September 19, 2009

Benny & Shrimp

Benny & Shrimp by Katarina Mazetti
2009 Penguin
Quit on 9/6/09
Rating: DNF

Product Description:

Two middle-aged misfits and a love that should not be as complicated as it seems.

It started in a cemetery, where they begrudgingly share a bench. "Shrimp," the childless young widow and librarian with a sharp intellect and a home so tidy that her jam jars are in alphabetical order, meets Benny, the gentle, overworked milk farmer who fears becoming the village's Old Bachelor. Both driven by an enormous longing and loudly ticking biological clocks, they can't escape the powerful attraction between them.

But how will she learn to accept that he falls asleep at the opera and has a house full of his mother's cross-stitch? And how could he ever feel at home in her minimalist apartment, bare as a dentist's waiting room?

An international sensation now available for the first time in the United States, this quirky, humorous, completely readable novel breathes new life into the age-old conundrum that is love.

About the Author

Katarina Mazetti was nominated for the Prix Cevennes in France in 2007, and has worked as a journalist, teacher, and author of books for readers of all ages. For twenty years she lived on a small farm in northern Sweden, an experience that became the basis for Benny and Shrimp, her first adult novel.

Why is it that I dread writing a review for a book I either didn't finish or disliked, particularly when said book was sent directly from the publicist or author? I don't know these people. I don't have to make polite conversation with them at a dinner party. I'm sure they don't expect everyone to love their work. And yet, sometimes, I just hate to be the voice of dissension. But I've always been honest in my reviews and hope that those with low ratings might still appeal to other readers.

It certainly feels better to be able to say I couldn't get interested rather than to have a laundry list of complaints and irritations. Fortunately, Benny & Shrimp is simply a book that couldn't hold my attention. I have no specific complaints other than it just wasn't my cuppa tea.


  1. Neither character sounds terribly appealing to me. Sorry it wasn't a good read for you, but I'm glad to not be adding another to the TBR list.

  2. The product description sounded good. Too bad it didn't grab your attention. I hate when that happens with a review book, but better to tell how you really felt than to run on with sappy sentiments. I appreciate your honest review, Les.

  3. Framed - They weren't appealing to me, either. I don't know if it was a translation issue, but I never came to care about either person or their situations in life.

    I know what you mean about not having yet another book to add to the TBR list.

    Thanks for visiting. I need to make my way back over to your blog!

    Booklogged - Oooh, I like your new photo. Pretty leaf! But about the book... yes, I thought the product description sounded good, too. That's why I was so eager to accept the publicist's offer. I read a bit of the book while sitting by the pool in VA and thought I was just distracted (as I usually am while on vacation), but then I read more on the flight home and just couldn't get interested. I got more and more frustrated and finally decided enough was enough.

    I'm glad you appreciate my honesty. :)

  4. I was actually pretty surprised that I ended up loving this one. I didn't think that I would enjoy it as much as I did from the blurb.

    Here's my review:

  5. MonieG - Just read your review. You really did love it, didn't you? Thanks for stopping by my blog with your comment.


I may not answer your comments in a timely fashion, but I always answer. Check back soon!