Month: June 2014

Book Report: The Story of the Blue Planet

Book Report: The Story of the Blue Planet

My latest dive into Icelandic literature is The Story of the Blue Planet by Andri Snær Magnason, translated by Julian Meldon D’Arcy. At first every Icelandic novel I read was infuriatingly opaque. But with this book, I feel like I’m starting to get the Icelandic novel. Now the dreamlike atmosphere that so confused me in…

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Book Report: 101 Reykjavík

Book Report: 101 Reykjavík

You’re supposed to read the book first. The movie is never as good and it will limit your imagination when you do read the book. I know this. But I watched Baltasar Kormákur’s movie, 101 Reykjavík, before I knew it was based on Hallgrímur Helgason’s novel. I really liked the movie. It felt a lot…

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My First Time

My First Time

Within hours of my arrival in Sweden, I found myself surrounded by tall, thin boys shaking seawater out of their blonde hair, naked except for their soaked-to-translucent tighty-whiteys. It seemed that stereotypes about Sweden’s liberal behavior were confirmed. That night was a first for me, but not the kind you’re thinking.

Book Report: Heaven and Hell

Book Report: Heaven and Hell

Heaven and Hell is a ghost story. No, that’s not true. Heaven and Hell, by Icelandic novelist Jón Kalman Stefánsson, is merely narrated by ghosts, a tragic chorus of post-mortal souls belonging to an isolated fishing village, who bear witness to one boy’s tragic loss of his only friend. Heaven and Hell is a quiet, internal novel…

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The Rendezvous

The Rendezvous

Before there were blogs, I spent a quarter studying sustainable development in southern India. I maintained an email distribution list of friends who wanted updates on my travels. Many nights involved entertainments of the herbal or alcoholic kind; there were roof-top full-moon parties and midnight swims in the ocean (the garbage floating there was harder…

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The Bookslut Travel-writes Dangerously

The Bookslut Travel-writes Dangerously

I apologize. Once again, I ask you to work for a reblog. But I think this one is worth it. It’s a short piece, but manages to cover a lot of ground without feeling dense. If you like any of the things I usually write about here, you’ll probably find something to like in this post…

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Book Report: The Greenhouse

Book Report: The Greenhouse

The Greenhouse, by Audur Ava Olafsdottir, is instantly appealing, so it’s no surprise that Amazon Crossing chose to release Brian FitzGibbon’s translation. Its shy, modest protagonist has spent the years or so since his mother’s death caring for his aging father, his autistic twin brother, and his mother’s greenhouse, where he has cultivated a rare…

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