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.


  1. I liked it a lot too, but I definitely felt the same sense of disconnect. I also found the book to be incredibly visual, and I think it would make a great movie.

  2. nomadreader, I get what you are saying about being visual but at the same time I would imagine a movie would need lots of voice overs or monologues since a lot of the movement in the story is the characters' introspection.

  3. I am intrigued by your review, and will think about reading it. I am a librarian so that is kind of a cool point in its favor.
    The plot sounds like fun.

  4. Terra, I am a librarian as well (although not currently working) and that is part of what attracted me to this book.

  5. Hi Angela -
    I loved this cute and quirky little novel. But then I love translations and the connection to other cultures.
    I did not know there was a sequel....

    Thanks for adding me to your reading list. You now are in mine. :)


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