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Independent People
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:£8.49+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime


on 29 July 2007
Where to start with this book? It is fantastic. The world portrayed is a microcosm where every little movement, everysign is heavy with meaning. It is a slow burner but underneath the characters frosty, terse words a whole gamut of fragility, power and desire is worked out. It can seem impenetrably exotic, a strange misty hinteland of the human soul, but it is worth the effort. It is hard to believe people can endure so much with aparrent equanimity, and then you realise two or three hundred pages later that they didn't after all. One qualm only- this is not a quick read, or a dip in and out kinda book. It really requires effort at times, but you get what you pay for in this case. Brilliant!
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on 17 May 2009
Imagine, if possible, Gabriel Garcia Marquez choosing to pen an Icelandic saga. It would probably look something like this remarkable book.

Indeed, I was reminded of One Hundred Years of Solitude while reading Independent People. Substitute a whole load of gritty realism, snow and sheep for some of the former's mysticism and you're almost there.

Once I'd got past my irritation with the publisher for calling the leading character Bjartus instead of Bjartur on the jacket, it was 544 pages of pleasure. Bjartur, the stubborn as a mule in a strop crofter, fights to assert his independence through hard times, good times, family tragedy and a World War that, perversely, brings prosperity. But how truly independent can one man be?

My only regret is not discovering Laxness until now. This wonderful novel goes up there with the aforementioned Marquez gem and Don Quixote. I really can find no praise higher.
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on 5 October 2011
This book is hard to describe in a few words but over the many pages of the novel one becomes oddly fond of an obstinate hard headed stubborn individual who against all odds retains his basic dignity and self belief, Bjartur must be one of the great characters in literature. I heartily recommend this book but must warn Kindle readers that they face no small number of irritating typos that are extremely frustrating and very annoying in a book that was not that cheap. Had it not been for that I would have awarded five stars
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on 8 February 2016
Having recently visited Iceland and having learned about Halldor Laxness, I wished to read this book. The experience has been amazing. This is a fabulous book, reflecting beauty fully Icelandic spirit and nature
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on 15 January 2018
Great book, great service
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on 13 August 2014
Follows the bleak life of a crofter through boom and bust as he struggles to maintain his independence sheep farming in a small corner of an Icelandic valley. There are references to the sagas and some poetry.
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on 11 January 2015
I'm afraid that I've put this aside for now, a third of the way in, as it's too relentlessly grim and I have no sympathy for the main character.
I will pick it up again at some point to give the book a fair hearing.
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on 9 August 2014
excellent
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on 2 September 2014
One of the best books I've read in a long time. Beautifully written with depth and a real understanding of humanity.
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on 2 June 2013
I bought the e book edition in Iceland, which is of course the best place to savour this atmospheric book but sadly my enjoyment was impaired by the extremely poor quality of the proof reading which is why I rated this book at 4 stars only.
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