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The Year of Living Danishly

Uncovering the Secrets of the World's Happiest Country
Lu par : Lucy Price-Lewis
Durée : 9 h et 39 min
4 out of 5 stars (1 notation)
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Description

When she was suddenly given the opportunity of a new life in rural Jutland, journalist and archetypal Londoner Helen Russell discovered a startling statistic: the happiest place on earth isn't Disneyland but Denmark, a land often thought of by foreigners as consisting entirely of long, dark winters, cured herring, Lego and pastries. What is the secret to their success? Are happy Danes born or made?

Helen decides there is only one way to find out: she will give herself a year, trying to uncover the formula for Danish happiness. From child care, education, food and interior design to SAD, taxes, sexism and an unfortunate predilection for burning witches, The Year of Living Danishly is a funny, poignant record of a journey that shows us where the Danes get it right, where they get it wrong, and how we might just benefit from living a little more Danishly ourselves.

Helen Russell is a journalist and former editor of MarieClaire.co.uk. She now lives in rural Jutland and works as a Scandinavia correspondent for the Guardian as well as writing a column on Denmark for the Telegraph.

©2015 Helen Russell (P)2015 Audible, Ltd

Critiques

"A lovely mix of English sensibility and Danish pragmatism. Helen seems to have understood more about the Danish character than I have! My only worry is that it will make everyone want to have a go and my holiday home area will get overcrowded." (Sandi Toksvig)
"Russell is possessed of a razor-sharp wit and a winning self-deprecation - two of the things that make this book such a delight." ( The Independent)

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Notations

Global

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Histoire

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Il n'y a pas encore de critique disponible pour ce titre.
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  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Jennifer Soudagar
  • 13/11/2015

Interesting content. Unfortunate delivery.

Where does The Year of Living Danishly rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This book ranks right in the middle. Time well spent and very interesting, but not touching or miraculous or life changing.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

I do wish that the author had read this book herself for the audiobook as there was a lot of subtle humor and personal musings that were totally lost in Lucy Price-Lewis's delivery. There were quite a few very funny moments - big and small - that managed to fall noticeably short. Knowing nothing about her beyond reading this book, I imagine that the author is very sharp-witted, fun and bold. This was a story about her personal life and it was unfortunate that it somehow felt flat and impersonal.

What three words best describe Lucy Price-Lewis’s performance?

Not well matched, too proper, lacking a flair for subtle humor.

Any additional comments?

I truly enjoyed taking a step into Danish culture and felt like the author hit every mark - from pastries to neighbors to politics to parenting. Her professional writing experience offered an unexpected quality of perspective and observation. I came to appreciate that her story wasn't just a meandering "year in the life", but followed a rather diligent and purposeful (but still lighthearted) path.

The concept of "hygge" (even if it was pronounced incorrectly) is a major theme that stands out as one of the only things I have any hope of embracing or emulating in my own life. I hope to do so though as it seems to be a wonderful thing! Unfortunately, most of the social norms and programs described could never exist outside of such a small and unique country. There is just no comparing Denmark to my fast-paced country suburb of New York City and I tried hard not to let the stark differences in maternity leave, work days, education and bakery offerings depress me.

A worthwhile read nonetheless!

97 sur 102 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars
  • AR
  • 17/02/2017

Entertaining but Brittle

Pleasant but superficial account of the author's first year in Denmark as a British expat. As a personal history, the book is glib, with very little attempt at plumbing depths of feeling or experience. The author writes in a bright, brittle style that may have been what she was used to as a staffer for a slick London magazine. She's also not as witty as she thinks she is. As an impersonal, journalistic account of contemporary Danish society, the book is entertaining, but slanted heavily towards the rosy. Russell doesn't bother to examine the negative implications of some of the national characteristics she describes, such as the pressure to conform and the dread of conflict. If you want a balanced look at Denmark and the Danes, you'll have to go elsewhere. Lucy Price-Lewis does a fine job with the narration.

85 sur 90 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Customer
  • 20/08/2015

Very Enjoyable

What made the experience of listening to The Year of Living Danishly the most enjoyable?

As an expat in Denmark myself, it was both interesting and entertaining to hear from another expat's perspective. I really like hearing the facts and figures to boost her anecdotal observations. I liked how open and honest she is about her life and her experience. I laughed. I cried. It was a good listen.

I'd recommend it, and have, to anyone who wants to know more about Denmark, or just the expate experience in general.

What aspect of Lucy Price-Lewis’s performance would you have changed?

