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The Exploits of Moominpappa (The Moomins, #4)
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The Exploits of Moominpappa

(Mumintrollen #4)

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  4,940 ratings  ·  260 reviews
'I decided to run away. There simply wasn't anything else to do.'

Here at last is Moominpappa's promised life story - from the days when he was abandoned in a newspaper parcel on the doorstep of a Moomin orphanage, to when he ran away to see the world and was lucky enough to meet Moominmamma.
Hardcover, 144 pages
Published January 5th 2012 by Puffin (first published 1950)
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Average rating 4.20  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,940 ratings  ·  260 reviews

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Hannah Greendale
Jan 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, middle-grade
Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend.

Jansson's decision to switch to a first-person perspective enlivens this darling account of young Moominpappa navigating one quirky adventure after another.

I must be terribly unobservant; despite having read the Mumintroll series on and off for several decades, I had somehow not noticed that Snusmumriken and his father Joxaren are Zen masters. But this passage was so obvious that even I couldn't miss it:
När Fredrikson avlöste mig vid rodret i gryningen nämnde jag i förbigående Joxarens förvånande och fullkomliga brist på intresse för omgivningen.

Hm, sa Fredrikson. Kanske han tvärtom bryr sig om allting? Vi bryr oss om en enda sak. Du vill bliit:
Jul 10, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: second-childhood
Depending on your point of view, I have either read this book twice (once twenty years ago, and once last week), or I've read two different books one time each. Moominpappa's Memoirs is a revised edition of The Exploits of Moominpappa. It seems Jansson went back and rewrote and added bits to the original not long after its first English translation was published. The English language publishers apparently chose to pretend this hadn't happened (it must indeed have been quite vexing for them) and kept reprint ...more
Dec 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read_to_kids
Of the three Moomin books I've read so far, this one is the deepest and most philosophical. That probably makes it the most "adult" of these alleged children's books.

Of course, they've all got traces of wisdom and philosophy in them, but it really emerges here, where Moominpappa sets out to write his life story. Like the other books, it's warmly absurd and imbued with deep emotion. Moominpappa considers himself quite special, born under important stars, resulting in an expressed desire for adve
Sean D'angelo
Oct 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As far as Tove Jansson's work goes, Moominpappa's Memoirs may be better suited for the more mature and philosophical children (or nostalgic adults like myself). It's definitely not a bedtime read. But in my opinion no other book in the Moomin series captures quite so well the pure whimsical delight of Jansson's imagination. In fact, it's the only one that's ever brought a tear of joy to my eye.

For those who have read and enjoyed other Moomintroll books, don't be discouraged by the ab
Tracey the Bookworm
Reading through the Moomin books, which I somehow missed when a child, is my summer reading for this year. There is more in these than your average summer read and a delightful way to pass hot or stormy days.
Feb 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all and sundry
Recommended to Judy by: a mystery...
This is one of my all time favourite books. This is the edition I read as a child whilst swinging in a hammock on summer holidays at our farm. It was the first Moomin book I had read, although it is not the first in the sequence. I'm so grateful to have been introduced to the work of the stellar Tove Jansson as a child, because her work for children and adults has given me immense pleasure over the years.

She was outstanding as an artist as well as a writer. Most of all she inspires me still wit
Anna Walden
Sep 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cute cute cute. I listened to this on Spotify, Tove Jansson was narrating it and that was really good. It brightened up my time on the buss.
Rachel (Kalanadi)
My goodness, parents show up! :-D
Matthew Hunter
For whatever reason, we struggled early to connect with Moominpappa's Memoirs. Moominpappa depicts himself from page 1 as a somewhat unlikeable egotist. Not surprisingly, Jansson’s gentle sense of humor transforms everything, and Moominpappa becomes adorable in the end:
“Let me stop here, at this remarkable turning point of my stormy youth, let me close my Memoirs at the moment when the most wonderful of Moomins comes into my life! Since then my follies have been supervised by her gentle and understanding eyes,end:
Deborah O'Carroll
Yet another fun one! I loved getting to read Moominpappa's memoirs -- such escapades, such oddness, such fun! :) Moominpappa has quite a "feel" to his storytelling. It's great. Also the Joxter was fun -- nice to know where Snufkin's slightly lawless ways originated. ;) So much fun! And I especially loved how the memoirs would pause occasionally as Moominpappa is interrupted in his reading by Moomintroll, Sniff, and Snufkin, as they ask questions about the story and their various daddies' adventu ...more
Dec 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Moomin books are all quite odd, but this was the oddest so far. Perhaps it was just because the narrative style is different than the others, but there's other things: for example, one chapter ends like this:

"'Nibling,' I said to end this surprising conversation, 'what'll your mother say when she finds that you've run away?'

