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Buzz Aldrin, What Happened to You in All the Confusion?


Buzz Aldrin, What Happened to You in All the Confusion? Cover

ISBN13: 9781609801359
ISBN10: 1609801350
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Buzz Aldrin, What Happened to You in All the Confusion? opens with the line: "The person you love is 72.8% water, and it hasnt rained for weeks." From there, Brage Award-winning author and playwright Johan Harstads debut—previously published to great success in eleven countries and now making its first English-language appearance—tells the story of Mattias, a thirty-something gardener living in Stavanger, Norway, whose idol is Buzz Aldrin, second man on the moon: the man who was willing to stand in Neil Armstrongs shadow in order to work, diligently and humbly, for the success of the Apollo 11 mission. Following a series of personal and professional disasters, Mattias finds himself lying on a rain-soaked road in the desolate, treeless Faroe Islands, population only a few thousand, a wad of bills in his pocket and no memory of how he had come to be there—thats when a truck approaches him, driven by a troubled, fantastic man with an offer that will shortly change Mattiass life. And so, surrounded by a vivid and memorable cast of characters—aspiring pop musicians, Caribbean-obsessed psychologists, death-haunted photographers, girls who dream of anonymous men falling in love with them on bus trips, and even Buzz Aldrin himself—launches Buzz Aldrin, What Happened To You In All The Confusion?, the epic story of Mattiass pop-saturated odyssey through the world of unconventional psychiatry, souvenir sheep-making, the Cardigans, and space: the space between himself and other people, a journey maybe as remote and personally dangerous as the trip to the moon itself.

About the Author

JOHAN HARSTAD, winner of the 2008 Brage Award (previously won by Per Petterson), is a Norwegian author, playwright, graphic designer, drummer, and international sensation, with books published in eleven countries. His first novel, Buzz Aldrin, What Happened To You In All The Confusion?, was in 2009 made into a TV series starring The Wires Chad Coleman. Harstad lives in Oslo. DEBORAH DAWKIN is a literary translator based in London.

Table of Contents

1 First Band on the Moon, 2 Life, 3 Gran Turismo, 4 Long Gone Before Daylight

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Daniel Glendening, February 6, 2012 (view all comments by Daniel Glendening)
"Buzz Aldrin, What Happened to You in All the Confusion" is a somewhat slow moving novel, in its form somewhat mirroring its setting: the fog and rain shrouded hills of the Faroe Islands. The novel is told in the first person, the narrator a young man who finds that his life is coming unraveled. Through happenstance, the Norwegian gardener finds himself lost and alone on the Faroe Islands, where he is taken in by the paternal director of a small, sparsely populated halfway house. "Buzz Aldrin" is a novel steeped in melancholy and frustration, populated by lonely characters who alternately cling desperately to one another and violently push each other away. In the end, it's a long meditation on what it is to try to maintain an average life, and the impossibility of autonomy and independence. Its not all fog and rain, though, there are breaks in the clouds, and the novel concludes on as upbeat a note as author John Harstad can muster. There will always be clouds, but they pass in the wind, and sun will emerge if we allow it.
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mclarenster, January 5, 2012 (view all comments by mclarenster)
This book was wildly popular in Norway, apparently, and became a TV series. This is mentioned in the author blurb, along with the fact that a member of the cast of The Wire was in the series--one I didn't recall, and who has no picture on IMDb. I found this weird piece of marketing very amusing: "Hey! We've got an unknown American actor from a critically-acclaimed program!"

The cover description doesn't represent the book well, or really make one want to read it, so I was more than pleasantly surprised with how enjoyable I found Buzz Aldrin. Occasionally I was annoyed with the long sentences and found myself sort of skimming through them--I felt a serious longing for punctuation more varied than commas in a very long paragraph. Overall, the novel is rather charming, like a Belle & Sebastian song.

Actually, I think that's a pretty good summation: Buzz is a Belle & Sebastian song in novel form. Some will find it rather twee, others will love it to death, and a few will founder in the middle.
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Product Details

Harstad, Johan
Seven Stories Press
Dawkin, Deborah
Literature-A to Z
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
9.32 x 6.29 x 1.5 in 1.4 lb

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Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

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