• The Almost Nearly Perfect People

  • Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia
  • By: Michael Booth
  • Narrated by: Ralph Lister
  • Length: 13 hrs and 15 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (658 ratings)

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The Almost Nearly Perfect People

By: Michael Booth
Narrated by: Ralph Lister
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Publisher's summary

Journalist Michael Booth has lived among the Scandinavians for more than 10 years, and he has grown increasingly frustrated with the rose-tinted view of this part of the world offered up by the Western media. In this timely audiobook, he leaves his adopted home of Denmark and embarks on a journey through all five of the Nordic countries to discover who these curious tribes are, the secrets of their success, and, most intriguing of all, what they think of one another.

Why are the Danes so happy, despite having the highest taxes? Do the Finns really have the best education system? Are the Icelanders as feral as they sometimes appear? How are the Norwegians spending their fantastic oil wealth? And why do all of them hate the Swedes?

In The Almost Nearly Perfect People, Michael Booth explains who the Scandinavians are, how they differ and why, and what their quirks and foibles are; and he explores why these societies have become so successful and models for the world. Along the way a more nuanced, often darker picture emerges of a region plagued by taboos, characterized by suffocating parochialism, and populated by extremists of various shades. They may very well be almost nearly perfect, but it isn't easy being Scandinavian.

©2014 Michael Booth (P)2015 Tantor
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic reviews

"[A] quick and enjoyable read that is perfect for readers interested in deeper understanding of the cultures behind the headlines." ( Library Journal)
"Narrator Ralph Lister does a splendid job covering this informative and often humorous look at Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, and Iceland.... Lister's sterling pronunciation of personal and place names as well as regional terms adds to the feeling of being in each distinct country." (AudioFile)