Iceland: Land of the Sagas Paperback – Oct 6 1998
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From Publishers Weekly
In an ingenious approach to a little-viewed land, journalist/outdoorsman Roberts and Krakauer ( Eiger Dreams ) examine Iceland today through its principal literary heritage. The harsh backdrop of the heroic tales featuring the fierce, beautiful Gudrun Osvifrsdottirsp ok or courageous Burnt Njal is much the same as it was in the 13th century when the sagas, blending myth, history and fiction, were written. The most volcanic land in the world, with plentiful waterfalls and hot springs ("geyser" is from the Icelandic geysir ), the country is only four degrees from the Arctic Circle, yet, warmed by the Gulf Stream, possesses deep valleys and pastures to support indigenous populations of horses and sheep, as well as a quarter of a million people. In chapters such as "Of Monks and Vikings" and "Women and Winter," Roberts deftly examines Iceland's history and culture while Krakauer's 100 arresting color photos capture the land's topographical power.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Jon Krakauer is an editor-at-large for Outside magazine and is the author of Into Thin Air, Into the Wild, and Eiger Dreams. His work also appears in Smithsonian and National Geographic. He and his wife live in Colorado.
David Roberts is a contributing editor to Outside magazine and is the author of several books, including Once They Moved Like the Wind and In Search of the Old Ones.
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Top Customer Reviews
David Roberts digs deep into the sagas, quoting from such relatively abstruse sources as GIMLI'S SAGA, GRETTIR'S SAGA, and BARD'S SAGA. The helpful bibliography lists a number of works I never knew existed, including a book by Sir Richard Francis Burton, the African explorer, about a summer he spent in Iceland as well as a number of rare travel books written by Europeans going back as far as the 18th century. One thing unique about this book is that Roberts and Kracauer visit many out-of-the-way places mentioned in the sagas, such as the almost inaccessible Isle of Drangey, where Grettir the Strong met his death.
If you hope to visit Iceland, get this book first. It will give you not only an excellent background in the sagas but an awe for this isolated land that is so close and yet so far.
I found it to be an excellent introduction to Iceland. The first 40% of the book is devoted to a general introduction to the land, early history, and flora and fauna. After that, the authors intertwine travelogue and stories from the Icelandic sagas to give a picture of early Iceland, and how the history, geography and people have all combined to produce today's Iceland.
About half text, half stunning pictures, this book is a must-have!
Most recent customer reviews
If you read and appreciated the Icelandic Sagas, this should be a great book for you!
The pictures are very impressing, the text is solid and the impression is great.
I found the content interesting and relevant for those planing to visit Iceland. Unfortunately the quality of the photographic reproductions and binding were very poor. Read morePublished on July 24 2013 by James Evans
This book is a nice and poetic way to go through the history and cultural background of Iceland. It's not a travel guide and practical informations date back a little bit. Read morePublished on Sept. 17 2012 by vincenberg
The breathtaking photography in this book makes the purchase well worth it. This book is definitely a keeper for anyone with a love for Iceland. Read morePublished on Oct. 19 2000 by Jay Aitken
I bought this book with great anticipation, but left disappointed. There is some good material about the people and culture, but Roberts spends far too much time simply retelling... Read morePublished on Oct. 13 1999
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