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Gnarr: How I Became the Mayor of a Large City in Iceland and Changed the World
 
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Gnarr: How I Became the Mayor of a Large City in Iceland and Changed the World [Kindle Edition]

Jon Gnarr
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description

Product Description

In the epicenter of the world financial crisis, a comedian launched a joke campaign that didn’t seem so funny to the country’s leading politicians . . .

It all started when Jón Gnarr founded the Best Party in 2009 to satirize his country’s political system. The financial collapse in Iceland had, after all, precipitated the world-wide meltdown, and fomented widespread protest over the country’s leadership.

Entering the race for mayor of Reykjavík, Iceland’s capital, Gnarr promised to get the dinosaurs from Jurassic Park into downtown parks, free towels at public swimming pools, a “drug-free Parliament by 2020” . . . and he swore he’d break all his campaign promises.

But then something strange started happening: his campaign began to succeed. And in the party’s electoral debut, the Best Party emerged as the biggest winner. Gnarr promptly proposed a coalition government, although he ruled out partners who had not seen all five seasons of The Wire.

And just like that, a man whose previous foreign-relations experience consisted of a radio show (in which he regularly crank-called the White House and police stations in the Bronx to see if they had found his lost wallet) was soon meeting international leaders and being taken seriously as the mayor of a European capital.

Here, Gnarr recounts how it all happened and, with admirable candor, describes his vision of a more enlightened politics for the future. The point, he writes, is not to be afraid to get involved—or to take on the system.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1442 KB
  • Print Length: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Melville House (June 24 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00I75EVIW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #7,067 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars love and above all July 17 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An enjoyable, inspirational off the wall read from an out-of-the-box thinker and doer. Jon's story demonstrates that the most mundane and controlled 'spaces' can be transformed through creativity, radical trust, love and above all, humour, Recommended for all aspiring or long-in-the-tooth politicos.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping memoir from comedian turned Mayor of Reykjavik Gnarr June 24 2014
By Irene - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
When Icelandic comedian and actor Jon Gnarr founded the satirical Best Party in 2009, it only cost him 5000 kronur (roughly 30 euros). It may have started as a joke, or so it seemed to the media and politicians alike, but the Best Party's plurality victory in the 2010 municipal elections made Gnarr Mayor of Reykjavik, sparked a political movement, and turned the world's eye to Iceland.

In this memoir, Gnarr recalls his upbringing, espouses some love for Icelandic culture, and details the entire crazy ride of becoming mayor of Iceland's capital and only large city. His translated and straight-forward prose holds a hint of comedy that transcends translation ("And an idea is born when two ideas have sex with each other, and a third idea comes into being."), and it is easy to see why he has garnered international attention from the likes of Noam Chomsky and Lady Gaga. In addition to his honest recounting, he peppers the chapters with interludes from his party website and an interview of his wife Johanna (Joga) Johannsdottir.

As mayor in a country crippled by the recent finanical crisis, Gnarr had to quickly dial from comedic relief to bureocratic icon, making tough decisions including merging schools and saving near-bankrupt energy companies. Beyond the political decisions themselves, it is touching to read about his stress of his political office, his firm stance on a peaceful Iceland, and his commitment to gay and transgender rights--which would explain his 2010 appearance at the Gay Pride parade.

Now that Gnarr has stepped down from his office after not seeking a second term, it is unclear what the future holds. As someone who knew little of Icelandic history and culture before reading this memoir, I cannot wait to see what he does next.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best...Best...Best! June 22 2014
By A. Miller - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Almost as a joke, Gnarr started a movement that changed the political face of Iceland. This bio/memoir is the fascinating story how it all came to be and provides a ray of hope in the otherwise dismal state of world politics. A perfect supplement to the book would be the documentary of the Best Party campaign. [...]
5.0 out of 5 stars It was an absolutely wonderful book by an amazing politician July 25 2014
By Conan Smeeth - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It was an absolutely wonderful book by an amazing politician! I hope more people in politics aspire to be like Mr. Gnarr.
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