'She'll cry, I believe,' said the Nibling."

And that's it. That's the end of the chapter. It's so surreal, sometimes I felt like I was reading it in a dream.
Dec 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I like how Moominpappa is so shy about his high opinion of himself sometimes and then at other times he just says things like "I was born under special stars... I was found in a small sea shell padded with velvet."
:-) and "Does he resemble me?" but at least he whispered that.
MB (What she read)
Moominpapa's Memoirs = The Exploits of Moominpapa. I love the Moomins! Re-read because I needed a joy break. Forgot how stunning her artwork is--amazing! This book has such a lovely ending too. So satisfying,
Nov 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, owned
This was absolutely delightful and probably my favorite Moomin book so far.
Alex Borghgraef
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The most funny of all the Moomin books I read so far. I love the melancholic darkness which permeates the series, but this one is just hilarious fun. Loved it.
Sara Aye Moung
Jun 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful, philosophical, funny, peaceful. As always ToveJansson’s stories are enchanting.
Here Moominpappa gets the chance to tell with his own words about his younger years. A dismal childhood in an orphanage and the feeling of not being loved or appreciated changes into great adventures with Hodgkins and his ship. Moominpappa's narrative voice is pompous and self-centered but not the least bit annoying. The satirizing of the memoir genre gives a special air to the whole book.

Several of my favourite scenes from the tv-series are included: a female Hemulen gets rescued fr
I was sick at home with the flu recently when my daughter told me I should read this book. It begins with Moominpappa in bed with a cold, acting like a baby, afraid he’s going to die and that all the treasure of his life experiences will be forever uncommemorated. So he sits up and begins writing his memoirs. He has very romantic notions about himself. He was born, he says, under propitious stars. Though an orphan, he suspects he is a child of royalty. His life, from its earliest days, was one m ...more
May 31, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, fiction
So, I am always checking out the middle grades fiction section at my local bookstore, looking for books for Jefferson as well as books for my We Need Diverse Books challenge supporting his classroom. The day I was scouring the shelves and found a set of all of Jansson's Moomin novels, I may have done a little happy dance. I definitely made a strange animal noise of some kind.

At some point in my childhood, I was gifted with a copy of Tales from Moominvalley by my Uncle Tom, and I quickly realized it
Karl Orbell
Two things I have learnt from this book.

1. Moominpappa is a narcissistic pillock.
2. Tove Jansson can't write in the first person at all well.

Moominpappa lifting weights

Nevertheless, this little novel is presented as the memoirs of Moominpappa, and serves as a history for the other Moomin books, so it's a necessary read within the series.

We are introduced to the fathers of Snufkin and Sniff, and eventually their mothers too, not all quite alike their children, but sufficiently so to imagine that this is just any other story with the parents in the usual prbook.
Sep 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of the Moomins
3.5 stars

Moominpappa's Memoirs is really a story within a story, in which Moominpappa is telling the story of his adventurous youth to Moomintroll, Sniff, and Snufkin. During Moominpappa's travels, he meets the eccentric characters who would become the parents of Sniff and Snufkin, as well as his own future wife.
Moominpappa's Memoirs is of course quite funny and creative at times, introducing some fun new characters. The ghost, Edward the Booble, and the bossy Hemulen Aunts are entertaining, de
In this installment of the Moomin series we follow the story of Moominpappa's youth. Moominpappa is embarrassingly convinced of his self-importance but is still a lovable character. Hodgkins, the Muddler and Joxter are all as different from each other as they are from Moominpappa and this creates a wonderful cast of characters. Moominpappa is very ambitious and wants to become a famous adventurer. He does not understand the Joxter who is happy just being. This conversation between Moominpappa an ...more
Robert Collins
Jan 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As Moominpappa writes his memoirs, he describes the adventures he and creatures he encountered as young Moomin. He describes how he ran away from home, travelled the world and how he eventually met Moominmamma.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and I consider it to be timeless. Jansson’s imagination and ability to be highly descriptive but brief really makes the story move quickly and holds the reader’s attention. The book jumps effortlessly between the present and the past. I think that Ja
Dec 18, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I admit to being a little disappointed when I discovered that this was not the story of Moominpappa's adventures following the Hattifatteners, but I soon came round to embrace this strange tale of fathers: Moomintroll's, Sniff's, and Snufkin's, respectively. I was a little concerned that Sniff and Snufkin appeared to have never even met their parents, but I guess in Moominland that's not such a crazy notion. Anyway, this is Moominpappa's somewhat embellished account of his early years, from his ...more
The Memoirs of Moominpappa is again wonderfully illustrated and a lovely book to add to my hardback collection!

