Friday, December 11, 2009

Review: Benny and Shrimp

Benny and Shrimp

by Katarina Mazetti

My Synopsis

First published in Sweden in 1998 and translated to English and published in Britain in 2008, Benny and Shrimp is a short novel about the relationship between a couple who meet in a cemetery. The woman is a young widow visiting her husband's grave and the man is a dairy farmer visiting his parents' grave.

My Thoughts

Based on my very brief synopsis, you would think this book would be boring...a book about a couple in a relationship?! Not at all. I thought it was great. Quirky, fun and funny.

The man (Benny) and the woman (Shrimp) are at similar places in their lives when they first meet, both longing for love; "Shrimp" for a love lost through death, Benny for a love not yet found. The relationship between them, I thought, was so realistic. I love the part when Shrimp is talking about the things people do for love in the beginning of a relationship: "...stood in ice-cold water letting leeches attach themselves to my legs because he needed them for research." It's so true! I let my husband think, when we first met, that I was into cars. I went with him to car auctions, we drove to Bloomington for a Corvette show, I leaned over his old Corvette and listened patiently while he explained how an engine works. There were many times throughout the book where I found myself nodding in agreement. Been there, done that. And don't you love when you can relate to the characters? The author showed Benny and Shrimp experiencing typical issues such as being hurt, feeling jealous, having "butterflies," and confusion about whether or not to end it. And she did it in the wittiest, most straightforward way. Sometimes I thought, "Oh my gosh, did she really write that?" when writing about some sexual feelings and situations. I do feel the book stopped rather abruptly and left me wanting more. Sometimes that's a good thing, though. You'll have to read it to find out the surprising, "21st century" way it ends.

Thank you to Mary from Book Fan who was nice enough to send me this book "just because." I love my sweet blogging friends!

My Rating



Mary said...

You're welcome, and I'm so glad you enjoyed it as much as I did. I read somewhere that there's a sequel. I haven't been able to find it so I'm not sure there's an English translation yet. When I find it I'll blog about it.

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

I have this one but havent read it yet... your review sounds good - I am going to have to dig into this one soon!

Jenners said...

Gosh... was this made into a movie or am I thinking of Benny and Joon? I think I'm thinking of Benny and Joon actually.

But this sounds really wonderful...and I can so relate to experiencing pain while "pretending" to be interested in something I wasn't for .. a guy.

And I love quirky!


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