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Fixed on Fiction

Norwegian by Night

In October- Fixed on Fiction met to discuss Norwegian by Night by Derek B. Miller-

He will not admit it to Rhea and Lars - never, of course not - but Sheldon can't help but wonder what it is he's doing here…

Eighty-two years old, and recently widowed, Sheldon Horowitz has grudgingly moved to Oslo, with his grand-daughter and her Norwegian husband. An ex-Marine, he talks often to the ghosts of his past - the friends he lost in the Pacific and the son who followed him into the US Army, and to his death in Vietnam.

When Sheldon witnesses the murder of a woman in his apartment complex, he rescues her six-year-old son and decides to run. Pursued by both the Balkan gang responsible for the murder, and the Norwegian police, he has to rely on training from over half a century before to try and keep the boy safe. Against a strange and foreign landscape, this unlikely couple, who can't speak the same language, start to form a bond that may just save them both.

An extraordinary debut, featuring a memorable hero, Norwegian by Night is the last adventure of a man still trying to come to terms with the tragedies of his life. Compelling and sophisticated, it is both a chase through the woods thriller and an emotionally haunting novel about ageing and regret. 

-Summary courtesy of Goodreads.

Norwegian by Night received mixed reviews from FoF. Roughly half of readers gave it a thumbs-up and the other half rated it as so-so. Here are some of comments readers made while discussing their reaction to this month’s selection:

  • I didn’t like the ending at all- it felt rushed. There were a lot of things I did like, but the author went against conventions. Can you kill the hero?
  • I liked it a lot, but you had to follow it closely and keep up with it consistently. There were a lot of horrible parts: violence. But I enjoyed that it was suspenseful with the change of scenes at the end of each chapter.
  • I liked a lot of it but I was bothered by the violence. Shooting the hunters…that was horrible and I don’t think it really contributed anything to the story. I thought the police attitude towards immigrants was very interesting…you could relate that to what’s happening now.
  • This was a thumbs up for me but I was confused at the end, I had a lot of unanswered questions.

The group then spent quite a bit of time discussing many of these open-ended questions. Did Sheldon really have dementia? How did Lars escape? What happened to the boy? What was with the box of pictures? We also discussed how Norwegian by Night has been classified as a thriller and our disagreement with that assessment.

Other titles FoF is enjoying-

Glitter and Glue

Victoria and Abdul

Hillbilly Elegy

The Power

Never Let Me Go

Battle of the Sexes

The Penelopiad


Her Body and Other Parties   

These are simply some of the highlights from our discussion. Feel free to leave additional thoughts on Norwegian by Night  in the comments section below.


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