his New York apartment to move with his granddaughter, Rhea, and her husband, Lars, to Oslo, Norway. Alone in their shared apartment he witnesses an argument between the woman upstairs and an aggressive man. On an impulse Sheldon grabs the woman’s young son, and flees with him form this violent scene. Neither of them speak Norwegian, nor do they speak a common language, but somehow Sheldon communicates that he will ke ...more
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Derek B. Miller is an American novelist and international policy specialist. He is the author Norwegian by Night, The Girl in Green, American by Day, Radio Life, Quiet Time, and How to Find Your Way in the Dar.

Other books in the series

Sigrid Ødegård (2 books)
  • American by Day (Sigrid Ødegård #2)

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