Thursday, 25 February 2016

The Almost Nearly Perfect People - Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia by Michael Booth

The Content ReaderThis book was a gift from my husband! First of all the title is very appealing, and it is also interesting to read books about your own country, analysed by foreigners living there.

Michael Booth is mainly a travel and cook-book writer, married to a Danish and have lived in Denmark for some years. This is a very witty and funny book to read, as well as interesting in finding out the characteristics of the Nordic people. Although one think that we are almost the same, there are actually huge differences in our approach to life. Having read this book, I am starting to believe that the differences are even bigger than I realised! Hmm…

He starts in Denmark, continues with Iceland, Norway, Finland and Sweden. I must say that I did learn a few things I did not know about each of the countries and peoples, including Sweden. It might be that I have not lived in Sweden for over 30 years, so I am not anymore a typical Swede (although my husband still think I am! Which is probably why he bought the book for me!).

All surveys done internationally on how we live, what we appreciate in life, education, working life etc etc show that the Scandinavian, or Nordic countries (Scandinavia is only Sweden, Norway and Denmark), are on top of all lists for a wonderful life. This is the starting point for Michael Booth’s interest and search for Utopia in this northern part of Europe.

Travelling around the five countries, talking to politicians, journalist, businessmen and people in general he guides us through the ups and downs of these countries. It is done with a good sense of humour and I laughed out load on his descriptions of the heathen traditions and the way the Scandinavians approach and enjoy life. Or do they enjoy life? Maybe not to everyones liking or understanding…but that’s life.

An enjoyable and easily read account of a modern utopia! I might have to try one of his travel books. I like his kind of humour in describing daily life.


  1. I don't think I want to read it if it's going to destroy that myth. We all need something to aspire to!

    1. Good so! Especially, since I thought that Sweden came out worst of all the countries.