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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 18, 2012
Once I started this book I found it hard to put down. It is one of the best books I've read in a long time. As a frequent visitor to Iceland it felt like the story was taking place in my own back yard. So weird at times it feels like a David Lynch film... Yet it is also extremely funny as well. It was well worth the price of admission, so to speak.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 16, 2013
Easy read, well paced story, with amusing overtones. Aplogies to ICeland, I expect, but an inteeresting work-up of a bland setting. Look for the sequel? The conclusion a surprise. Overall a fun book.
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on February 9, 2013
I laughed out lould throught out this book. Outrageous...because he tells it like it is. Spicy Croatian sausage meets sliced white bread. It;s outrageous what goes on in this sheltered society when a man of the world meets the cozy Icelanders. He either buys in or goes crazy...one of the best books I've read last year.

Too bad only two of hsi books are tranlated into English...both are a must read if you are tired of the same boring stuff. Makes you think about life and values today.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 3, 2013
i found it a bit far fetched and drab to read.the plot is shallow and has no real climax punch. i read it to the end but only with effort.
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on September 30, 2013
The first half is funny (black humour). Lots of word play. The pace slows down a little in the second half, but this is still a worthwhile read, particularly if you are somewhat interested in Iceland.
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on February 8, 2013
Fast paced beginning. Crediblity stretch at the boot camp born again revival but invested enough in the characters that I was left wanting more at the end.
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on February 1, 2013
Quirky book, read it on vacation. Great read on the beach. The author has a fabulous imagination. Don't think I will go to Iceland any time soon though.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 22, 2013
If you like to laugh while reading this book will do that for you.A very interesting writing style.Unfortunately if you are hoping to glean a few tips on house cleaning,this book is not for you.It covers a lot of different subjects.Just not house keeping.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 11, 2013
I read the first chapter and deleted it from my Kindle. This is not even on the scale of pulp fiction...it is somewhere way below that.
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
The witless naif who wanders around a foreign environment and calls it as he sees it, unintentionally bringing the oppositional truth to light, is a literary trope that has been around since the beginning of story-telling. Just consider Adam's initial exclamation when he first encounters Eve: 'Flesh of my flesh!' surely rates as the most original and mythical naif 'boner' of all time.

It's hard to improve on that, but the literary impulse is relentless, giving readers a rich heritage of unforgettable naif progeny, including Don Quixote, Prince Myshkin and Howard The Duck. And now we have Hallgrimur Helgason's Turn-of-the-Millennium naif: Tomislav Boksic, AKA 'Toxic,' a hit man for the Croatian mafia who finds himself on the lam, posing as an American televangelist in contemporary Iceland ' very much 'trapped in a world he did not make.'

Toxic navigates this bizarre world in a manner common to oafish thugs everywhere: improvising a constant stream of imbecilic lies, while exuding equal parts menace and brute sexual charm. All the while he observes and processes and alters the environment he's in, developing a perspective that becomes uncomfortably familiar. Here he follows his new lover into a furniture store, after hours:

'We make our way through the office and out into the store. In back there are three king size beds on display, all made in India by twelve-year-old carpenter whiz-kids. We've tried them all, but the one behind the Kama Sutra room divider is the safest. It can't be seen from the screaming bright window out front. So after all, we manage to find a semi-dark corner in the bright and shining land. And by making the Hindu handiwork squeak, I can honor the memory of my lost [read: 'murdered'] love. Still the bed holds up to all our freaky gymnastics. Those Indian kids really know their craft.'

The real gymnastics are Toxic's moral equivocations, involving a body-count that begins with, but is not limited to, the 66 hits he carried out on American soil. But of course taking the life of another is just the one extreme of the moral spectrum. There's also this business of honouring the memory of his 'lost' lover, to say nothing of benefiting from household items made by children in other countries . . . .

Is Toxic ' are we ' even capable of acquiring moral perspective in this environment? Astute readers know there is a more pressing concern on Toxic's horizon, thanks to the botched hit-job that began the novel: will he live long enough for any of this to matter?
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