Author: Halldor Kiljan Laxness ISBN 10: 1860466877. The pace is quite slow, you can actually read it as short stories in the majority of chapters, since the main character usually describes people and their life stories. I am indulging myself by re-reading this literary gem, and what a perfect book it is. There was an error retrieving your Wish Lists. The orphan Alfgrimur has spent an idyllic childhood sheltered in the simple turf cottage of a generous and eccentric elderly couple. The Fish Can Sing, by Halldór Laxness, Vintage Reprint edition, 2008, 272 pp. But here is a kinder, more universal writer, and this story of an idyllic childhood lived in poverty and extreme eccentricity and hospitality, and of a vocation for song is an absolute delight. Even the clock chimes it as the syllables of "eternity" and the old pastor is certain of it daily. We work hard to protect your security and privacy. Will be clean, not soiled or stained. Plot summary. He is beyond comparison, but Laxness can perhaps be likened to Hemingway, if Hemingway liked people. Born Halldór Guðjónsson, he adopted the surname Laxness in honour of Laxnes in Mosfellssveit where he grew up, his family having moved from Reyjavík in 1905. His mother stayed, like so many others, for some … This is the same book as, in the English version, is called The Fish Can Sing, Loved the earlier part of the book, an Icelandic. The Fish Can Sing is the story of little Álfgrímur whose mother gave birth just before emigrating to the US and left the baby behind at Brekkukot where he is adopted by the man and the woman he will call grandparents. Book Number 8: The Fish Can Sing, by Halldór LaxnessCountry: IcelandTo be honest, most of the time I forget Iceland even exists. The style of writing is really captivating and beautiful, it really transported me to another time and space. The Fish Can Sing (Vintage International). The only thing I regret is that we see so little of Iceland; but then I suppose in midwinter it is always in darkness and maybe scenery is not something of importance in Iceland. The Fish Can Sing is one of Nobel Prize winner Halldór Laxness's most beloved novels, a poignant coming-of-age tale marked with his peculiar blend of light irony and dark humor. I read it in Iceland, continuing my vow to read only local authors when I travel the world. Young Alfgrímur, who shares a bed in a cramped loft with these misfits, absorbs their solemn tales and regards them all as bygone heroes. Alfgrimur dreams only of becoming a fisherman like his adoptive grandfather, until he … Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group Release Date: February 19, 2008 Imprint: Vintage ISBN: 9780307389343 Language: English Download options: EPUB 2 (Adobe DRM) The Fish Can Sing (Icelandic: Brekkukotsannáll) is a 1957 novel by Icelandic author Halldór Laxness, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1955. After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in. "I found Grandpa Jon on my first day in the second class, and he me. That genre generally is not my first choice in reading. Quick Links View All Music News & Features View All Christian Music Videos. A hound dog for a best friend. The latter also represent the pro-Danes group as well as the influence of the wider world; a world that will threaten the livelihood of the local fishermen, like Bjorn of Brekkukot, Alfgrimur's grandfather... Reykjavik today is such an interesting place. I know that this book is very well regarded but I was bored. This apparently simple, plainly-told chronicle is enhanced by an off-hand, engaging drollery, which is rather like the conjurer’s flourish that distracts us from the rabbit (ultimately revealed to be a dove) we suspect is in the hat. Not as stunning as Independent People, but still a special novel. Laxness loves them. The main protagonist in this book always says he just wants to be a fisherman like his guardian but he is much too talented and is gently guided by the whole community into a more challenging career. Laxness paints a broad canvas here before settling into the novel's plot; we learn countless small details of everyday life in a small Icelandic village, nearby the capital that is itself a tiny blip on the world map. The closely-knit community - fishermen, former navy men, the local priest, and the "old women" who look after them all - at the outskirts of what will eventually become Iceland's capital, Reykjavik - are lovingly portrayed and contrasted with the up-and-coming, wealthier merchant class that threatens the perceived peaceful and harmonious life of the community. I'm aware things went over my head to, it's easy to get lost in the paragrahs, but I think this worth reading, and I realize merit even though I had difficulty with it. It seems that several characters speak about the "one pure note". As a protagonist he is nothing special, but the book's strength lies more in its themes and patterns than in characterization. Reviewed in the United States on April 20, 2019. The Fish Can Sing is one of Nobel Prize winner Halldór Laxness’s most beloved novels, a poignant coming-of-age tale marked with his peculiar blend of light irony and dark humor. I have a feeling that I describe every other Icelandic book as weird. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required. And that oysters keep track of time? We’d love your help. It is a charming novel dealing with the coming of age of Álfgrímur, an orphan brought up by his 'grandparents' in a small village in Iceland (Reykjavík, in the days when it was a small village). Iceland and Ireland only differ by one letter, and it's Flann O'Brtien that I'm first of all reminded by in the hilarious and merciless humour of Halldor Laxness when he writes of his ain folk, the plain people of Iceland. His first novel was published when he was seventeen. 511 likes. But time passes. The main characters in "Fish" are no less poor but seen through the eyes of the main character this financial poverty is almost a virtue, counteracted by the emotional wealth. The undisputed master of contemporary Icelandic fiction, and one of the outstanding novelists of the century, he wrote more than sixty books, including novels, short stories, essays, poems, plays, and memoirs. But I would not give 'The Fish Can Sing' as a gift. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. He published his first novel at the age of only 17, the beginning of a long literary career of more than 60 books, including novels, short stories, poetry, and plays. A reader should also approach, with all of their little brain cells firing at top speed, any book … If you like slapstick and the columnist Dave Barry, the humor may appeal to you. Two years after being awarded the Nobel Prize, Laxness published this bildungsroman about the young Icelander Álfgrímur whose coming-of-age at the beginning of the 20th century coincides with the advancement of capitalist modernity in Iceland. An off-beat, amusing, and somewhat sweet novel, The Fish Can Sing was very different from the only other Laxness novel I've read, Independent People, which I recall as powerful and bleak. Many reviews are very ecstatic about this coming-of-age novel, set in Iceland. Halldór Laxness is undoubtedly Iceland's most famous writer. Find all the books, read about the author, and more. It consists largely of brief character sketches and isolated episodes, linked by their connection to Brekkukot and Alfgrimur. Reviewed in the United States on March 3, 2012. Our preschool music class does! Ideal for book clubs as there is so much to talk about. The Fish Can Sing by Halld?r Kiljan Laxness A readable copy. It's odd, too, leafing through the book after I finished it I saw little moments here and there that glinted at m. I've been wanting to read "Independent People" for ages, but this title was much more appealing so I read this instead. The orphan Alfgrimur has spent an idyllic childhood sheltered in the simple turf cottage of a generous and eccentric elderly couple. by Vintage Classics. Wasn't disappointed. September 28th 2001 The orphan Alfgrimur has spent an idyllic childhood sheltered in the simple turf cottage of a generous and eccentric elderly couple. This lively bildungsroman—which dramatizes with considerable variety and humor the ideal of … Beautifully crafted and paced, with an authorial voice that doesn’t miss a trick, this novel has me looking for more from Laxness. Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 13, 2018. In his descriptions of people and place, Laxness's affecting sense of irony often makes light of the precarious situation in which most of the traditionally-minded locals in the "village" find themselves. Some of these items ship sooner than the others. At ThriftBooks, our motto is: Read More, Spend Less. It's a book where people sit around smoking fish... and yet it's a great read. For years now I’ve loved the work of Halldor Laxness, Iceland’s pre-eminent man of letters, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1955 but now is seldom read. It reminded me of my youth when all I wanted to do while growing up was work in a dress shop. The orphan Alfgrimur has spent an idyllic childhood sheltered in the simple turf cottage of … This coming-of-age story centers on the orphan Álfgrímur and his relationship to his very small world. I have a feeling that I describe every other Icelandic book as weird. Confirmed a Catholic in 1923, he later moved away from religion and for a l, Born Halldór Guðjónsson, he adopted the surname Laxness in honour of Laxnes in Mosfellssveit where he grew up, his family having moved from Reyjavík in 1905. It wasn't something we covered in Geography classes at school, it isn't… Where Independent People is dark and brooding in The Fish Can Sing the story is warm and humorous. Laxness brings together a catalog of eccentric characters and peculiar anecdotes to tell the story of Algrimur, an orphan taken in by an elderly couple that becomes his only family in a tiny village in the outskirts of Reykyjavík. This is one of those as well. There was a problem loading your book clubs. That’s because they receive a virtual visit once a week from a teaching naturalist from the Hood Canal Salmon Center. Confirmed a Catholic in 1923, he later moved away from religion and for a long time was sympathetic to Communist politics, which is evident in his novels, “A wise man once said that next to losing its mother, there is nothing more healthy for a child than to lose its father.”, “If he believed it all, he was just like those theologians who store their theology somewhere in a locked compartment of the brain, or rather, perhaps, like those travellers who carry a bottle of iodine in their luggage and take care to keep it tightly corked in case it leaks and ruins their belongings.”, Readers' Most Anticipated Books of December. Vastly enjoyable portrait of a bunch of eccentrics living in Reykjavik before it was called that, in a time when cow dung poultices were used to cure headaches and the old ballads were still sung. The Fish Can Sing is one of Nobel Prize winner Halldór Laxness’s most beloved novels, a poignant coming-of-age tale marked with his peculiar blend of light irony and dark humor. Holm travels the world and lives a life of ostensible luxury, yet the closer Alfgrimur grows to him the more he sees fame as fleeting and inauthentic. Reviewed in the United States on December 19, 2009. November 11, 2020 News. In order to navigate out of this carousel please use your heading shortcut key to navigate to the next or previous heading. More By and About This Author. The pace is quite slow, you can actually read it as short stories in the majority of chapters, since the main character usually describes people and their life stories. This sounds a little rude, and is an insult to Icelanders, but Iceland has never managed to really penetrate my consciousness. It is a gentle, humorous coming-of-age narrative written in the first person set in the early 1900s. The Fish Can Sing Laxness Halldor. Pages can include considerable notes-in pen or highlighter-but the notes cannot obscure the text. I took me a long time to finish this book, but that's only because you needn't rush through it to find out the story, you just enjoy in the moment and places described, a little at a time. The Fish Can Sing - by Halldor Laxness, 1957 (Translated by Magnus Magnusson) This is certainly one of my favourite novels; and, I would say - despite that it is translated from the Icelandic - one of the best I have read. The story goes that he was in the middle of writing "Brekkukotsannall" - translated (surprisingly) as The Fish Can Sing - when he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature (in 1955). It is marbled through with a deep and abiding concern for the welfare of the fame-less multitude, those individuals who live unnoticed and on what seem to others like the margins of life. A simple unsophistcated start thet set the local scene, as the book went on the humour became apparent and a greater depth of understanding the local philosophy ... rather like Charles Dickens in the details of the characters . It was harder to read than I expected, some bits were delightful, other times I wasn't sure what Laxness was getting at - I'm not sure if this is a translation thing or simply his style. Superficially, it is a coming of age story for both the boy and his country. Listen to Free Christian Music and Online Radio | 95.9 The Fish - OC, CA Always Uplifting! All pages are intact, and the cover is intact. To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. The orphan Alfgrimur has spent an idyllic childhood sheltered in the simple turf cottage of a generous and eccentric elderly couple. But because it´s Iceland, land of sagas, even the cows are epic to me. 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