Beyond the Cold: An American’s Warm Portrait of Norway pressroom has everything a journalist needs: press releases about Michael Kleiner, a YouTube video of an interview on The Authors TV Show, an Internet program, multimedia content, different size photos of the author and book covers, and reviews.
Contact Information: Michael Kleiner
Skype online number for those without Skype: 215-253-6918
Michael Kleiner knew little of Norway when he was 10 years old and learned the family would be spending the next year there. His father was with the U.S. army stationed in Norway after World War II helping to rebuild the country. He vowed when he had a family, he would take them to Norway someday. He told Michael that Norway won the most medals in the 1968 Winter Olympics and he drank goats’ milk when he was in Norway. Michael wrote a paper on Norway to announce to his fifth grade class he was going to Norway.
More than four decades later, Michael knows Norway in a more intimate way. As a child he attended a Norwegian school; had a reindeer sled ride with the Sami; stood on the ice at Bislett watching the world speed skating championships; walked to the Holmenkollen ski jumping championships, among other experiences. Return trips as an adult created a strong affection for the people, culture and country and the intercultural experiences have helped shape the person he has become. Michael, who is not of Norwegian descent, authored a memoir, Beyond the Cold: An American’s Warm Portrait of Norway. He will discuss the book in a special “virtual online event” on Thursday, April 5 at 3:30 p.m. EST through Shindig Events. It is being sponsored by Norwegian American Weekly. The audience will log in to a web site and see Michael make his presentation (which will include pictures) in an intimate living room setting. Michael will see the audience; can mingle and take questions. In addition, links will be provided to purchase the book.
Beyond the Cold has received positive acclaim. It received first place in the 2009 Beach Book Festival and Honorable Mention in the Nashville, New England, London, Los Angeles and Do It Yourself Book Festivals in that year. He was included in The Authors Show 50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading in 2010 and nominated in the 2011 Dan Poynter Global eBook Awards. He ivited to Norsk Høstfest in 2008.
Norwegian American Weekly included Beyond the Cold as a “Great Book to Give and Get” in its Christmas edition, saying “Kleiner’s experience in Norway as a child and his later returns as an adult shape a warm, sensitive and caring look at how Norway and its people have influenced the man he has become.” Fjell og Vidde, Norway’s largest outdoor magazine wrote “He tells with warmth and enjoyment about his encounters with Norwegians, our customs and Norwegian nature. This is not a guidebook, but a personal portrait of a country.”
Jean Peyer, Sons of Norway, Long Island, NY: Michael Kleiner’s book is an interesting combination of a diary, travelogue and autobiography, regarding the country and people of Norway from the perspective of a young boy to a grown man. During seven visits to Norway, he develops the theme of his warm, intimate experiences in Norway. With each visit, he dispels the myth of the reserved, somewhat cold and hard to get to know persona of Norwegians to one of friendliness, warmth, integrity, and generosity of the north people... Michael Kleiner shares many beautiful trips, everyday foods, and many humorous stories of the kind people called Norwegians... He has created a refreshing story of a beautiful country filled with uniquely kind people.”
Highlights of his adult trips, besides being reunited with friends and accumulating experiences, was his honeymoon; attending the International Summer School in 1992 (10 countries were represented in the class); twice being interviewed by the Lillehammer Olympic Organizing Committee, traveling above the Arctic Circle and taking different routes to Bergen.
“There are books about people ‘adopting another country,’but they are from an adult perspective,” says Michael. “This is the only one I am aware of that has childhood memories and adult perspectives. The year a child spends in another country is not just another year of childhood.”
To RSVP for the event, e-mail email@example.com. On April 5th, you will login here: http://shindig.com/event/15-beyond-the-cold. Authors interested in being a guest on a virtual event can contact Michael at the same e-mail address. Michael runs his own public relations and web design business in Philadelphia, concentrating on authors and small businesses.
I wrote this on July 22 and most of it was published on my neighborhood online news site in Philadelphia. I also posted an edited version on Facebook and LinkedIn.
