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The Xenophobe's Guide to the Finns


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About the Author

A former careers information officer, English teacher, youth leader and conference host, Tarja Moles now works as a freelance writer and researcher. A native of Savonlinna (Nyslott in Swedish), Eastern Finland, she was lured into settling down in the UK after an encounter with an English dentist at the British Museum cafe. She warned him that she had a history of biting dentists' fingers, but he merely shrugged his shoulders, smiled and bought a pair of gauntlets. She is a typical Finn in that she loves the sauna, misses plunging into frozen lakes and is allergic to everything. But she believes the genes for endurance sports must have skipped a generation since the game of geocaching with a GPS on Dartmoor is about as much as she can handle. Grateful thanks are given to David Moles for his British perspective and Markku Jaakkola for his Finnish one; and to Eric Dickens and Jussi Bright for their invaluable contributions. Further information on Tarja Moles can be found here:


'This is how a guide book should be written. It won't tell you where to catch a bus in Helsinki, but it will give you a very sharp insight into the mind of the guy who drives it. As a traveller, I have shelves creaking under the weight of numerous guide books and this one has to be one of, if not the absolute best. It tells me things I want to know about the people who live in the country; things which other guide books avoid mentioning. It is refreshing and honest and a wonderful read. If you buy no other book about the Finns, buy this one. The first time I read it was to learn about the Finns. The second time was simply to enjoy again the brilliantly funny prose.' -- Review in The Guardian 'This is a well-observed gem of a book. I've never been to Finland, but, despite this, was laughing out loud all the way through. My Finnish friend nearly fell off her chair!' -- Reviewer from UK 'A witty, informative little book. Finland is one of my favourite places and this charming book helps to explain why. The text delightfully evokes the character of the people. Smuggled into the string of amusing anecdotes and tongue-in-cheek stereotypes is a surprising amount of genuinely useful information. Which meant that as well as being thoroughly entertained I learnt quite a bit from this slim volume. Since I've just booked my sixth trip to the country that's particularly welcome and will make my stay there richer.' -- Review from 'Stephen H', UK 'As a Finn, I can regognise lots of the characteristics described in this book in myself, especially after living abroad for nearly a decade. Love the witty humour and detailing in all the important aspects of Finnish lives. The book is quick to read, so it does not take too much time from our busy lives. It flows from one subject to another easily and is really interesting. I will definitely give the book for my partner (Englishman) to read and hope he will understand me better. Highly recommended!' -- Review from 'Loved it!'

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