For years, Asger Erikkson, the narrator of Ramsland's funny and touching novel, has struggled to keep his family history buried. But when Asger is called home to Denmark to the deathbed of his beloved Grandma Bjørk, the stories spill forth, out of order and out of control. First, they summon long-suppressed guilt (Asger caused his grandfather, who survived Buchenwald, to collapse by tricking him into drinking urine, for instance) and then spiral outward, filling in the many blanks from three generations of the Erikkson family. Nuttiness and depravity abound, as Asger's grandfather's many character flaws are revealed, a son is born in a filthy privy, cousins fall in love and an increasingly ill Bjørk begins to babble about a hidden fortune. In his first novel to be translated into English (it won the Danish Best Novel award), Ramsland masterfully captures a zigzagging litany of recollections across generations and the cold North Sea, revealing the family's true fortune: survival in the space between deep dysfunction and enduring love. (Feb.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Dogheadby Morten Ramsland
Doghead is a highly imaginative, exuberant saga that follows three generations of a wildly dysfunctional Norwegian family. When Asger, the narrator, visits his dying grandma, he learns that contrary to popular belief, Grandpa was not a war hero. Instead, his nickname was "Crackpot," and both before and after he escaped from a Nazi concentration camp, he was,/i>
Doghead is a highly imaginative, exuberant saga that follows three generations of a wildly dysfunctional Norwegian family. When Asger, the narrator, visits his dying grandma, he learns that contrary to popular belief, Grandpa was not a war hero. Instead, his nickname was "Crackpot," and both before and after he escaped from a Nazi concentration camp, he was, to put it bluntly, a cheat and a liar. From there the real family history unfolds, and like all great stories, it is a tale that will stay with the reader forever.
Readers of this work will question the narrator's reliability immediately, because the family tree after the title page lists "The Liar" among his several nicknames. The novel is a fantastic collection of outrageous and usually hilarious stories of three generations of his family, misfits all. About halfway through the novel, after the narrator admits he doesn't know all the facts, his sister tells him to "come up with something yourself." Issues that transcend generations and cultures-money problems, wanderlust, infidelity, and ennui-plague the family. Because the narrator is an artist whose portrayal is compassionate and tender and never vindictive, readers will indulge, and even take pleasure in, his poetic license. One word, incubus, recurs occasionally, but it isn't until deep into the novel that the reader realizes its connection to the title. Danish author Ramsland's first book to be published in English (it's just being released in the United States, although it previously appeared in England) is so entertaining readers will want to devour it in a sitting or two. Enthusiastically recommended for public libraries.
“Funny and touching…masterful.”
- Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A huge international success…combines rambunctiousness, salty humor and poetic imagination.”
- Independent on Sunday (UK), Books of the Year
“A book reminiscent of Grass' The Tin Drum in its humor and Angela's Ashes in its heartfelt affection…the family novel par excellence.”
- Stern (Germany)
“Already a huge success in Europe…Doghead is brilliant, exhilarating, and haunting.”
- Booklist (starred review)
“Like Allende's The House of the Spirits, but more ironical and slightly more modern. Family novels hardly get any better than this.”
- BuchMarkt (Germany)
“A brilliant magical realist family saga. Better than Peter Høeg.”
- Weekendavisen (Denmark)
“Reading fuel for fans of John Irving and T. C. Boyle.”
- Lubecker Nachrichten (Germany)
“An earthy, funny, unflinching family history.”
- Kirkus Reviews
- St. Martin's Press
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- First Edition
- Product dimensions:
- 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)
Meet the Author
Morten Ramsland, born in 1971, has degrees in Danish and art history. Doghead is his first book to be published in English. A huge bestseller in Denmark, it won four major literary prizes there including Author of the Year, Book of the Year, the Reader's Prize, and the most prestigious prize for literature, the Golden Laurel Prize. It has also won the Premio Berto and Premio Edoardo Kihlgren 2nd Prize in Italy.
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >