Iceland's Bell

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Dec 18, 2007 - Fiction - 448 pages
3 Reviews
Sometimes grim, sometimes uproarious, and always captivating, Iceland’s Bell by Nobel Laureate Halldór Laxness is at once an updating of the traditional Icelandic saga and a caustic social satire. At the close of the 17th century, Iceland is an oppressed Danish colony, suffering under extreme poverty, famine, and plague. A farmer and accused cord-thief named Jon Hreggvidsson makes a bawdy joke about the Danish king and soon after finds himself a fugitive charged with the murder of the king’s hangman.

In the years that follow, the hapless but resilient rogue Hreggvidsson becomes a pawn entangled in political and personal conflicts playing out on a far grander scale. Chief among these is the star-crossed love affair between Snaefridur, known as “Iceland’s Sun,” a beautiful, headstrong young noblewoman, and Arnas Arnaeus, the king’s antiquarian, an aristocrat whose worldly manner conceals a fierce devotion to his downtrodden countrymen. As their personal struggle plays itself out on an international stage, Iceland’s Bell creates a Dickensian canvas of heroism and venality, violence and tragedy, charged with narrative enchantment on every page.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - gbill - LibraryThing

I was turned on to Halldór Laxness by references to his work in David Mitchell’s recent novel The Bone Clocks, and am glad for it. I’ll say at the outset that Adam Haslett could not have put in any ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - lriley - LibraryThing

Not one of the most widely read of Nobel literature laureates he is at least IMO the best of them all. To describe at least one of his better works (Independent people, Salka Valka, World Light ... Read full review

Contents

Section 1
1
Section 2
3
Section 3
8
Section 4
26
Section 5
38
Section 6
44
Section 7
50
Section 8
56
Section 18
244
Section 19
250
Section 20
268
Section 21
274
Section 22
297
Section 23
309
Section 24
332
Section 25
336

Section 9
67
Section 10
113
Section 11
118
Section 12
137
Section 13
142
Section 14
161
Section 15
201
Section 16
222
Section 17
227
Section 26
349
Section 27
366
Section 28
373
Section 29
382
Section 30
389
Section 31
404
Section 32
407
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About the author (2007)

Halldór Laxness was born near Reykjavik, Iceland, in 1902. His first novel was published when he was seventeen. The undisputed master of contemporary Icelandic fiction, and one of the outstanding novelists of the century, he has written more than 60 books, including novels, short stories, essays, poems, plays, and memoirs. In 1955 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. He died in 1998.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

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