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101 Very Finnish Problems: The Foreigner's Guide to Surviving in Finland
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101 Very Finnish Problems: The Foreigner's Guide to Surviving in Finland

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3.62  ·  Rating details ·  156 ratings  ·  24 reviews
101 Very Finnish Problems provides you with priceless insights into the everyday trials and tribulations of life in super Suomi. After reading this book, youll be far better equipped to deal with all that Finland can throw at you, from sauna spankings to drunken Santas. You will understand very Finnish problems like these:

> When you have to explain for the 100th time
...more
Hardcover, 214 pages
Published June 2017 by Gummerus
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Heart1lly
Oct 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I bought this book at the Helsinki airport, which capped a very impressive trip to the country. I was there for almost a month and I wish I never had to leave. This is written entirely from a Brit ex-pat's perspective, so it's just that: his perspective. It's probably by NO means a definitive account of how things always are in Finland, or how the natives are. That would be generalizing. But from what I surmised from my trip and from the Finns I've interacted with have told me, it's pretty damn ...more
Anastasia
Sep 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: humor
When Sweden wins at ice hockey...again


Joel Willan's 101 Very Finnish Problems was such a humorous book. It will make every foreigner living in Finland laugh really hard and it will make every Finn smile to themselves.
Casey Wilder
Dec 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Really pleasurable (and easy) read. I'd highly recommend it for Foreigners who want to learn more about Finnish culture or for Finnish people that want to laugh at themselves. Or Swedish people that like to make fun of Finnish people. Author is very articulate and the stories are broken into 1-3 page sections.
Raija
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Hilarious book if you have a sense of humour.
Nora  Kivioja
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Funniest book I have read this year! Love British humor and this is full of it. Made me look at Finland in whole new way. Would make a great gift for foreigner friends or people coming to visit and for Finnish people who want to see how we live through new eyes. Recommended!
Robin
Sep 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
A must read for anyone visiting or moving into Finland. The author gives a humorous glimpse how to crack the essence of Finnishness. As an expat in Finland myself I had a broad smile most of the time I read it,having the I know, oooh yeesss, totally true and I remember feeling the same awkwardness moments. Enjoy! ...more
Liza
Jun 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I bought this in the airport on a whim and it was a wonderful read! From belly laughs to joy, from horror to disbelief.. this book takes you on a fun journey through this incredible country of Finland, from a British writers perspective. Filled with enthusiasm, insight and bucket loads of wonderful self-deprecating and typically British humour, it was a great way to end my Finnish holiday and learn more about my new favourite place! ...more
Thomas Nybergh
Jul 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Theres a skillful rhythm to Willans writing. Annoyances about Finnish culture flash by as, at its core, the book brings forth a sense of reverence over orderly Nordic life. With its elegant use of no-frills vocabulary, short chapters and shameless flattery, Very Finnish Problems would probably be an excellent choice for anyone in Finland whos unsure about their English reading level and wants to test the waters with a light and genuinely fun read. ...more
Michail Savvoulidis
Apr 11, 2019 rated it did not like it
This book is unknown to the public, probably it is not on any bookstore and better stay that way! This is supposed to be a humorous book, how a first timer is seeing this in Finland.

Despite the supposed humor, it is full of misinformation and bad stereotypes. Sometimes I feel the supposed writer is hating Finland and the way of life here. I am living in Finland for almost a decade, I deny to believe, that someone that is supposed living more, does not have even the basic knowledge about the
...more
claudia v
Sep 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Read this while in finland, testing its accuracy in real time. It is super accurate and I met Finnish people that wanted a copy.
Ronja
Feb 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Miltä Suomi vaikuttaa kolmasosan elämästään Suomessa asuneen britin silmin? Joel Willans kertoo kokemuksistaan elävällä ja hauskalla tavalla. Willans ei sorru kliseisiin vaan erittelee erilaisia ilmiöitä yhteiskunnan rakenteista suomenkielisiin sanontoihin.

Tämä teos sopii niin Suomesta kiinnostuneelle ulkomaalaiselle kuin Suomessa ikänsä asuneelle natiiville.

Taija
Jan 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: huumori
No joo. Aika lailla sitä samaa klisettä mitä Suomesta ja suomalaisista on luettu/kuultu jo moneen kertaan ja tässäkin kirjassa toistetaan aika usein samat asiat (sää, saunakulttuuri yms.). Ehkä en ollut kohderyhmää enkä ole tutustunut alkuperäiseen podcastiin tai somejuttuihin. Mulle putoais ehkä vähän syvällisemmät analyysit näistäkin aiheista.
Katie Cat Books
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
Sarcastic. Biased. Wrong target audience.