Lucy Price-Lewis had a very pleasant voice, but her Danish pronunciation was almost unintelligible.

31 sur 33 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lauren
  • 23/03/2017

Loved it

Great story. Have been looking for someone to explain Scandinavian culture and she did it hilariously. Great insight into the Danes as well as what makes them so happy (and shines a spotlight into why Americans and Brits are not as happy). I laughed out loud repeatedly at her Brit wit. Liked that the book was organized into different topics each month. She made it very informative while keeping it light and very fun. Was ready to move to Denmark after the first chapters. Don't want this book to ever end. Wish she would do the same treatment/living experiment with other countries too. Only downside, the narrator. She blasts through the text so quickly that she does blow through many of the jokes, ruining the timing, as mentioned by other reviewers. Needs a different narrator. Could be more fun to read in print so you can pace it yourself. But don't miss this book!

7 sur 7 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Alison S.
  • 13/03/2017

Mediocre at best. Reads like a first year university student's paper

It reads like a first year university paper with a bit of humor and lots of stats. She is very judgmental but tries to cover it up with support of constant references-just like a new university student learning how to write. I thought it was ironic that the main intention of the book is to figure out how the Danish are the world's happiest people when one of her references, which she shares only 1/2 way through, is that the Danish on the whole take more antidepressants than any other European country. Other than a few humorous stories here and there, don't waste your time. I will not be reading any of her other books after this one.

49 sur 57 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Brigham
  • 23/02/2016

A Surprising Little Nugget of Awesome

I'm impressed with this book for many reasons. The author was relateable and her situation was epathtically lamentable. In the end, this is upper-class writing.

As non-fiction goes, an author's voice is often dull and mechanical, unless you are Helen Russell. She was witty, glib, and completely normal from start to finish. As I do, she assigned nicknames to most of those she interacted with. Examples include "Judgy Face" or "Lego Man."

Her research was neither tediously academic nor jeuvenile. The majority of her research is based on interviews, jotted notes, and humerous internal monologue.

From start to finish the reader loves the story woven around her main goal to identify what makes Danes so happy. The project is broken up into 12 months, with each month ending in a summary of her findings. The best of her observations, interviews, and internet research are highlighted throughout. The reader stands to learn more about rural Danish life and tradition than you thought possible. Certainly more than you previously thought interesting.

In summary, well done Helen. Please write more so I can read all of your work.

20 sur 23 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Russell
  • 06/10/2017

Danish Destination Delights

Excuse the alliteration but I am feeling whimsical and after listening to this book and am now seriously considering including Copenhagen on my next vacation to Europe. Bob Hope said that he owed his long life to always gravitating towards a group of people heartily laughing rather than to the crowd that was grumbling. Maybe spending a few days in Denmark will be good for the soul, though I suspect the Danes may not be more bubbly and openly friendly than other cultures, they are just more secure and well cared for.

Helen Russell and Lucy Price-Lewis team up to give us an insight into a successful compassionate social model that we should all aspire towards. We are given a month by month account from an outsider who is curious about the source of the country's happiness. At the end of the month Helen tells us what she has learned and links that to worldwide research findings.

Not everything is perfect in the state of Denmark, but there is enough there to be envious. And if I do visit and the Danes don't open up to me in my brief encounters, Helen has me wondering about how tasty all those baked goods really are. After all there must have been good reason to name one of them a danish.

9 sur 10 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Arpi Mardirossian
  • 14/03/2016

A detailing of why Denmark is great

I expected the author to be mindful of the fact that a very small percentage of her readers either live or have the option to live in Denmark! She is really not. There are no general learnings/approaches that can be applied anywhere. This is simply a Denmark fan going over in detail why Denmark is her Utopia.

8 sur 9 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Georgie Fear, RD
  • 24/05/2017

Just loved it!

Witty, insightful, and hilariously charming. As delightful as nonfiction gets. The author Helen Russell describes her personal adventures in a year of living in Denmark, including personal stories interwoven with expert interviews analyzing WHY the Danish are so consistently happy, is it possible for foreigners to achieve the same mindset, and how can the rest of global humanity adopt aspects of Danish living without uprooting to the tiny, cold pastry paradise. As a reader, I couldn't get enough. As a nonfiction author myself, I am inspired by a great example.

Side note: Her other book Leap Year is equally lovely.

7 sur 8 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Crystal
  • 22/01/2016

Fun book, an audio vacation

This is a great fun book. The narration is great. It is like a vacation in an audiobook. I just loved curling up to it with a hot cup of tea.

9 sur 11 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.