Doppler (by Erlend Loe) was one of those books I picked up on a whim because I loved the cover and the blurb made me laugh out loud. That’s really when I know I am off to a great start with a book. I’ve also not read any Norwegian authors yet so I really had my fingers crossed. I was prepared for this book to be a bit absurd which, in all honesty, it was, but I also really enjoyed it.
In brief, Doppler is a man and father living in Oslo who decided to move to the forest after his father passed away to get away from the constant move and buzz of a big city life. He does this very successfully and gets settled in a tent. All his needs are taken care off, he has food – because he steals it, he has a warm bed, a place he uses as his toilet and the solitude that he really wanted. Because what Doppler doesn’t like is people. At this point, my introvert self-wanted to high five him and tell him that I got him. But soon life happens and Doppler is joined by a baby elk who he names Bongo. He also makes friends with a suicidal man who is recreating his father’s death and a right wing dog walker amongst others.
The story splays out over the winter months, Christmas comes and passes and so does New Year’s Eve. Doppler has an influence on the people he meets and helps them question their own beliefs, their needs and their ideas. He may not change everyone, but he definitely makes people think. That is one of the traits I love about this character. He is witty, smart, creative and he does something that is not mainstream and that makes him come across as a bit strange – he escapes. But if you put this into perspective everybody is a little bit strange and maybe all we sometimes need is to escape to find out who we really are and what really matters.
All in all, I really enjoyed this book. It was a quick and easy read, it made me laugh but it also made me consider life. I’d love to read the sequel called Volvo Trucks as well, but it doesn’t look like this has been translated yet. Let me know if you have read Doppler or even got a chance to read Volvo Trucks and what you thought of the book!
If you are interested, go and find the book here!