Book Review: Bjørn Gabrielsen, Jeg skal bare ut i boden en tur (2013)

The title of this book by Bjørn Gabrielsen has been translated as, I Am Just Going Out in the Shed for a While. It is an adequate title, and despite what I regard as a grammatical error using “in the shed” instead of “to the shed”, it is better than the one used in the book’s German translation: Ich bin dann mal im Keller – Vom letzten Refugium des Mannes (I’m down in the Cellar – A Man’s final Refuge).

The author, Bjørn Gabrielsen, with microphone attached for a video about the book and his storage room. The 2m17s video in Norwegian from 2013 can be found here:

I’ve given this book five stars on Goodreads, mainly because it says things that should be said. It examines an important aspect of Norwegian culture, that will resonate with, potentially, a third of the population, mostly men. One reason that this book will have fairly broad appear, is due to the variety of sheds discussed, along with related topics. Here is the list:

  • The first shed, a mausoleum.
  • The garage
  • Oshiira (Traditional Japanese storage location for bedding)
  • Boat house (Naust, in Norwegian)
  • Woodworking shed, with reference to Astrid Lindgren’s children’s books featuring Emil.
  • Allotment gardens and their sheds
  • New York and its mini-storage units
  • A secret man-cave
  • Keys, and the art of locking sheds
  • Basement rooms
  • Workshops
  • Extreme sheds,
  • Writing sheds
  • Horror sheds
  • Sheds and women
  • Waxing sheds (for cross country skiing)
  • Cycle sheds
  • Building sheds, which looks at keeping it simple, advice for hopeless idiots, regulations, Pythagoras for totally hopeless idiots, lighting, alternative energy sources, building with tarps, ice fishing sheds.
  • Unplugged
  • The accuracy trap

Lets use ice fishing sheds as an example of typical content. Personally, I have no particular interest in ice or fishing. Yet, because of Gabrielsen’s writing talent, one reads with interest and enjoyment, Roger LeCarte’s adventures on Lake Michigan in 1979 when the ice he put his shed on drifted away. The story ends with his burning the shed down to attract attention, and his rescue by the Coast Guard.

Only a small portion of the book actually pertains to my particular interests, woodworking workshops and writing sheds. However, the other sections cause one to reflect, not only about sheds, but about life and how we occupy our time living.