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Publisher's Summary

The “captivating’’ and “powerful’’ story (Publishers Weekly, starred review) of one man who banishes himself to a solitary life in the Arctic Circle and is saved by good friends, a loyal dog, and a surprise visit that changes everything, in a novel that is both “ceaselessly brilliant’’ (Adam Johnson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Orphan Master’s Son) and “pure delight’’ (Christina Baker Kline, number one best-selling author of Orphan Train)

Number one Indie Next pick 

Longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize

In 1916, Sven Ormson leaves a restless life in Stockholm to seek adventure in Svalbard, an Arctic archipelago where darkness reigns four months of the year and he might witness the splendor of the Northern Lights one night and be attacked by a polar bear the next. But his time as a miner ends when an avalanche nearly kills him, leaving him disfigured, and Sven flees even further, to an uninhabited fjord. There, with the company of a loyal dog, he builds a hut and lives alone, testing himself against the elements.

The teachings of a Finnish fur trapper, along with encouraging letters from his family and a Scottish geologist who befriended him in the mining camp, get him through his first winter. Years into his routine isolation, the arrival of an unlikely visitor salves his loneliness, sparking a chain of surprising events that will bring Sven into a family of fellow castoffs and determine the course of the rest of his life.

Written with wry humor and in prose as breathtaking as the stark landscape it evokes, The Memoirs of Stockholm Sven is a testament to the strength of our human bonds, reminding us that even in the most inhospitable conditions on the planet, we are not beyond the reach of love.

©2021 Nathaniel Ian Miller (P)2021 Little, Brown & Company

Critic Reviews

"Briskly entertaining . . . I was reminded more than once of Annie Proulx’s The Shipping News . . . combines a distinctive northerly setting with a cast of likable eccentrics . . . Rather than any creed or belief system, it is Sven’s various friendships, intense but understated, that sustain him and give his life an order and purpose.”—Ian McGuire, New York Times Book Review

Transporting and wholly original . . . this modern-day Call of the Wild is funny, moving, and ceaselessly compelling.”—People (Book of the Week)

Ceaselessly brilliant as an arctic sun, The Memoirs of Stockholm Sven illuminates the very nature of human yearning and perseverance. In attempting to inhabit the uninhabitable, one man shows us that no place is inhospitable to the human heart, and in delivering this searing portrait, Nathaniel Ian Miller ascends to the firmament of today’s most exciting young novelists.”—Adam Johnson, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Orphan Master’s Son

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What listeners say about The Memoirs of Stockholm Sven

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Stick with it

This is a book you have to stick with. The beginning is hard to follow and the dry delivery can be painful but it is worth it. It occurs to me this is purposeful as this is how it would be to meet Sven in real life. He is inaccessible and with that, boring but curious. As the book progresses, he becomes a remarkable person and the characters are equally remarkable. This turned out to be a masterpiece for me! 8 commend the publishers for sticking with this and seeing the beauty of the work and the perfect choice of orator.

45 people found this helpful

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Absolutely fantastic!

What a delight this novel was! Nathaniel Miller is definitely topping my list of new voices to pay closer attention to. Plus the narration by Olafur Darri Olafsson couldn’t be better!
I truly enjoyed every moment and I haven’t felt that way about an audiobook in a year or two at least.

20 people found this helpful

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wonderful narration

Oh I loved the first 1/2 of this book! I was swept away by the characters and absolutely captivated by the writer's descriptions of arctic geography and natural history. It may be due to my New Year's Day binge reading, but as more characters were introduced and the plot strayed from Sven, Olga, Charles, Tapio and Eberhard I found my interest waning just a bit.
Still, I loved Sven and this story of growth, resilience, and the power of human connection.

17 people found this helpful

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Fantastic and absorbing.

Everything about this book is exactly what I wanted and more. Unique yet entirely relatable characters. Incredible writing and storytelling. Depth of humanity, misery, and grit that makes the bleak winter months in the U.S. seem like a tropical getaway. The writing stands alone, but the narration is the best I’ve ever heard, hands down. Highly recommend.

17 people found this helpful

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Fictionalized Memoir

Amazing narrator who added so much to the book. Characters that you couldn't help but love and feel for.

8 people found this helpful

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Walk the Arctic with Sven!

I found myself embedded in this story and engaging my mind so thoroughly that I feel that I know Sven or very much wish I did! This grabbed my psyche and my heart snd it touched me like Call of the Wild!

8 people found this helpful

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Outstanding

This book has to be one of the best for the year 2021. I highly recommend listening to it.

7 people found this helpful

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Superb !

I greatly enjoyed listening to this. It has a wonderful, superb narrator, and a very different type of story, both in setting, characters and tone, from other adventure/wilderness type of books. The writing is uniformly excellent and it is quite immersive and engrossing, especially Parts I, II, and III. It does fall off a bit in Parts IV and V, and maybe the whole of Part IV is a bit of an unnecessary diversion. Regardless, I still wholeheartedly recommend it.

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This is not to miss!

The narrator is excellent. The story is compelling, captivating and gives really interesting historical perspective.
It’s a classic.

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Fantastic book

This book was totally outside my normal listening style but I am very glad I listened to it. Contrary to some reviews, I didn't find it at all slow or boring. I found it quite poetic, with a dry humor that appealed to me. I highly recommend this book.

1 person found this helpful