This book focuses on Moominpappa himself and his life and while this is still an enjoyable read, I found I missed the involvement of the other characters like Moominmamma, Moomintroll, Snork and the Snork-Maiden. For this book a number of other characters were introduced but perhaps too many new faces was introduced at once!

The book centres around Moominpappas journey at se
Mar 17, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scandinavia
Continuing on with my mission to re read all the Moomin books this year.

This is the tale of Moominpappa's youth - growing up at a Hemulen-run orphanage for young Moomins, and setting out on his first adventures, all narrated by Moominpappa in his very modest way. You get to find out where Little My (one of my favourite characters) comes from - an island ruled by a King who doesn't want anyone to feel inferior or in awe to him so insists they call him Daddy Jones. Little My is in the
James Perkins
Jul 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another bizarre but hugely entertaining volume about the cute Finnish traditional children's icons, the Moomins. This one tells the story of how Moominpappa encountered a series of weird beings who then became the parents of his friends in Moomin Valley. It also chronicles his first meeting with Moominmamma, his wife - although how the naked, hippopotamus-like creatures produced their son Moomintroll without the aid of any genitalia is anyone's guess. With her surreal imagery and odd wit, Tove J ...more
Stephen Curran
Apr 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Over the first three Moomins books, Moominpappa can been seen quietly working away at his memoirs. Here, we finally get to read the fruits of his labour.

The youthful adventures he recounts are great fun, enhanced by the usual vivid descriptions of nature. The reactions of Sniff and Snufkin as they hear about their parents for the first time are sweetly moving and the ending is downright romantic. "Life is short," says Moominpappa, "the world is enormous."

The illustrations
Not my favorite Moomin book but not bad. Moominpappa's language and reminiscences are extremely melodramatic as he recounts his youthful adventures. I worried I'd get tired and not finish the book, but after a while it grew on me and started to feel silly (as intended) instead of just pompous.

From the Polish translation, p.74:
- Dlaczego [tak zrobiles]? - zapytalem.
- Nie wiem - odparl szczerze. - Miewam czasem niezrozumiale pomysly.

My loose translation of this
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Tove Jansson was born and died in Helsinki, Finland. As a Finnish citizen whose mother tongue was Swedish, she was part of the Swedish-speaking Finns minority. Thus, all her books were originally written in Swedish.

Although known first and foremost as an author, Tove Jansson considered her careers as author and painter to be of equal importance.

Tove Jansson wrote and illustrated her first Moomin b

Other books in the series

Mumintrollen (9 books)
  • The Moomins and the Great Flood (The Moomins, #1)
  • Comet in Moominland (The Moomins, #2)
  • Finn Family Moomintroll (The Moomins, #3)
  • Moominsummer Madness (The Moomins, #5)
  • Moominland Midwinter (The Moomins, #6)
  • Tales from Moominvalley (The Moomins, #7)
  • Moominpappa at Sea (The Moomins, #8)
  • Moominvalley in November (The Moomins, #9)
“ and then a giggling trail of mermaids appeared in our wake. We fed them oatmeal.” 30 likes
“I cannot stress enough the perils of your friends marrying or becoming court inventors. One day you are all a society of outlaws, adventurous comrades and companions who will be pushing off somewhere or other when things become tiresome; you have all the world to choose from, just by looking at the map… And then, suddenly, they’re not interested any more. They want to keep warm. They’re afraid of rain. They start collecting big things that can’t fit in a rucksack. They talk only of small things. They don’t like to make sudden decisions and do something contrariwise. Formerly they hoisted sail; now they carpenter little shelves for porcelain mugs.” 19 likes
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