Abandoned as a baby, Alfgrimur is content to spend his days as a fisherman living in the turf cottage outside Reykjavik with the elderly couple he calls grandmother and grandfather. There he shares the mid-loft with a motley bunch of eccentrics and philosophers who find refuge in the simple respect for their fellow men that is the ethos at the Brekkukot. But the narrow horizons of Alfgrimur's idyllic childhood are challenged when he starts school and meets Iceland's most famous singer, the mysterious Garoar Holm. Garoar encourages him to aim for the "one true note", but how can he attain it without leaving behind the world that he loves?
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(198mm x 129mm x 16mm)
The Harvill Press
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Country of Publication:
US Kirkus Review »
A welcome reissue of the 1955 Nobel laureate's 1957 novel about an abandoned boy's embattled growth to manhood in an Icelandic village, complicated by his kinship with generations of fisherfolk and his fixation on an internationally famous opera singer. This lively bildungsroman - which dramatizes with considerable variety and humor the ideal of community and the phenomenon of a "backward" country's mixed feelings toward the outside world and "progress" - is enriched by a bountiful gallery of sharply drawn eccentric characters. Altogether, one of this great writer's most unusual and attractive books. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Halldor Laxness
HALLDOR LAXNESS (1902-98) was born near Reykjavik, Iceland. His first novel was published when he was 17. The undisputed master of contemporary Icelandic fiction and one of the outstanding novelists of the twentieth century, his work was translated into more than 30 languages. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1955.