Tuesday, 29 May 2007

The Fish can Sing by Halldor Laxness

This is a delightful coming of age novel set in Iceland at the point where its traditional way of life was starting to be threatened by the modern culture of mainland Europe. Alfgrimur has a simple ambition, to live in his village forever, fishing for lumpfish, but it doesn't look as though it will be that easy. Every so often the 'world famous Icelandic singer' Gardar Holm comes home to the island and the novel is punctuated by these visits and their effects on Alfgrimur and his friends and family. The book is moving and extremely funny in its portrayal of a culture tied to the land as it struggles with the forces of modernisation.

Halldor Laxness won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1955.

4 comments:

nĂ  said...

this sounds like a fascinating book which i shall keep an eye out when in england over the summer! was fascinated by the common ground link on the previous post too! thanks!

Pierre Tristam said...

I've had Laxness's "The Atom Station" radiating by my bedside for about a year now. This is just the push I need to read it.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Na - yes do look out for it!

Pierre - The Atom Station is an excellent book too! I hope you enjoy it!

kate said...

I'm adding this to my reading list. Thank you!