Friday, October 24, 2008

The All Time Best Icelandic Fiction

To be honest, Icelandic fiction translated into English is kind of hard to find, and this is the only piece of Icelandic literature I have ever read.

Jar City by Arnaldur Indridason is your typical middle-aged divorced cop who goes against the norm to solve the impossible case. Overall it was an okay plot, semi-engaging lead character, and best of all a short read. There are times where the English is awkward, but I put that down to the translation process not picking up the nuances of speech.

I am trying to read some Icelandic stuff to prepare for our vacation there next summer and I did learn a few things. It rains there a lot; heavy, cold rain. Also Icelanders always address each other using their first names, since most people have a patronymic rather than a "proper surname", ending in -son for son and -dottir for a daughter. So John Smith's son Alan would be called Alan Johnson. People are even listed by their first names in the phone book. Finally I learned, given it is a small island, everyone is required to register where they live with the government. Rick made mention of this and how it helps with less active work.


Paige said...

who will be watching the kids while you guys are in Iceland?

TStevens said...

Most likely my parents.