“My thoughts go out to my beloved Norway after the bombing and shootings in Oslo. Beginning when my family lived in Norway for a year when I was 11 and through my return trips as an adult over four decades, I have developed an affinity for the country, the culture and people, although I am not of Norwegian descent. This led to my book, Beyond the Cold: An American's Warm Portrait of Norway. My intercultural experiences have impacted the person I have become.
“...This happening in Norway is startling.
“So far, I have heard from two friends that their families are OK. One said he rarely goes into the center of town, but went there Friday morning and was by the epicenter four hours before the explosion. (On July 31, I heard from my best friend, who said his 18-year old daughter had two friends who were at the youth camp, one of whom was killed.)
“I know the Norwegians to be a warm, friendly, caring people. This is a country whose resistance in World War II played strategic roles in defeating the Nazis. Home to the Nobel Peace Prize and the International Summer School at the University of Oslo. For me, it is ironic that this event happened last Friday. I attended the school in the summer of 1992 with 500 students from 70 countries, including some of the first from the Eastern bloc countries. That has grown to 100 countries. Six weeks of study and fostering multicultural exchange. The slogan is Come to Norway, Meet the World. In 1996, I delivered a speech as alum at the 50th anniversary. I saw on the web site last week that the 65th anniversary celebration is July 29. I intended to e-mail best wishes last Friday, but e-mailed the wishes in the aftermath of these events. With the make-up and mission of the ISS, they could’ve been a target. The celebration can be a statement the mission shall go on.
“This excerpt from my 1996 speech seems to resonate: ‘...A ‘secret’ to ISS success...for the most part, we talked and listened to each other without regard for what country or culture we came from. The classroom provided a common ground, where the struggles together to learn Norwegian superseded our national and ethnic backgrounds...A highlight of the weekend to Noresund was a hike to the top of Høygevarde. For me, the lasting impact was that people from America, Slovakia, Nepal, Benin, Norway, Slovenia, Canada, Italy, France, Germany, Philippines and the West Bank walked up and down the mountain together. If someone tired, others would wait until the person could resume walking...’”
July 24, 2011: Michael Kleiner Interviewed on KYW News Radio Philadelphia on Bombing and Shooting in Norway
July 20, 2011: Michael Kleiner Interviewed on Global Talk Radio In the News (Internet)
The Authors Show 50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading
First Prize, Autobiography/
The 2009 Beach Book Festival
Honorable Mention: 2009 Nashville, New England, London, Los Angeles, Do It Yourself
Nov. 1-7, 2010: Danielle Hampson of The Internet Authors TV Show
Interviews Michael Kleiner. The interview from YouTube.
Sept. 3, 2010: Live interview with Baron Ron Heron on KZSB 1290AM in Santa Barbara, CA, streamed on http://www.newspress.com, Goleta, Carpinteria, Thousand Oaks, LA County. The show will be rebroadcast on KNRY1240 AM in Monterey, Salinas, Santa Cruz, Pebble Beach, and on KNWZ-II 1270AM in Palm Desert, Palm Springs, Indio, Rancho Mirage. Delayed broadcast in Australia 99.7 FM in Queensland and to another 30+radio stations via COMRadStat.
June 2009: Interviewed on Internet radio show, The Authors Show, by Don McCauley.
October 1-4, 2008, Norsk Høstfest, Norwegian Fall Festival, Minot, ND. Michael was invited to participate, promote and sell his book at the largest Scandinavian festival in North America -- estimated crowds of 60,000 people. He was among 14 authors highlighted at the 31st year of the Festival. Below are scenes from the Festival. Check his blog about the event and videos from this special experience. The blog is in chronological order from most recent entry.
Beyond the Cold: An American’s Warm Portrait of Norway
receives first place in Autobiography/Biography category
in Beach Book Festival
June 15, 20009
Bruce Haring, managing director of JM Northern Media LLC, sponsor of the competition, presents Michael
with his Beach Book Festival Award.
Not sure what to read for the summer? Well, The Beach Book Festival can help. They recently announced the winners of their annual competition program spotlighting the hottest reads of the upcoming summer season, and Michael Kleiner received first place in the Autobiography/Biography category for his book, Beyond the Cold: An American’s Warm Portrait of Norway. He received his award on June 5 at the prestigious Algonquin Hotel in New York City, former meeting place of famous and aspiring writers, actors, actresses, columnists and critics, beginning in 1919. The Festival, which is among a number of competitions sponsored by JM Northern, based in Hollywood, CA, considers self-published or independent published non-fiction, fiction, biography/autobiography, children's books, teenage, how-to, science fiction, romance, comics, poetry, spiritual, compilations/anthologies, history, business and health-oriented books. In addition to the category winners and a grand prize recipient, 39 authors were honorable mention recipients.
For Mr. Kleiner, this comes on the heels of Norwegian American Weekly citing Beyond the Cold as “a great book to give and get” in its Christmas catalog. “I now have winter and summer covered,” jokes Kleiner. “The Beach Book Festival announced the winners on its site on Monday (June 1) and I scrolled down and saw my name in first place. Obviously, it was overwhelming to see my name in first place. The ceremony was four days later.”
The book chronicles Kleiner’s year living in Norway with his family at age 11, attending a Norwegian school, learning a different language, new sports and about Norwegian culture. He has returned five times as an adult, and he develops an affinity and passion for the country, its culture and people although he is not of Norwegian descent. Not only does he find a second home and family, but a country that is more than cold weather and that these intercultural experiences contributed to the person he has become. Beyond the Cold is written with warmth, sensitivity, humor, caring and insight. There are a number of accounts of Norwegian’s resistance during WWII and personally meeting Jewish and non-Jewish survivors in Norway and other European countries. He also includes research about places he visits and Norwegian history and customs. The combination of childhood memories and adult experiences and perspective makes the book unique.
In addition to readers, Beyond the Cold has been reviewed favorably by Fjell og Vidde, Norway’s largest outdoors magazine; The Norseman, a magazine for Norwegians and friends of Norway outside the country; is listed among Books about Norway on The National Geographic Traveler 48 Hours in Oslo blog, right there with Sigrid Undset and Henrik Ibsen. Last October, he was invited to the four-day Norwegian Fall Festival, the largest Scandinavian festival in North America - approximately 60,000 people -- held in Minot, ND.
The book is available through his web site - http://www.beyondthecold.com - which also has blogcasts of his appearances; Infinity Publishing’s web site store - http://www.buybooksontheweb.com, as well as Amazon and barnesandnoble.com. For the other suggested summer reads see http://www.beachbookfestival.com. Mr. Kleiner operates his own public relations and web site business with a concentration on authors, small businesses and special events (http://www.kleinerprweb.com). A past president of the Mt. Airy Philadellphia) Business Association, he is a graduate of Germantown Friends School, Rutgers University (B.A. in Journalism and History) and Temple University (Ed.M in Educational Media).
JM Northern Media LLC is a company focused on media and the people who make it. Founded in 1999, JM Northern produces annual events and report on the people who are making things happen in the world of digital media and beyond. In addition to its stand-alone productions, JM Northern has co-sponsored educational events in conjunction with CMJ, 2NMC, MusicFest NW, Harvard Law and many other well-known institutions. Their properties include The DIY Convention: Do It Yourself in Film, Music & Books; The DIY Music Festival; The DIY Film Festival; The DIY Book Festival; The New York Book Festival; The Hollywood Book Festival; OFFtheCHARTS.com; The DIYReporter.com; BookFestivals.com. The symbolism of having the awards ceremony at the Algonquin Hotel was not lost on the independently published authors in attendance.
