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3.64  ·  Rating details ·  1,261 ratings  ·  170 reviews
Korte, hurtige og hårdtslående: Sådan er novellerne i Dorthe Nors' internationalt berømmede bog, Kantslag. Med et mesterligt blik for hverdagslivets drama skriver hun om mennesker på kanten og skårede eksistenser. Mød buddhisten, hejren og kvindelige mordere i Nors' kulsorte lille perle af en bog. ...more
Paperback, 147 pages
Published April 4th 2014 by Samleren (first published September 25th 2008)
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Average rating 3.64  · 
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 ·  1,261 ratings  ·  170 reviews

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This was the perfect book for me at this time. The stories in this collection moved smoothly from the odd and quirky to the disconcerting or deeply strange, in one or two cases the transition was from the curious to the radiant. And at this time when craziness and uncertainty is the daily reality the uncertainties transforming into strangeness, revealing private desolation or secret joy comforted me. I am not sure how many of the stories here will lodge in my memory but I enjoyed them all.

The ov
Aug 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oof, these stories are sharp and intelligent and the title story, my goodness, from beginning to end, I held my breath. These stories are reminiscent of Diane Williams or Renata Adler--precise, compact prose, a bit of a fabulist cum realist blend of stories. So much to like here.
Apr 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tempted to give five stars just for "The Buddhist" and these bits of sentence: "But she had known many men like that. Many men like those reptiles in the zoo that could puff up their faces with fanciful color and raise themselves up onto thin toes and rattle."

But, unfortunately, my feelings about the collection overall are mixed. I very much admire the writing (and translation) which is sort of eerily--even ominously--beautiful.
Apr 27, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Weird, precise, alternately creepy and sparkling short fiction, almost all narrated by emotionally constipated Danish people. Starts slow, tails off a little toward the end into unrelieved dark territory but the stories in the middle third (it's only 80some pages) are really, really good. Will keep an eye out for Nors' name in future, although I hope she lets a little light in. ...more
Sara Jovanovic
Sharp, intelligent and dark, these stories could've been everything I adore when it comes to short story collections. However, they didn't impact me as much as I hoped to, and none of them really stood out when compared to the others. Except maybe Karate Chop, I liked that one a bit better than the rest of them.

Despite my complaints, Norse's style is addictive, and I was flipping the pages as fast as I could. I guess I'll give one of her other books a chance in the future, I heard they're a bit
Callum McAllister
Aug 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nearly perfect stories. Contrary to popular belief, not all is well in Denmark. These characters have some pretty deep emotional issues.
Sep 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, danish, 2014
Readathon October 2014

Really great collection of short stories!
The story I liked the most, was the story called 'Karate Chops,' it really made an impression of me and I had a hard time shaking it off again.
I also liked the second story a whole lot, I found it rather sarcastic and it made it obvious to me that this is in truth a Danish book! It's kind of hard for me to explain...

Normally when I read a short story collection, there's some of the stories that I don't like. This wasn't the case her
Apr 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Razor-sharp and thought-provoking short stories. With this collection Nors showcases the best parts of minimalism.
Jan 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Karate Chop may be short, but it is deep and definitely worth rereading. As my wife says, there's a moment in each story where it tilts into something unusual, where the situation reveals itself to be something altogether different than what you thought it was.

I really enjoyed collections of super short stories by Lindsay Hunter and Amelia Gray. Karate Chop is just as evoking, but in a more subtle, simmering way. Really cool to see how different authors work in this form so differently.
Jackie Law
Aug 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Karate Chop, by Dorthe Nors (translated by Martin Aitken), is a collection of fifteen stories exploring ordinary people and situations they encounter, with incisive wit and perception. The Danish author has been shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize. This is a rebound edition of a selection of their shorter works.

The snapshots of life offered up are varied, as are the protagonists. All are recognisable and relateable. There is a cogency, a poignancy to the prose. An undercurrent of
Jan 02, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2021
Interesting to read but I had no clue what was going on in half of the stories
Jaci Millette Cooper
Working in a more design-oriented field now, I admit that I chose this slender and minimal short story collection because of its cover color, which closely resembles Rose Quartz— one of Pantone’s 2016 Colors of the Year— and that color has been so embedded in things I follow on different social media platforms, that I could not help but be drawn to it. (Ha ha, what a trivial method for making reading selections). A color reigning in Scandinavian design, I wasn’t surprised to find out that this i ...more
karate chop (kantslag), a slim (but hardly slight) collection of 15 short stories, is the first of dorthe nors's works to appear in english translation. the danish author's writing reveals her honed observational skills and keen insight, yet there is something too reserved about her prose. her stories are well-written and frequently intense, but, to me, they are missing a needed ardency or fervor. of the fifteen, the title story shines brightest. nors is also the author of five novels, and given ...more
Jan 01, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A disappointing collection of insanely short stories. Most made little sense or required combing every finite detail to get something out of it. Sorry, I shouldn't have to pay attention to every microscopic detail for a story to be entertaining; it should be entertaining on its own, discovering extra details should be an added bonus. "Karate Chop" was the only good story out of the 15 presented (that says a lot) but I wouldn't say it's worth seeking out this collection to read. I know the review ...more
I was 50/50 on these stories. Some I was absolutely absorbed by; others seemed to me to resist being read. Ultimately, I think I'm a reader who does well with narrative storytelling, so stories that lack narratives or whose narratives are unclear are slightly confounding to me. "Female Killers," "Do you know Jussi?," and "Hair Salon" are a few examples of stories that simply did not invite me in. "The Buddhist" was possibly my favorite story in this collection (it was absolutely hysterical), and ...more
Dec 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
Great bunch of very short, oblique stories about ordinary experiences and some not so ordinary. Sometimes the story emerges after you put it down, and you have to pick it up and read again. I think I'll be reading all these again, and more than once. Flat Danish landscapes add to the atmosphere, but some set in USA (New York). ...more
Peter Fpepimama
Nov 09, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Nothing special (or I'm stupid, for not understanding) ...more
Dec 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This would've been a much quicker read if I hadn't been ill and left it at work.

The reviews and blurbs talk about the subtlety of the work, and rightly so: these stories are brief (the volume itself is a slim 90 pages), and they treat moments above and beyond actions. While it's hard not to love a story like "The Buddhist," with its dark humor and obvious satire, "The Big Tomato" feels like a more definitive, a story revolving around the titular produce, but not about it at all... a brief evenin
Jovana Autumn
I think I mentioned before that I am mostly indifferent when I have to rate a short story collection so I often settle for a 3 if it has a few good stories and some, well, less than good stories(read bad).

The tone of this book is darker than most short story collections I read so far, but the language is simple and the topics are everyday subjects (or maybe every other week type of subject). You have to read it to see if you like the writing style definitely, it’s also short so try it out.

As fo
May 25, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Oof, these made my heart ache. I also can't believe she wrote all of them in two weeks. I will definitely be revisiting some of these in the future, in particular the last one. ...more
Daniel Polansky
I read this book.
3.25 stars
Steffi Joseph
Jun 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first book by a Danish author. Loved the some of the stories; giving it 4 stars for The Wadden Sea.
Apr 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-we-love
Thomas Ross (Editorial Assistant): Now that baseball season has started back up, I find it’s pretty easy to sit on the couch and read while my Boston-raised roommate calmly unfurls a huge sail of unrepeatable and grossly specific insults at the Yankees. Recently I read on that couch “Female Killers,” from Karate Chop, the odd, slim collection of Dorthe Nors stories, out from Graywolf. There was something about the story—in which an unnamed male protagonist sits at the computer after an unnamed w ...more
Amy Gentry
Jun 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lady-horror, reviewed
Horror and comedy both require timing, and Dorthe Nors has it. The stories in her newly translated collection "Karate Chop" are less meditations on human savagery than riffs on it, understated monologues of everydayness through which the horror surfaces like a joke. Blink and you might miss the punch line, whether it's a suitcase full of body parts or a more ordinary dismemberment.

Nors has published five novels in her native Denmark, but this is her first fiction to be published in English. Tran
Feb 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love. What a short short story should be. Stories about grief, and the process and unraveling and tying things back together. Imperfectly. My personal favorites were Hair Salon and The Wadden Sea. The title story packs a serious punch too. All the stories contain those vivid scenes and lines that you will remember eight years from now, without context, and think it must be from a dream or a book you had read to you as a child, because its become such a part of you. That's what happens to me with ...more
Ben Bush
There's that recurring image in Murakami's "The Second Bakery Attack" of looking down from a boat through clear ocean water to deep-sea volcano below. Some of the best moments in these stories have that same vast spooky expansiveness. Also, they're NOTHING like Murakami beyond that. A number of the stories function through a suspense in which the characters know something that the reader is not allowed to know. It's a move you hear criticized in MFA-type environments and so it was interesting to ...more
Mar 10, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
First off, I am NOT a great fan of short stories, so this had a bit of prejudice against it going in. Most of these are VERY short ... 5 - 7 pages at most, so lack the depth that I prefer in my reading material. That being said, Nors is definitely sui generis (Kafka would be the closest analogy, but they are not really that similar) - and since this was a quick read, I for the most part enjoyed them; although a few were so subtle - or I am just obtuse - that I wasn't quite sure of the 'point'. ...more
Oct 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: l-danish
The fifteen stories making up this collection are compact in size, but their auras are big. I was surprised to flip through these stories upon finishing to realize most of them were only a few pages long. Dorthe Nors is fluent in the art of showing, not telling, and she's also a master of balance: she doesn't resort to quirk, but she also doesn't rely on mood.

Translated from the Danish. Standouts: "The Buddhist," "Female Killers," "Karate Chop."
Feb 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Complete and utter brilliance. I read with furrowed brow only because I kept trying to figure out how someone could possibly come up with even one of the stories I was reading, let alone a collection of them. Clearly a genius at crafting a story. I thought she'd reached the limits of excellence with "The Buddhist", only to get to the title story, "Karate Chop", and discover she was only warming up. ...more
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Dorthe Nors, is a Danish author and writer. She is the first Danish author to be published in the American magazine The New Yorker. She was born in 1970 and studied literature and art history at the University of Aarhus. After publishing three novels, she wrote Karate Chop, her collection of short stories, in 2008 and Minna Needs Rehearsal Space in 2013. She has seen her short stories in various p ...more

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