, 2003 - Fiction
- 272 pages
In ABSOLUTION, OlafOlafsson. one of Iceland's preeminent and bestselling novelists, gives us the putative memoirs of an Icelandic expatriate living in New York in the autumn of his life. a degenerate, self-styled captain of industry and aesthete who has endured two failed marriages and whose children are "a testimony to a mistake." Peter Peterson is a man wracked by nightmares ofa crime of passion he may have committed half a century ago out of unrequited love, a crime that has shaped the rest of his life. His memoirs a confession ranging from his placid bourgeois boyhood in Reykjavik, to his days as a student in Nazi-occupied Denmark, to his ferocious rise as an immigrant entrepreneur in New York are refracted not only through his paranoia, manipulativeness. vanity, crazed cynicism, and wry humor, but also through the sensibility ofa compulsive fellow countryman who has translated and edited Peterson's scribblings in the settling of Peterson's estate and who might have made them very much his own. Sly, highly intelligent, and lucid, ABSOLUTION is a brilliant anatomy of obsession, desire, and self-deception.