Iceland, Defrosted Paperback – 17 Jun 2013
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Writes with wit and humor. Wonderful descriptions of Iceland as a country and as his home from home. ---Reader Recommendation, 'The Guardian'
About the Author
Edward Hancox lives in the UK with his wife and small, noisy child but spends as much time as he can in Iceland. Music - especially contemporary Icelandic music - is his other passion. He writes about both subjects for various magazines and websites, including 'Iceland Review', 'Atlantica', and the 'Reykjavik Grapevine', and on his blog, icelanddefrosted.com. Edward enjoys growing plants, which, not unlike himself, are tall and thin. He has had particular success with bamboo and rhubarb. It is not possible to grow bamboo in Iceland, but rhubarb is surprisingly prevalent.
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Therefore I consider myself an unofficial aficionado of travel writing and I will happily place Edward Hancox on my pile of favourite travel authors, keeping Bill Bryson, Paul Theroux and Kari Herbert company.
I have always been intrigued by Iceland and like many I have carried a long held desire to see the Northern Lights and experience the midnight sun among other things. After reading this book there are about a dozen other things that are now on the list. Iceland definitely has to be the next stop!
I read this book in one sitting (thanks insomnia!) It is an easy and compelling read, well written and does a fantastic job of providing an insight into the Icelandic psyche. It is warm and humourous and was a pleasure to read from start to finish. (although part of me would have liked an audio book just so I could grasp the pronunciations of all the very difficult place names!)
It is obvious from his writing that he adores the place and I was rather surprised to discover that he isn't already living there. That fascination and love are contagious and help to raise the book above the normal travel fare.
I highly recommend getting this book if you are planning a visit to our Icelandic neighbours and I suspect that even if you weren't planning a trip before, once you have read this book you will be!
so yeah, I really enjoyed this book, it's given me plenty of inspiration for my upcoming trip my only gripe was with the several stories in the first few chapters about the Icelandic 'mythical beings'. Not the stories themselves but that Hancox is far to quick to point out several times that whilst they are nice 'stories' he doesn't believe in Elves/trolls etc, which I felt didn't really need saying and almost spoiled the atmosphere of the story, in the way that say going on a trip to 'chase the loch ness monster' would be spoiled if the tour guide at the end turned around and said 'but I don't believe it really exists'. But that is a small gripe on what is on the whole a fantastic book and I think is essential reading for anyone planning on going to Iceland.
So much so that I have now purchased some fab music. I read this book with my laptop turned to Youtube so that I can continually
watch the Icelandic music groups mentioned. I also feel compelled to re-visit Iceland. We were last there in 1995. So all in all Iceland needs to extend a BIG thank you to Edward Hancox for doing such a great public relations job.