Members of the “Round Table” or “Vicious Circle” were (http://www.algonquinroundtable.org) : Franklin P. Adams (1881-1960): newspaper columnist; Robert Benchley (1889-1945): Vanity Fair managing editor, Life drama editor, humorist and actor; Heywood Broun (1888-1939): sportswriter and co-founder of the Newspaper Guild; Marc Connelly (1890-1980): newspaperman and Pulitzer Prize winning playwright; Edna Ferber (1887-1968): Pulitzer Prize winning novelist and playwright; Margalo Gillmore (1897-1986): actress, who starred in early Eugene O’Neill plays; Jane Grant (1892-1972): first female general assignment reporter at the New York Times, and co-founder of The New Yorker with husband Harold Ross; Ruth Hale (1887-1934): Broadway press agent, advocate for the 19th Amendment for women’s rights, and wife of Heywood Broun; Beatrice B. Kaufman (1894-1945): editor, writer, socialite and wife of George S. Kaufman (1889-1961): playwright, New York Times drama editor, producer, director, actor, author of 45 plays, two of which won Pulitzer Prizes; Margaret Leech Pulitzer (1894-1974): magazine short story writer turned serious historian and wife of Ralph Pulitzer. After his death, she earned two Pulitzer Prizes in history; Neysa McMein (1888-1949): popular magazine cover illustrator and painter; Herman J. Mankiewicz (1897-1953): press agent, early New Yorker drama critic; produced Marx Brothers movies and won an Oscar for co-writing Citizen Kane; Harpo Marx (1888-1964): silent actor, comedian, and musician of the Marx Brothers films; William B. Murray (1890-1949): writer, music critic and publicist; Dorothy Parker (1893-1967): Vanity Fair, New Yorker drama critic; celebrated poet, short-story writer, playwright, and champion for social justice; Brock Pemberton (1885-1950): Broadway producer and director; Murdock Pemberton (1888-1982): Broadway press agent and first art critic for The New Yorker; Harold Ross (1892-1951): founded The New Yorker with his wife, Jane Grant. He ran the magazine from 1925 until his death; Arthur H. Samuels (1888-1938): Editor of Harper’s Bazaar; Robert E. Sherwood (1896-1955): Vanity Fair drama editor, Life editor, author, playwright, who won four Pulitzer Prizes, as well as an Oscar for writing The Best Years of Our Lives; Laurence Stallings (1895-1968): Ex-reporter, editorial writer for New York World; Donald Ogden Stewart (1894-1980): author, playwright, screenwriter, who won Oscar for The Philadelphia Story, but blacklisted during Red Scare in 1950s and barred from United States; Frank Sullivan (1892-1976): journalist and humorist, who was a frequent contributor to The New Yorker. Deems Taylor (1886-1966): Music critic turned populist composer and narrator of Disney classic Fantasia; John Peter Toohey (1880-1946): theater press agent for Dinner at Eight, You Can't Take It with You, Of Mice and Men, The Man Who Came to Dinner; David Wallace (1889-1955): theatrical press agent; John V. A. Weaver (1893-1938): poet who wrote in street vernacular, literary editor of the Brooklyn Eagle and husband of Peggy Wood (1892-1978): actress in musical comedies, plays, and an early TV star; and Alexander Woollcott (1887-1943): drama critic for New York Times and New York World, and CBS radio star as the Town Crier.
Michael Kleiner Announces Publication
of Beyond the Cold: An American’s Warm Portrait of Norway
What effect does a year spent in another country have on a child? Is it just another year in his childhood no different than any of the others? Or can it be a turning point influencing his future endeavors, work, opinions, relations with people? Can he adopt a culture not his own? What happens when he returns to that country as an adult and then makes subsequent visits?
Michael Kleiner takes us on an interesting and unique journey -- his journey -- in Beyond the Cold: An American’s Warm Portrait of Norway (Infinity Publishing), from living in Norway as an 11-year old with his family to returning for the first time 16 years later as an adult through five more visits, one that includes a summer attending the International Summer School at the University of Oslo with 500 students from 70 countries, and finally his honeymoon. Writing in a journal style with warmth, sensitivity, humor, caring, and insight, Kleiner shows how he develops a strong affinity, appreciation and passion for this Northern country, its culture, beauty and people. As the story progresses, he moves beyond just the wonderful reunions with friends and descriptions of his experiences and travels around the country, to making commentary on Norwegian and American societies. This timeline from childhood to adulthood makes the book different than usual travel essay type books which are written only from adult perspectives. He succeeds in debunking a few myths about Norway, as a country of only cold weather and cold people, thus the title, Beyond the Cold. Interspersed between his trips -- which are usually a few years apart -- he tells us what is happening in his life here in America.While discovering the value of multicultural experience and a second home, he unknowingly fulfills his father’s unconscious purposes in bringing the family to Norway.
