Publication Date: February 17, 2009
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From a fiercely funny Danish John Irving, a bighearted, epic story of mad dogs, naughty boys, strange relatives, and family secrets
An international sensation sold in seventeen countries around the world, Doghead has critics across the globe declaring, “brilliant,” “magnificent,” “powerful and engaging.” “When I read it I had to pinch my arm to see if I was dreaming,” says Weekendavisen (Denmark). “It was really that good.” Morten Ramsland won Author of the Year and Book of the Year for Doghead in Denmark, and critical comparisons include Gunter Grass, Jonathan Franzen, Peter Høeg and Gabriel Garcia Marquez—everyone agrees that here is a world-class writer.
In Doghead, Ramsland treats U.S. readers to a highly imaginative, exuberant saga that follows three generations of a wildly dysfunctional Norwegian family. The tale begins as Asger, the narrator, visits his dying grandma, who has a few corrections to make to certain family stories. Asger 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. Doghead is certain to win this internationally celebrated author an equally devoted and enthusiastic following in the U.S.
Morten Ramsland, born in 1971, has a degree 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.
International Acclaim for Doghead
“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