The Almost Nearly Perfect People

The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia

Travel & Maps, Travel Writing, Non-Fiction
Paperback Published on: 12/02/2015
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Bookseller Reviews

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The Almost Nearly Perfect People
For anyone interested in our neighbours in the North.
Going in I thought this was going to be a slightly humorous romp around the Scandinavian countries but it turned to be so much more. It was funny, extremel... READ MORE
Penelope Bullock at Lancaster


The Danes are the happiest people in the world, and pay the highest taxes.

'Neutral' Sweden is one of the biggest arms manufacturers in the world.

Finns have the largest per capita gun ownership after the US and Yemen.

54 per cent of Icelanders believe in elves.

Norway is the richest country on earth.

5 per cent of Danish men have had sex with an animal.

Michael Booth has lived among the Scandinavians, on and off, for over ten years, perplexed by their many strange paradoxes and character traits and equally bemused by the unquestioning enthusiasm for all things Nordic and hygge that has engulfed the rest of the world.

He leaves his adopted home of Denmark and embarks on a journey through all five of the Nordic countries to discover who these curious tribes are, the secrets of their success and, most intriguing of all, what they think of each other. Along the way a more nuanced, often darker picture emerges of a region plagued by taboos, characterised by suffocating parochialism and populated by extremists of various shades.

'The next Bill Bryson.’ New York Times

Winner of the Best Narrative Travel Book Award from the British Guild of Travel Writers

  • Publisher: Vintage Publishing
  • ISBN: 9780099546078
  • Number of pages: 416
  • Weight: 287g
  • Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 25 mm

Customer Reviews

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The Almost Nearly Perfect People
Just what I was looking for and more besides. Lifting the lid on the most successful societies in Europe - or are they?
I have a Swedish friend. She’s gorgeous, funny and drinks us all under the table. But over the years (she lives in England and has done for some time) I no... READ MORE
Stephen Wilson