Robert Kleiner served in Norway in the army after World War II (right in 1946) and fell in love with the country. He promised when he had a family he would take them there someday. That promise was realized in 1969 when as a professor of sociology at Temple University, he received a sabbatical to do research and chose Norway to do it. What father and son would not realize was how life altering the year overseas would be.
“Actually my interest in knowing about this country started before we even left,” says Michael. “My father recalls telling me about his experiences in Norway as a soldier at the end of World War II and that Norway had won the most medals at the 1968 Winter Olympics. For the 1968 Christmas holiday program at my school, the theme was the winter wonderland and each student in my fifth grade class had to pick a country to represent and I chose Norway. As a way of telling my class about my impending trip, I presented a report on Norway. Since then through my actual experiences in Norway and with Norwegians, my learning and fondness has been enhanced.”
Michael did not return to Norway until 1986 as 27-year old adult, which was very emotional and nostalgic. As he writes in that chapter: “It is not many people who can return to a place 16 years after being there, having crossed a childhood-adult timeline...Perhaps, this trip was a type of rite of passage, a final crossing between childhood and adulthood.”
How powerful a year abroad can have on a child shows itself in two examples. The first chapter about the year away is written from memory -- by what happened in each month. When Michael’s Norwegian friend, Eivind, prepared to return to the United States 20 years after living here with his family, he commented, “It’s strange. I don’t remember much about my life before the year in America, but remember things vividly from that year. Then I came home. I remember some things from high school. I talked to (his brother) Olav about it and he said the same thing.”
Dr. Kleiner writes in the Foreword, “I had no idea of the depth of the meaning this experience had for Michael, or what it would lead to in the intervening years. During those years, the family saw his affection for the country mature and his appreciation of its culture, its social system, language and people grow as well. The family witnessed his reading, traveling, writing and talking about Norway, as well as his commitment to studying the language. As the plans and discussions for the book began to crystallize, I became increasingly aware and impressed with how much people miss in the experiences and emotional reactions of those close to them even though they may be together physically. When we share those same experiences, we may laugh together; we may cry together; or do the opposite at the same time. We don’t always know what stimulates such reactions in others, although we often think we do.”
With his subsequent visits, Michael not only felt he had a second home but a Norwegian family, despite the time that passed between trips. When the idea of a book came to mind, “The friendliness, warmth, genuineness and generosity of the Norwegian people were the most important aspects I wanted to convey,” he writes in the Introduction. “The people I am writing about are our friends and not the readers’. The average traveler will not know anyone in Norway who can help them enjoy the country. As I had experiences with Norwegians outside this established circle of friends, it reinforced my feelings about the sincerity of the Norwegian people.”
Dr. Kleiner also believes that the special qualities of the book lie in the fact that it can’t be strictly characterized as a travel book. “Friends and colleague ask: ‘Is it a travel book? Is it autobiographical? Is it psychological?’ It is not any of these specifically. It is all of these and more. It is about a relationship between an individual and a country he came to know over a 35-year period. It is about how an individual, from childhood to adulthood, was repeatedly influenced by accumulating past experiences and by new ones in that relationship. As the book unfolds, he shows with great skill how Norway’s natural environment, history, culture and the characteristics of its people permeated and molded this relationship and how it influenced the author himself. He also juxtaposes this process with the influences of selective aspects of American history, culture, and the characteristics of many Americans during this same period of time and himself as well. However, the reader may not be looking for all of these complexities, and may only be interested in having a warm intimate experience with Norway. This book will provide just such an experience.”
Contact Michael Kleiner, 215.704.2397; firstname.lastname@example.org
“I truly loved this book. My father left home (Bruvik, Norway) in 1937 and brought his family back for three marvelous summers during my youth. As I read “Beyond the Cold”, I found myself traveling back in time, reliving the countless memories that I wasn’t even aware I had. My only regret is that I haven’t been able to take a similar trip with my boys back to their Grandfather’s homeland. At least I’ve been able to share this book with them. Well done Michael, you’re a gifted writer. ”
Norwegian American Chamber
of Commerce, Philadelphia Chapter
“Like the author, I am not of Norwegian heritage but through fortuitous circumstances I have developed strong bonds with the country and people. I have traveled extensively in Norway and while so much of this book was familiar to me - which I enjoyed - there was also much that I learned from it such as details about Norway and World War II. I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to learn more about Norway and for any Norway fans who want to reaffirm their love of this country.”
