Who’d have thought that this book would show up in British bookshops?! I’d heard of it’s huge success in my native Norway and Sweden (200,000+ copies sold), but thought for sure that’s where it would remain. Norwegian Wood is a non-fiction book about chopping firewood. Stacking firewood. Drying firewood. But more importantly, it’s about nature, patience, persistence and appreciating the small things in life. Norwegian Wood is a cross between the Cohen brothers’ film Fargo and the cult book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and predicted by my bookseller to become this year’s surprise Christmas bestseller.
‘I’ve been on a quest to discover the soul of the wood fire. But wood people don’t always like to put their passion into words’ writes Lars Mytting, an author of fiction books and a wood chopping enthusiast, in his preface. Understatement of the year, you realise, when you meet the salt-of-the earth, rural types that Mytting interviews for his book. Complete with wonderful photos of proud wood choppers next to their piles, Norwegian Wood will make you chuckle and reflect. In a world that appears to be full of internet entrepreneurs, it’s refreshing to see that people like these still exist. A magnificent backlash against all things fast!
Norwegian Wood: Chopping, Stacking and Drying Wood the Scandinavian Way by Lars Mytting is published by Maclehose Press, 181 pages.