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The Fish Can Sing by Halldor Laxness

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The Fish Can Sing by Halldor Laxness

The Fish Can Sing by Halldor Laxness

Gardar Holm is Iceland’s biggest celebrity.  He has brought Icelandic music to the world and travels to exotic locales to sing to crowds.  The odd thing is no one in Iceland has ever heard him sing…  Alfgrimur is a talented young man who sings at small funerals and has an excellent voice.  He doesn’t dream of singing to the world, he just wants to be a fisherman.  An odd friendship between Gardar and Alfgrimur forms over Gardar’s many visits to his mother and both puzzle out their futures in this land and beyond.

Typically I skip over the introductions of books.  But this one was written by Jane Smiley so I decided to read it.  I’m glad I did.  Otherwise I wouldn’t have understood the style the writer was going for: the story of a place through a period of time.  Yes, the characters matter, but only what they are doing when they are in this small section of a small city in Iceland.  It imitates the style of medieval chronicles except with dark humor.

Not for everyone; the writing is very good but you have to appreciate the absurd to truly enjoy it.
By | 2017-05-08T19:47:13+00:00 June 17th, 2013|SCLSNJ Recommended Reads|
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