Name withheld upon request. Her family hosted a Norwegian foreign exchange student and their son then reciprocated. He now works and lives in Norway.“While we may know Norway to be a frigid country, Michael Kleiner brings out the warmth and gracious hospitality of the Norwegian people in his book, Beyond the Cold -- a perfect title. Even the word 'Cold' on the cover is framed in snow and ice, but inside the covers, so to speak, is a delightful memoir of an eleven-year-old boy and his family moving to Norway for a year, 1969-70. His description of the school he attends, his teachers, and the children he meets are experiences that any child would encounter in a foreign country. The author also describes in detail the Norwegian educational system, their sports, their mode of transportation during the long winter months (what else but skis?), the many museums, parks, and the homes of numerous new friends he and his family meet. His description of the Norwegian scenery is spectacular and tempts you to visit this beautiful country. For those who are interested in sports, he talks at length about the winter Olympics at Lillehammer and about the Holmenkollen Ski Jump. Sixteen years later in 1986, the author, now an adult, returns to Norway and reminisces with the people he met and the places he visited. If you were thinking of visiting Norway and Sweden, this is an ideal book to read. It is well written, well documented, and a fun book to read, especially when sitting by a warm fire on a cold wintery night. If you enjoy this book, and I believe you will, you may want to read Memoirs of an American Housewife in Japan. I had similar experiences while living in Japan from 1944 to 1996. Travel memoirs are a great read that take you vicariously to a foreign country without ever leaving your comfortable chair.”
Pauline Hager, Author
Memoirs of an American Housewife in Japan
“Michael Kleiner’s book is an interesting combination of a diary, travelogue and autobiography, regarding the country and people of Norway from the perspective of a young boy to a grown man. During seven visits to Norway, he develops the theme of his warm, intimate experiences in Norway. With each visit, he dispels the myth of the reserved, somewhat cold and hard to get to know persona of Norwegians to one of friendliness, warmth, integrity, and generosity of the north people.
“As a child of eleven in 1970, he describes the school system with different schedules every day and school on Saturday morning! Norwegians loved Donald Duck, had only one TV station with no commercials, skied everywhere and shopped in specialty stores. The idea of being snowbound was not a concept, and darkness never stopped any activity. In these early years his love for Freia Chocolate and Maarud Potato Chips began a lifetime of indulgence.
“At 27 years of age, a winter visit described -10 degrees F and six hours of light in winter and only 6 hours of darkness in summer. Unlike in America, one foot of snow three times per week did not prove to be a problem to getting around with a car, walking, or skiing. It was during this visit that he described Oslo and the constant views of water and mountains as well as the many museums available: Kon Tki/Ra, Maritime, Fram Polarship and Viking Museums.
“He beautifully described the Frognerseteren Park where people went to walk and ski and the Frogner (Vigeland) Park where the cycle of life sculptures proved to be fun and free. Also, he described the Norway Resistance Museum, detailing the 1940-45 German occupation of Norway. Being Jewish, he described the Jewish Community of 825 Jews in Oslo and their hospitality to him. He noted that he was not just visiting a city, but a city with people who not only made it enjoyable but revitalized and restored his faith in human kindness.
“Kleiner’s two visits in 1990 provide detailed descriptions of the Heroes of Telemark and their destruction of the heavy water factory (Vemork), which was occupied by the Germans. He elaborated on the Jews in Norway before and after the war compared to those living in Sweden and Denmark. And by so doing, he described the Nordic concept of justice. He went on to paint his return visit to the Holmenkollen Ski Jump, the beauty of Lillehammer and the train trip to Bergen, including the resort town of Geilo, which brought back memories of a great reindeer sled ride expedition with the Sami people as a child. His descriptions of Voss and Dale (the sweater town) were picturesque. Arriving in Bergen, he noted that it was always raining!
