The Fish Can Sing by Halldor Kiljan Laxness

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Synopsis

The Fish Can Sing is one of Nobel Prize winner Halldór Laxness’s most beloved novels, a poignant coming-of-age tale marked with his peculiar blend of light irony and dark humor.

The orphan Alfgrimur has spent an idyllic childhood sheltered in the simple turf cottage of a generous and eccentric elderly couple. Alfgrimur dreams only of becoming a fisherman like his adoptive grandfather, until he meets Iceland's biggest celebrity. The opera singer Gardar Holm’s international fame is a source of tremendous pride to tiny, insecure Iceland, though no one there has ever heard him sing. A mysterious man who mostly avoids his homeland and repeatedly fails to perform for his adoring countrymen, Gardar takes a particular interest in Alfgrimur’s budding musical talent and urges him to seek out the world beyond the one he knows and loves. But as Alfgrimur discovers that Gardar is not what he seems, he begins to confront the challenge of finding his own path without turning his back on where he came from.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Halldor Kiljan Laxness

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Halldor Laxness was born near Reykjavik, Iceland, in 1902. His first novel was published when he was seventeen. The undisputed master of contemporary Icelandic fiction, and one of the outstanding novelists of the century, he wrote more than sixty books, including novels, short stories, essays, poems, plays, and memoirs. In 1955 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. Laxness died in Iceland in 1998.
 
Published February 19, 2008 by Vintage. 268 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Fish Can Sing

Kirkus Reviews

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A welcome reissue of the 1955 Nobel laureate's 1957 novel about an abandoned boy's embattled growth to manhood in an Icelandic village, complicated by his kinship with generations of fisherfolk and his fixation on an internationally famous opera singer.

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Publishers Weekly

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Laxness, Iceland's best-known fiction writer and winner of the 1955 Nobel Prize for literature, authored well over 60 novels and other books before his death in 1998 at the age of 90. This lyrical nov

Dec 04 2000 | Read Full Review of The Fish Can Sing

Publishers Weekly

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All Iceland, except for H lm's own mother and the folks at Brekkukot, dote on H lm because of his international reputation for performing lieder.

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