Doppler has just lost his father. One day when he is out cycling in the woods, he falls off his bike. Semi-conscious, he notices that his head has been emptied of unnecessary noise and filled with the silence of the forest. But the fall provokes completely unexpected reactions.
Despite the fact that he has a wife and children, he moves to the woods and lives in a tent. Here he starts a lonely and ardous existence. Doppler is hungry and kills a she-elk – but that leaves him with a calf that will not let Doppler out of its sight. Gradually they become friends, both inside and outside the tent. Bongo, as the calf is called, has to carry the dried meat of his mother to the supermarket when Doppler goes to exchange the meat for skimmed milk, which he cannot live without.
Doppler is a mad, absurd and funny novel, but not without serious undertones and criticism of our modern consumer society.
‘Compelling, disquieting and perceptive prose; this novel is the latest artistic victory for the author. … the novel’s great strength lies in the original dual examination of the relationship between the meaninglessness and the newly-acquired experience of the meaningful.’
‘Erlend Loe’s Doppler is yet another step into utter absurdity. The result is a surrealistic contemporary criticism of the highest quality. Loe’s best book since Naïve. Super. … It is most likely that a number of serious themes can be read into this book: fatherhood, the male identity crisis – and even criticism of contemporary capitalism – are some of the issues touched upon. … from start to finish Doppler is one a hell of a display in the concise art of writing and a heroic campaign against the tyranny of cleverness. It is hopeless but we won’t give in!’
‘Linguistically there is a huge gulf between Hamsun and Loe. However, reading Doppler reminds me of Hamsun, Pan– and a few others, perhaps - Isak Sellanraa in Growth of the Soil. Hamsun’s Sellanraa won’t allow himself to be trapped by technical advancements: Erlend Loe’s Doppler withdraws from society where materialism is the only possible way forward. And when it gets too crowded, both Sellanraa and Doppler wander further into the forest away from civilisation.’
‘With Doppler Erlend Loe has become Norway’s most alarming writer. … This masterly understatement of a universal revolution and the boyish fascination for simple back-to-nature methods is perfect Loe.’
Dagens Næringsliv, Norway
‘Shamelessly charming without intellectual fuss.’
Stavanger Aftenblad, Norway
'Wonderfully subversive, funny and original'
'A darkly comic fable which makes some astringent points about the way we live today'
'It gripped me from the very first page and I read the entire thing in a single day. It was unusual in that it was both powerful and entertaining; a rare combination that is difficult to pull off'
Farm Lane Books, UK
'Funny and a touch dark ... [Doppler] is like a Nordic Obi-Wan'
Big Issue, UK