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The Ice Palace (Peter Owen Modern Classics) [Abridged, Audiobook, Box set, Illustrated, Large Print] [Paperback]

Tarjei Vesaas , Elizabeth Rokkan
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
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Book Description

5 Aug 2009 Peter Owen Modern Classics
One of the greatest European works of the twentieth century, Vessas' haunting novel tells of the meeting of two unusual girls who form a friendship cruelly cut short by an ice storm

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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Peter Owen (5 Aug 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0720613299
  • ISBN-13: 978-0720613292
  • Product Dimensions: 4.8 x 7.3 x 0.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 11,106 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

Review

'How simple this novel is. How subtle. How strong. How unlike any other. It is unique. It is unforgettable. It is extraordinary.' --Doris lessing, The Indepedent

'It is hard to do justice to 'The Ice Palace'... the narrative is urgent, the descriptions relentlessly beautiful, the meaning as powerful as the ice piling up on the lake.' --The Times

'It is hard to do justice to 'The Ice Palace'... the narrative is urgent, the descriptions relentlessly beautiful, the meaning as powerful as the ice piling up on the lake.' --The Times

Extraordinary. . . a classic --Gabriel Gbadamosi, BBC Radio 4 A Good Read

Extraordinary. . . a classic --Gabriel Gbadamosi, BBC Radio 4 A Good Read

About the Author

Tarjei Vesaas (1987-1976) was born in the remote rural Telemark district of Norway, where he spent most of his life. Throughout his life he published several novels, volumes of poetry and a book of short stories which was awarded an international prize at Venice in 1952. He was awarded several other prizes and was a canidate for the Nobel Prize in 1964, 1968 and again in 1969. He died in 1970, his reputation as the leading Nordic writer firmly established.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'The Ice Palace' by Tarjei Vesaas 21 Sep 2008
Format:Paperback
The Ice Palace is the tale of friendship between two eleven year old girls. The girls, Siss and Unn, live in a rural community in Norway. The friendship between the two girls is a classic example of 'opposites attract'. Siss is outgoing, extroverted and a natural leader. Unn, who after the death of her mother moved to the village to stay with her aunt, is shy, retiring and very much an outsider.

Siss visits Unn and the latter explains that she is keeping a dreadful secret. A secret that will prevent her from going to heaven. The next day Unn, due to having made her confession, feels she would be embarrassed to meet Siss at school. Unn decides to play truant to visit the ice palace. An ice palace is a natural structure formed when a waterfall freezes. Unn enters the ice palace and becomes lost.

When it is dicovered Unn is missing, a search party is organised to look for her. As time passes and no trace of Unn is found, the people of the village begin to wonder if Siss knows more about Unn's disappearance that she is letting on. Siss is devastated at the loss of her friend and vows never to forget her. Siss becomes how Unn was: lonely, distant and outside the society of her peers. Like Unn became disorientated and lost in the ice palace; Siss becomes emotionally disorientated and lost. Siss has to come to terms with and escape from her angst before she can progress to adolescence and adulthood.

The Ice Palace is a powerful and moving novel. Doris Lessing said of it "How simple this novel is. How subtle. How strong. How unlike any other. It is unique. It is unforgettable. It is extraordinary".
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best thing ever to come out of Norway 14 April 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
The Ice Palace is the most beautiful novel i have ever read. It pushed me to extremes of emotions never thought possible. It is a symbolic and psychological novel about two young and innocent girls who are mutually drawn towards each other. It is a story of loneliness and the need for human contact, which is ultimately severed by the attraction of the Ice Palace and the cruelty of the Norwegian winter. Vesaas won "Nordisk Råds litteraturpris" (Nordic literature award) for "The Ice Palace".
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The ice was here, the ice was there... 25 Mar 2008
Format:Paperback
should probably read more fiction in translation - as it is my repetoire is shamefully low. There is a whole world out there (obviously) and I'm probably missing some real treats. Especially, it seems, in the world of Scandanavian writing - there seems to be something beguiling in that icy landscape that brings a cool charm to its literature, or least, to the Scandanavian literature that I have read.

It's certainly the case with The Ice Palace by Tarjei Vesaas, which tells the story of two children, Siss and Unn, and their brief but intense friendship forged at school in Norway. Unn has something she wants to tell Siss when the latter visits her at the house she lives in with her aunt, but Siss - realising something monumental is likely to be said - takes fright and runs home. The next day, Unn wants to avoid school and Siss, so takes a solitary trip to The Ice Palace, where she is later meant to be going on a school trip. Unn never returns. The bulk of the novel follows Siss as she tried to assimilate the knowledge that Unn is dead, and struggles to come to terms with it.

The language is this book's real strength, with simply stunning evocations of the snow-covered landscape, and of the cold that seems to exist between the characters themselves, and between the characters and the memory of Unn:

'We're upset about this,' said her father.
'Yes. We were happy today. We thought you'd got over it at last,' said her mother. 'We thought things were going to be just as they used to be.'
Got over it, they said.
They cut right through and drew out the truth about what she was expected to do: get over it. It was easy to say, but how could that happen as long as the vision was dancing before her eyes?
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Interesting and powerful story of childhood, fear and friendship. I loved the passing of seasons in the The Ice palace.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Intense, almost claustrophobic 4 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is the story of two school girls who strike up a brief but very intense friendship, and what happens when one of the two goes missing. It does an incredible job of transporting you inside the troubled mind of someone under pressure.

It was first published in 1963 and is set amid the ice and snow of a small rural Norwegian community. The author, Vesaas, was also a poet and it shows. Even through translation into English, The Ice Palace is a very carefully crafted piece of literary work.

Sadly, I found that got in the way at times; I don’t always want to marvel at an artist’s brushstrokes, sometimes I just want to stare at the painting.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing 25 Feb 2014
By Chris
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Beautifully written . At times I thought I was reading poetry. So pleased to have had it recommended to me.
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