Written by Daniel Milford
Publisher: Flathagen PR
Original Language: Norwegian
Read from 2018-09-09 to 2018-09-12
Read in Norwegian
Review: I learned of the existence of Endelig Tirsdag through a retweet of the author by a stranger on the internet. On the strength of the writing in the author’s bio (yup), and a blurb by Are Kalvø, I decided to give this book a chance. Not much to go on, but hey, it was a short book. At worst it would be a wasted hour in the pursuit of something new and possibly amusing.
The amusement duly began with the copyright message at the start of the book, and then continued into the first of the handful of stories from the author’s life which have been compiled in this collection of the fortnightly newsletter he shares with the people who have signed up to get updates from his life.
I then got a little nervous. I realised that these stories were going to be written in the style of there being a joke in every other sentence. I’ve seen this before, and I’ve seen it go terribly wrong. Would this be another one of those books that gradually descended into a mutual understanding between the author and the reader of “Sorry about this. I bit off more than I can chew starting out in this manner, and I now feel compelled to shoehorn bad jokes into every sentence to keep up the illusion that this is that kind of book. We’ll get through this together.”? But that didn’t happen. The humour always felt natural, and added to the story that was being told rather than feeling like a detour for the sake of a few laughs. At times the book was also laugh-out-loud funny in a way which had me embarrass myself several times on various modes of public transport.
As well as finding the book to be funny, I also found large parts of it to be almost painfully relatable. In a number of ways, some of which I’ll admit to, some of which I won’t, my life and mind are in states which feel relatively similar to those of the author when he wrote these stories. His witty recountings of the problems he’s had, the thoughts he’s had about them, and how he’s tackled both the problems and the thoughts, therefore struck a chord in me which in turn threw me into various degrees of introspection. Then again, I’m sure that the book is written in a way which deliberately and cleverly leads every reader to think “Oh, that’s almost exactly what happened to me!/What I feel!/What I would have done!” Whether or not my relating to the story was thanks to some clever manipulation on the part of the author, I don’t care. It worked, and I loved it.
Then, once we get to a certain lengthy chapter, the tone changes. A story is told that is obviously more significant and important than the others, of which the outcome will have real consequences and an impact on the life of the author. At this point the author feels like a close personal friend, and the chapter therefore becomes a bit of a page-turner which has the reader rooting for everything to sort itself out for our hero. Then, at the end of the book, there is an afterword. If you’ve related to any part of this book at all it feels like a motivational punch to the gut. In a good way.
Endelig Tirsdag is a great book. I wish it had been longer, but that’s a mostly selfish complaint. This book gave me the same feeling of satisfaction I can remember from when I picked up Bill Bryson’s “Notes from a Big Country” for the first time. A collection of bite-sized, warm, genuinely entertaining, charming stories from the life of a relatable stranger that leaves you with the fuzzy feeling that everything will be all right in the end.