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The ABBA fan's dream come true!
Everyone said that it couldn't be done - that the group he idolized, ABBA, would never come together again under one roof for a reunion concert. Undaunted, the boy runs away from his troubled home and makes his way to Sweden in search of Agnetha Faltskog, of ABBA. Chased by police in two countries, he crosses paths with people who have lost touch with their own dreams, inspiring them to reach for the "impossible" yet again and enchanting them into helping him make his vision come true. An inspiring and heart-warming story that will appeal to anyone, of any age - reminding us that any dream is possible.
Agnetha was slowly rocking her head back and forth as she listened to him, but now, something black and ominous was moving back in on her. It was like a cloud – a dark place where her fears and negative feelings lived. She was fighting herself again and fighting against the wall that she had put up to separate herself from the life she once lived as Agnetha Fältskog in ABBA. She watched this young boy speaking from the heart and found herself suddenly biting down on her lip to stop it from trembling. Morie reminded her of her youth, the days when she had big dreams, a time when there were no walls too high to climb, and no stars too distant to reach.
As she sat there listening to him, she felt her eyes watering up and the feeling of warm tears rolling down her cheeks.
I received this book through the Goodreads Firstreads program and was very excited to read it. This idea behind this story is very interesting. An 11 year old boy, Morie, became infatuated with ABBA and decided that it was his mission to get the band to perform once again. He started listening to the band at age 9 and had been plotting his adventure for two years. Due to his parent's marital strife he decides that he is going to virtually run away from his home in Buffalo, NY to Stockholm and, with the support of millions of other ABBA fans, appeal to Agnetha Faltskog, to convince the group to reunite. The characters that Morie meets along the way are very interesting, if too eager to help him on his quest. It seemed that there was a lack of obstacles along his journey which made the outcome seem almost a given instead of a challenge. As with every good short(er) story there was a lot of unanswered questions that kept you thinking after you've reached the ending so I would have preferred a little more back story to help me answer some them. I've resolved many of these questions but the one that still remains is why, when there are so many other classic bands to choose from, did Morie become obsessed with ABBA? There had to be some connection to his life that wasn't clear to me, otherwise how would he have even known to search for them on-line? That question plagued me throughout the story and knowing this from the beginning would have helped me with the rest of the story. Overall, it was an interesting read and I would definitely recommend. There are a few typos however that sometimes made the reading awkward but these can be easily overlooked.
I so love the ABBA story - it's my favorite Real Laplaine book so far.
Tom K. - Califonria
Aftonbladet - Swedish newspaper on FINDING AGNETHA
Interview with Réal Laplaine in AFTONBLADET, www.aftonbladet.se SUNDAY, 17 JULY 2011
Aftonbladet is one of the two national Swedish daily newspapers. It is read by about 3,000,000 readers on an average daily.
Headline: `ABBA performs on the island where Agnetha lives`
Interview by: Jessica Isaksson – reporter for Aftonbladet
A MOMENT … Réal Laplaine, 56, who has written a book about ABBA’s reunion after having seen “Mama Mia”.
Real: “The story is about an 11 year old boy who loves ABBA and decides to run away from his parents in USA, who are on the verge of divorce, and go to Sweden to convince ABBA to perform again. “
Q: Does it have a happy ending?
Real: “Yes, but it is excitement to the end. Following the pressure from people across the world, who hear about the rumored reunion ABBA concert, through the internet, and who are following the young boys’ adventure, ABBA finally performs on the island where Agnetha lives (Ekerö). The members of the group first have to talk through their own problems. The performance echoes across the whole world, and media from all over arrives to this small island in Sweden, to cover the live performance.“
Q: Have you seen ABBA live yourself?
Real: “No, but I have seen their performances on videos many times.”
Q: Will the book be released?
Real: “It has been sent to a Swedish publishers and will be sent to other publishing companies here in Sweden this upcoming week. “
Q: Finally, what do you wish most of all right now?
Real: “Of course, to get one of my books published here in Sweden would be fantastic, it would be great to get published here in Europe. But above all, I wish that my books will inspire others. I think this book will do that. It is all about a kid that never gives up, against all odds. “
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