Shaped by a near-death experience at the age of six, Spike Santee is a seeker — one of those people who longs for the unknown, for the exotic. Love — or perhaps lust — eventually draws him from his Oregon home in 1968 to Norway, and eventually on to Sweden, where he proceeds to fall in and out of relationships with a succession of strong, intelligent women, while he grapples with a gnawing sense he is destined for something big — what remains to be seen.

In the tradition of The Good Soldier Švejk, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, or Another Roadside Attraction, Spike delivers a dose of wry observations on the human condition, through the lens of a young American male coming of age in societies whose attitudes toward everything from sex to politics to cuisine were — and largely still are — as un-American as surströmming.

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