I’ve read three books by Nobel Prize winning author Halldor Laxness of Iceland – INDEPENDENT PEOPLE, PARADISE RECLAIMED, WORLD LIGHT. They are titanic, powerful, lyrical stories almost like fables filled with human weakness and but ultimately love and a sense of “That’s how it goes” which I gather must be part of the Icelandic character.
THE FISH CAN SING has a reputation as a lighter novel so I was warned. It is very light more like a collection of vignettes than anything else. The story of an abandoned boy growing up under the care of two elderly grandparents (actually they aren’t his real grandparents but just the people he was left with). His growing up on a farm and his meeting with a famous singer who comes from the same town and what effect that has on him and how this effect the whole community are the story here as well as lots of talking about fishing.
Much of this book is unrelated commentary on the people in a small Icelandic town and little stories about their lives and adventures.
I didn’t really understand the ending I must admit. A pleasant simple book but not Laxness’s best.
It does however contain his trademark flawless flowing lyrical style.
I wrote more about INDEPENDENT PEOPLE here http://rgdinmalaysia.xanga.com/652944119/independent-people-by-halldor-laxness/ and WORLD LIGHT herehttp://rgdinmalaysia.blogspot.com/2011/04/world-light-by-halldor-laxness.html .