Ingrid Winter is desperately trying to hold it all together. A neurotic Norwegian mother of three small children and an overworked literature professor with an overactive imagination, Ingrid feels like her life's always on the brink of chaos.
Her overzealous attempt to secure her dream house has strained her marriage. She's repeatedly reprimanded for eye rolling in faculty meetings. Petulant PTA parents want to drag her into a war over teaching children to tie their shoes. And an alarmingly persistent salesman keeps warning her of the potential dangers of home intrusion.
Clearly she needs to get away. But Russia? Forced to join an academic mission to Saint Petersburg to promote international cooperation, Ingrid finds herself at a crossroads while drinking too much cough syrup. Will this trip push her into a Siberian sinkhole of existential dread or finally give her life some balance and direction?
©2015 Tiden Norsk Forlag, an imprint of Gyldendal Norsk Forlag AS. (P)2016 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved. English translation © 2017 by Tara F. Chace.
People say I resemble my dog (and vice-versa). He can hear sounds I can't hear, but I'm the one who listens to audiobooks.
That's what Google translate tells me is the literal translation of the original Norwegian title of this book -- Matchless Discouragement. I can see that it may be an idiomatic expression that is close to Marvelous Misadventures, which at least is as alliterative as the original title. But that's really neither here nor there, because Ingrid Winter's trifling misadventures are not at all marvelous (just as her mild discouragement is hardly matchless).
Life in Norway must be so stress free compared to America that this is what qualifies Ingrid Winter for a life of misadventure and discouragement. Her job and marriage are the tiniest bit of jeopardy, as are her finances and living arrangements, all easily dealt with. Nothing here would pass muster with an American editor. Ingrid is a total ditz (despite being a university professor) and it's not funny no matter how hard the author tries.
Maybe it's all lost in translation. One thing I know for sure -- if you have to use an alliterative superlative for your adventures in your title, your adventures are not likely to live up to that superlative. Admittedly my sample size is only two, but Kavalier and Klay's adventures were not amazing and Ingrid Winter's misadventures are not marvelous. Harmless and thankfully short, but not marvelous. I'm sure you can find something more interesting to listen to.
The narrator was great. But I just didn't get the story. It seemed to have such humorous potential, but never really got going. It's probably me, but I found this book a disappointment.
Idid enjoy this strange book. Familiar with the Russian connection, it made a sort sense. Thanks.
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