Erlend Loe is a Norwegian author and writes humorous and satirical works… One of his most popular stories is Naïve. Super, which was first published in 1996 and since then has been translated in many languages as well as added to the list of best Norwegian novels 1981-2006.
In this book, the protagonist is in his mid twenties and he suddenly starts to think about meaning and existence of time. He reads and tries to discover time and what people are supposed to do with it. He leaves university and observes while his days pass by, trying to find the answers.
This book was very different from what I anticipated, yet it was the same. It is a very philosophical, yet kind of scientific read and concentrates on many aspects of time and life. It is a deep and meaningful story in which touches science theories and you have to think and follow carefully, it also seems like one of hipster, alternative reads for those who always say that they love these kinds of books (the ones others say that they don’t understand).
I followed most of the elements of this book, yet I couldn’t relate to it much, because I often found it aimless and too childish for my liking, which basically just means that, if I would get into a pickle with time, I would probably solve my problems differently. I did enjoy the very last page of the book (the most), which showed me how other people (who have found themselves in similar situation) are trying to find solutions, and that made the book so much better for me.
My favourite character in this book was the little boy. I liked his enthusiasm so much that it made me excited to read this book, unfortunately in the last part there wasn’t much of him, hence it was harder to read. But it was just infectious, how he had a full life, compared to protagonist as well as the role he had in main character’s life.
The other characters seemed quite featureless. They sort of had personalities, but they seemed so gray that I didn’t really care much about them, they didn’t seem as important as the ideas and solutions they were searching.
The whole story seems unrealistic and impossible, yet somehow in these half deep stories readers tend to forgive such things because it just fits in. It was similar in here, I guess, I just once thought about how the little boy talks and acts with strangers, but it was soon pushed out of my mind.
The book gives many things to think about and in some ways it does give a try to help anyone reading it to find the meaning of life or what they should be doing. For example by listing the things that excited you as a kid. Yet at the same time, these exercises though performed are not fully explained and could also be done by reading any self help book. Sure, you can read between the lines and understand the connection between things you liked as a child and things you might like now and find there what you should be doing. But that doesn’t work for most of the people, so there was a place to expand.
I decided to write a list myself, it is a bit like a self exploration task, because it is simple, yet hard question. And if you feel like it, give it a thought (don’t look at my list too much) and write your own.
This that excited me, when I was a child:
Games on gymnastic bars
Staying up late
Komissar Rex (Inspector Rex)
Empty beer bottles
What excites me now:
Didactic and Pedagogy
Lord of the Rings
As I said, this book changed my thoughts about it in the last page of it and left me smiling – I did not expect that and the author ‘got’ me. And because of that I had a hard time deciding, if I want to give it two or three stars, but at the end I gave it two stars on my goodreads page and would suggest this book for those who like a slightly hip and serious read.