Doppler

DopplerDoppler by Erlend Loe
Series: Doppler #1
Publisher: Cappelen Damm
Released: January 1, 2004
Pages: 163
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Doppler er en vellykket mann av sin tid. Familiefar med to barn og god jobb. En dag faller han av sykkelen på en tur i marka. Halvt svimeslått registrerer han en ro han ikke har kjent på lenge. Han slipper de trivielle tankene om nytt bad og valget om armatur og fliser. Borte er også den evinnelige surringen av barnesangene fra sønnens tallrike videoer, mens erkjennelsen om farens død blir tydeligere. Hendelsen får ham til å velge å flytte ut i marka. Han bosetter seg i telt, slakter en elg og får kalven som venn og adoptivsønn. Han prøver å leve som jeger og sanker, men må erkjenne at når det gjelder behovet for skummet melk, må han ta steget videre til bytteøkonomi.

Doppler is a very strange book for all the right reasons. It is the stream of consciousness of a man, Andreas Doppler, who comes to the realisation that he has grown weary of living a proper life with all the other proper people doing proper things. He decides to go live out in the woods for an indefinite amount of time. Pointless, yes, but no more so than anything else he could be doing. The book is both funny and clever without getting too pleased with itself. It also manages to maintain a slight discomfort and uneasiness throughout. It’s impossible not to like the main character, but at the same time it is impossible to accept his thoughts and his actions. Doing so would invalidate too many of the premises our society is based on. However, the book never becomes preachy. It poses many questions, but doesn’t claim to know all, or even any of the answers. Even when it makes judgements (and quite harsh ones at that) it is done in a slightly absurd and irreverent way which I doubt would offend anyone, even if they happened to identify with the conservative-voting money-grabbing stereotype the main character dislikes so much. In short the book manages to put question marks next to many established truths and wisdoms in a way which I think will give everyone some food for thought without patronising anyone. That’s quite rare.

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