Buzz Aldrin, What Happened to You in All the Confusion? by Johan Harstad

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Synopsis

Buzz Aldrin, What Happened to You in All the Confusion? opens with the line: "The person you love is 72.8% water, and it hasn’t rained for weeks." From there, Brage Award–winning author and playwright Johan Harstad’s debut—previously published to great success in eleven countries and now making its first English-language appearance—tells the story of Mattias, a thirty-something gardener living in Stavanger, Norway, whose idol is Buzz Aldrin, second man on the moon: the man who was willing to stand in Neil Armstrong’s shadow in order to work, diligently and humbly, for the success of the Apollo 11 mission. Following a series of personal and professional disasters, Mattias finds himself lying on a rain-soaked road in the desolate, treeless Faroe Islands, population only a few thousand, a wad of bills in his pocket and no memory of how he had come to be there—that’s when a truck approaches him, driven by a troubled, fantastic man with an offer that will shortly change Mattias’s life. And so, surrounded by a vivid and memorable cast of characters—aspiring pop musicians, Caribbean-obsessed psychologists, death-haunted photographers, girls who dream of anonymous men falling in love with them on bus trips, and even Buzz Aldrin himself—launches Buzz Aldrin, What Happened To You In All The Confusion?, the epic story of Mattias’s pop-saturated odyssey through the world of unconventional psychiatry, souvenir sheep-making, the Cardigans, and space: the space between himself and other people, a journey maybe as remote and personally dangerous as the trip to the moon itself.
 

About Johan Harstad

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Johan Harstad won the 2008 Norwegian Brage Award in the young adult/children's literature category for172 Hours on the Moon. He has also written several novels for adults, including Buzz Aldrin, What Happened to You in All the Confusion?, a Kirkus Reviews Best Fiction of 2011 book, which has been published in thirteen countries; four plays; a collection of short stories; and a prose collection. He has been described as "one of the most important [Scandinavian] authors to emerge in the early years of this century." He lives in Oslo, Norway.
 
Published June 7, 2011 by Seven Stories Press. 480 pages
Genres: Other, Education & Reference, Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Buzz Aldrin, What Happened to You in All the Confusion?

Kirkus Reviews

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Mattias finds backing for his contentment in his station in the fate of Buzz Aldrin, the astronaut, who, though in command of the Apollo mission, had all his thunder stolen by Neil Armstrong, whom history remembers as the first man on the Moon, even though Aldrin was “a more experienced pilot in ...

May 03 2011 | Read Full Review of Buzz Aldrin, What Happened to...

BC Books

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The cultural references are deftly woven into a story that moves quickly even in the midst of Mattias' worst inertia, taking the reader on a journey between dreams and reality.

Sep 19 2011 | Read Full Review of Buzz Aldrin, What Happened to...

BC Books

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By plunging deeper into that frequency with his damaged Faroe Island roommates and new friends Ennen, Anna, Havstein, and Palli, he finds new talents, new emotions, and a new sense of meaning that emerges along with his own growth.

Sep 19 2011 | Read Full Review of Buzz Aldrin, What Happened to...

The Sydney Morning Herald

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Apr 17 2012 | Read Full Review of Buzz Aldrin, What Happened to...

We Love This Book

However, instead of acting as the band’s soundman (or, as Jørn wanted, their singer), Mattias falls in with a psychiatrist named Havstein and the three inhabitants of his institution for those not quite ready to live independently – and now Mattias’ life is set to change.

Sep 08 2011 | Read Full Review of Buzz Aldrin, What Happened to...

Publishing Perspective

“The person you love is 72.8 percent water and there’s been no rain for weeks.” So begins Buzz Aldrin, What Happened to You in All the Confusion?, the impressive debut novel by Norwegian author Johan Harstad and translated into English by Deborah Dawkin.

Aug 22 2011 | Read Full Review of Buzz Aldrin, What Happened to...

Reader Rating for Buzz Aldrin, What Happened to You in All the Confusion?
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