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.