Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Benny & Shrimp by Katarina Mazetti

Title: Benny & Shrimp
Author: Katarina Mazetti
Translator: Sarah Death
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: July 2009
Format: Paperback, 209 pages
Age Group: Adult

Benny and Shrimp are two lonely adults who meet in the cemetery. He tends his parents' heavily decorated grave while she sits on a bench attempting to mourn her husband. Can the dairy farmer and the librarian make a life together when sparks start to fly? Or are their lives too far apart to bring them together for more than a short affair?

Benny & Shrimp was originally published in Sweden and has been an international hit. I can certainly see why. I greatly enjoyed this quirky tale of love between people with such different perspectives on life. One of the things that really made this book work for me was that the chapters alternated between being told by Benny and being told by Shrimp. This really lets the reader get the entire story instead of just one person's side. The chapters were also quite short which made Benny & Shrimp a fast read for me.

Although the characters' emotions run high, I did not feel them the way I have felt the level of emotion in other books. I felt more like an outside observer, rather than becoming overly engaged in the story. I think the observing really is the point though as the book examines one relationship in quite a detailed manner. The author has taken the story farther in a second book but I do not think that one has an English translation yet.

Have you read Benny & Shrimp? I would love to hear your thoughts on the book. Please leave a link if you have reviewed it on your blog. If you haven't read this one, would you like to?

Thank you to Caitlin, at FSB Associates, for sending me another wonderful book to review.