“Kleiner visited again for eight weeks of language training at the International Summer School in Oslo in 1992, hoping that being fluent in Norwegian would land him a job at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer. Although being interviewed and treated “royally” by the Olympic officials, he did not receive a job offer. As part of learning the culture, he describes travel to a 100 acre teaching farm, the discussion of the problems with immigrant populations and public assistance programs, and an exciting trip above the Arctic Circle to the Lofoten Islands.
“Visiting again with his friend, Mark in 1996, he again brought up the potato chips and chocolate, the ever popular Peppe's Pizza, the Aker Brygge, where the museums were located, the political system of 8 parties, and the description of the health care system as described by a medical doctor friend.
“The last trip was in August of 1997 with his wife Lisa on their honeymoon, when he returned to beloved places and explored north of Oslo, Geiranger, West Cape, Selje and Bergen. Visiting old friends, with whom the reader becomes familiar, he describes their generosity to him and his wife.
“Certainly, Michael Kleiner shares many beautiful trips, everyday foods, and many humorous stories of the kind people called Norwegians. Some observations reiterated throughout the book include:
- Norwegians are relaxed, less tense and less fast-paced than we Americans.
- Norway makes him believe in the potential of human kindness and friendship.
- There is no such thing as bad weather only bad clothing.
- Darkness does not stop a Norwegian.
- Feet are a means of transportation.
- Red is cheaper paint while white paint shows a bit of wealth - hence all the red houses and barns with white trim in Norway and red barns through the mid and upper Midwest and great northern plains in America.“Michael Kleiner has created a refreshing story of a beautiful country filled with uniquely kind people. It is well worth reading! ”
Jean Peyer, Sons of Norway, Long Island, NY
“The author clearly loves Norway. His enthusiasm and affection for and his breadth of knowledge of the people, history, culture and contemporary political environment of Norway pour out of every page. I am sure anyone who reads this will come away thinking that he or she too need to visit Norway at some point in his or her life. His writing style was conversational and well done. There were few (if any typos) or editorial errors that marred the enjoyment or reading of the text. Well done.”
“Michael Kleiner is an American with no Norwegian roots, whose first visit to Norway occurred when he was 11 years old. That was the beginning of a fascination with Norway that resulted in many additional visits. Michael moved to Norway with his parents for a while and he attended school in Oslo and, as an adult, he attended the International Summer School. The book is based on Kleiner’s visits and personal experiences. That the book is highly personal is reinforced by the introduction, written by the author’s father, who was also the person who introduced Michael to Norway.
Robert Kleiner writes: ‘My first reactions to the book are that it is charming and most engaging. It is written with warmth and sensitivity, with humor and caring, with appreciation and insight. My second set of reactions is somewhat more complicated and is also influenced by questions raised by friends and colleagues. They ask: ‘Is it a travel book? Is it autobiographical? Is it psychological?’ It is all of these and more. It is about a relationship between an individual and a country he came to know over a 35-year period. It is about how an individual, from childhood to adulthood, was repeatedly influenced by accumulating past experiences and by new ones in that relationship. As the book unfolds, he shows with great skill how Norway’s natural environment, history, culture and the characteristics of its people permeated and molded this relationship and how it influenced the author himself. He also juxtaposes this process with the influences of selective aspects of American history, culture and the characteristics of many Americans during this same period of time and himself as well.’
“Articles by Michael Kleiner have appeared in The Norseman. ”
The Norseman, September, 2007
“Beyond the Cold is not the usual sort of travel guide. Instead it is a reconstruction of his seven trips to Norway, beginning with his immersion as a boy of 10. In each journey, he reveals different facets of his beloved Norway, from the Norwegian schoolyard and winter wonder he experienced as a child to the political climate he saw as an adult. Kleiner’s childhood memoirs are particularly fascinating...Written in a straightforward style, Beyond the Cold contains some fascinating asides about Norwegian history and culture...his affection for his second home shines through on every page...”
BookWire, May 11, 2006
“...Kleiner sees his book as more than just a travel book, its audience more than just Norwegian-Americans. It’s for people who want to know more about the country. It’s for people who want to see the long-term effects of living abroad as a child. It’s for people who have little more knowledge of Norway than cold weather. One day, Kleiner hopes to take his entire family there and instill in them the love he has for the land and its people. For now, they, and everyone else, can experience it between the pages of his book, finding the warmth that resides beneath a frigid exterior.”