Story: Joel Willans is a brit who has lived in Finland for 15 years. In this book he writes 10 examples of Finland culture misunderstood for foreigners. It's intention is to be a humorous guide to those just moved to Finland, are interested in visiting Finland, or who know nothing of Finland.

Language: Sarcastic. The author uses a sarcastic wit to discuss all topics, regardless of how factual or not they may be. To someone who has lived in Finland awhile,
...more
Elina Nikolai
Jun 16, 2019 rated it did not like it
Very biased!

I borrowed this book from a friend, I'm actually pretty happy I didn't have to pay for it. The title wants to make you get it and almost fell for it. I was lucky enough, I did not find it in book stores. It is not a book people care to find anyway, I think it is only sold online, so if you really want to waste your time and money, ordering it online is the only solution.

Let's get to the point. There is a Facebook page with that name, very catchy to Finnish and foreigners. Till
...more
Kati
Jan 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor
Ensimmäisen kolmanneksen jälkeen ajattelin, että kirjan nimeksi sopisi paremmin 101 yleisintä klisettä Suomesta ja suomalaisista, eikä noiden 101 joukossa tosiaan ollut kuin pari asiaa, joita ei mainittaisi aina muulloinkin vastaavissa teoksissa. Makkarasta en voisi olla enempää samaa mieltä - suosittelen maistamaan vaikkapa jotain Lidlin saksalaista makkaraa, niin ymmärtää mistä kyse. Mutta että suomalaiset joisivat aivan erityisen tujakkaa sumppia?? Suomalaisesthan juovat vaaleapaahtoista ...more
Anna
Nov 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I bought this last year (I think) when I was in Finland. I'm not sure if my stars are partly homesickness, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Well, I've enjoyed Very Finnish Problems online for a long time, so maybe this is not so surprising. I like it how Willans manages to still surprise me with the things he picks from Finland to talk about. Things that to me are so normal, but some of them I've realized are maybe not if you come from another country. This having noticed since I live abroad ...more
Anna
Oct 15, 2019 rated it liked it
The back made me chuckle so I figured the rest of the book might, too. And it did, on several occasions, even.

And yet I either got desensitized towards the end or it was less funny. The first half and maybe a bit after was 4 star stuff, but the end was somehow too full of references to earlier stuff. Still funny though.

Not sure anyone who isn't a Finn or has lived in Finland for a bit longer can understand quite a lot of these though. But what do I know, I am a Finn (even if living elsewhere).
Suvi
Feb 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Hupaisa kirja suomalaisten erityispiirteistä. "Selviytymisopas" on voimakkaan stereotyyppinen ja kylmä-metsä-sauna-toistelu alkaa välillä kyllästyttääkin. Jopa ulkomaalaiselle menisi varmasti vähemmälläkin perille. Humoristinen, paikoin hyvin liioiteltu ja värikäs kerronta tekevät kirjasta kuitenkin viihdyttävää luettavaa suomalaisellekin. Muutama vähän yllättäväkin "ongelma" tuli vastaan.
Anette
Oct 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
Unsurprisingly, some of the generalisations were things I couldn't relate to at all as a Finn (and know most of my Finnish friends wouldn't relate to). Some things were very exaggerated and even incorrect in my opinion. Still, a big part of this book was hilarious and a very accurate description of Finland!
Tinne Maes
Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2019-buys, 2019-reads
I really liked the first stories, especially the ones that I agreed with from my exchange week in Finland. But in the end it felt repetitive... It's an okay book, but I wouldn't reccomend it for reading but as a souvenir!
Mike
Feb 06, 2020 rated it did not like it
Mildly interesting second hand stories thrown together like a clumsy school project.
Henrietta Westling
Apr 25, 2018 rated it liked it
After living in uk I could definitely find some similarities in the way Joel describes the cultural differences. I even found myself laughing a couple times.
Kirja Vieköön!
Jul 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Aika hauska huumoripläjäys.
Jenny Clark
Dec 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Sooo funny! I bought this as a Christmas gift for my dad and just had to read it too.
Anna
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Apr 10, 2019
Jordi Verdult
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Apr 28, 2019
Pia
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Feb 22, 2019
Emma Andersson
rated it it was ok
Aug 14, 2018
Isabel
rated it it was amazing
Feb 08, 2018
Kita
rated it it was amazing
Sep 15, 2018
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Originally from Sudbury, Suffolk, Joel Willans has lived in London, Vancouver, and the Andean village of Andahuaylas in Peru. He now lives in the Finnish capital, Helsinki.

Creative Director of the digital marketing agency Ink Tank Media, his prize-winning stories have been broadcast on BBC radio and published in dozens of magazines and anthologies worldwide. His debut short story collection,
...more

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