Chestnut Hill Local, July 6, 2006
“Beyond the Cold” was a good and interesting book on several levels. One, it gave a good sense of Norway and the Norwegian people, their interpersonal relationships, and world view. The second was the autobiographical aspect of seeing a young man’s experiences that help shape him as I have come to know him over these last few years. This book in a quiet way makes an important case for a much broader educational experience about the need to know different cultures and the world views of different peoples for all of our young people. I wish I had had the international oportunities when I grew up.”
Sol Levy, Ph. D., Philadelphia
“If I had known this book was so realistic, I would have wore my parka, snow boots, ear muffs and put in for a two-week vacation from work. I anticipated picking this book up again and again. Getting a nice hot cup of tea and letting Michael take me along with him to Norway, the Arctic Circle, through the mountains and on his train rides brought a whole new meaning to “Beyond the Cold” as just being the title of the book. I mean I was actually with him and seeing Northern lights, day and night at the same time and meeting some of the warmest people I've ever met. I would often stop reading, close my eyes, and be right there. Read It! Experience the warm feelings of (one of) the coldest parts of the world...”
Tina Harris, Philadelphia
“Beyond the Cold will enthrall you with its warm insights into Norwegian culture and his introductions to the many friends that he has made during his travels around Norway. Kleiner insightfully describes attractions that you will surely want to visit on your travels to Norway. Or even if you never get to Norway, you will feel as if you’ve been there and have met Kleiner’s friends. From the author’s warm remembrances I learned that wherever your travels may take you, mixing and living with the locals adds a unique value and perspective that you will treasure always. Even though I do not normally read this type of non-fiction, the book held my attention and made we want to read on once I started it. Beyond the Cold is well written and tightly edited. I heartily recommend it.”
Carl E. Jaske, Upper Arlington, OH
“I am no stranger to fine travel books, memoirs, or books that define other cultures. But Michael Kleiner’s Beyond the Cold gives us all three in one. Beginning at age 11, when he and his family spent a full year in Norway, continuing through his seven return trips, this author lived and learned amongst Norwegians. He traveled the country with the refreshing eye of a native exploring his homeland for the first time, as he visited and revisited places of particular interest over a course of twenty-some years. We are treated to an insider’s view of the sites, hearts and minds of these people and the emotional tug these elements evoked for him as a growing boy and at various stages in his adult life. I could feel the excitement of discovery as I vicariously strolled through Frogner Park, giggling at the site of the charming statue of a young child in the midst of a temper tantrum! I could feel the anxiety of the author as an eleven-year old boy, suddenly plunged into a foreign country, all at once confronted with the multiple adjustments of new language, peer group, geography, climate, and customs. I learned a bit about Norwegian history, their museums, culinary treats, and ski trails. But most of all, this American author helped me internalize the meaning of true friendship through the warmth of the Norwegian people, their customs, lifestyle and values.”
Lois W. Stern
Author, Sex, Lies & Cosmetic Surgery
“A Warm Portrait of Norway and A Man
I usually read a book to be inspired, educated, or entertained. BEYOND THE COLD managed to do all three. Being a Nature lover, the cover alone was alluring. Once on the journey inside, I was introduced to a country, a culture, and the sensitivity of a man and a family that took me there. I was left with a desire to feel the Norway ‘cold’ on my own face and the ‘warmth’ of these people in my own heart. The author is a family oriented man, a man that treasures his roots and experiences in two countries and he shares them with the reader freely. We learn about the topography and the lifestyle of an incredibly beautiful country. Lasting friendships that have overcome the drain of distance and time, illustrate the fact that all of us can nurture understandings and friendships that do cross distances, cultures, and rare reunions. And maybe we don’t even have to travel across the world to experience this phenomenon. Maybe we can start with our neighbors and a warm smile. Thank you for the insight, Mr. Kleiner.”
Susan C. Haley, Author
Rainy Day People (book and audio book)
Photographs of Michael Kleiner which can be downloaded. Photos by Butler Prestige Photo.
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The book may be purchased at or call 877-BUY-BOOK or 610-941-9999.
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Phone: (206) 784-7020
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