From the Mouth of the Whale #2020

From the Mouth of the Whale Sjón Victoria Cribb From the Mouth of the Whale The year is Iceland is a world darkened by superstition poverty and cruelty Men of science marvel over a unicorn s horn poor folk worship the Virgin in secret and both books and men are burnt J

  • Title: From the Mouth of the Whale
  • Author: Sjón Victoria Cribb
  • ISBN: 9781846590832
  • Page: 475
  • Format: Paperback
  • From the Mouth of the Whale Sjón Victoria Cribb The year is 1635 Iceland is a world darkened by superstition, poverty and cruelty Men of science marvel over a unicorn s horn, poor folk worship the Virgin in secret and both books and men are burnt J nas P lmason, a poet and self taught healer, has been condemned to exile for heretical conduct, having fallen foul of the local magistrate Banished to a barren island, J The year is 1635 Iceland is a world darkened by superstition, poverty and cruelty Men of science marvel over a unicorn s horn, poor folk worship the Virgin in secret and both books and men are burnt J nas P lmason, a poet and self taught healer, has been condemned to exile for heretical conduct, having fallen foul of the local magistrate Banished to a barren island, J nas recalls his exorcism of a walking corpse on the remote Snjafjoll coast, the frenzied massacre of innocent Basque whalers at the hands of local villagers, and the deaths of three of his children.From the Mouth of the Whale is a magical evocation of an enlightened mind and a vanished age.Sj n is a celebrated Icelandic poet and novelist His novels have been translated into twenty five languages and include From the Mouth of the Whale and The Whispering Muse both by Telegram Sj n won the Nordic Council Literary Prize, the equivalent of the Man Booker Prize, for The Blue Fox and Best Icelandic Novel for The Whispering Muse in 2005 Also a songwriter, he has written lyrics for Bj rk, including for her eight studio album, Biophilia.
    From the Mouth of the Whale Sjón Victoria Cribb

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    1. This book is beautifully written It s lyrical It picks you up and carries you along You are swept through streams of consciousness, and through herbal medicinal books, and then through third person narrative You switch from one to the other seamlessly It s a masterpiece in that regard.But I am left with one overwhelming question.What the fuck was that all about I mean I get it It s the story of Jon s the Learned and his exile It s about the amazing things he does or witnesses before he is accuse [...]

    2. Islantilaisen kirjailijan Sj nin uusin kirja Valaan suusta on historiallinen kertomus 1600 luvulla el neest J n Gu munddsson Oppineesta eli Jonas P lmasonista 1600 luku oli noitavainojen ja puhdasoppineisuuden aikaa Noituuteen liittyvi keinoja k ytettiin viel mm henkien manaamisessa ja parantamisty ss J n Oppineella oli toivomus olla kuuluisa oppinut, joten h net sai my s manaamaan henki.Pian J n Oppinut huomasi olevansa yksin iselle saarelle vangittuna ja harhaoppisuudesta syytettyn Kukaan ei s [...]

    3. A pretty solid novel which after not being particularly impressed by The Blue Fox and The Whispering Muse gave me some understanding of all the fuss about Sj n.It s also a satisfying read for the early modern European history buff, given that in English we don t hear much about seventeenth century Iceland and Denmark without looking for it From the Mouth of the Whale is based on the life story of Icelandic autodidact J n the Learned, here renamed J nas, who, like many famous thinkers of his era, [...]

    4. Translated from the Icelandic by Victoria CribbWithdrawn from Tower Hamlets LibrariesDescription The year is 1635 Iceland is a world darkened by superstition, poverty, and cruelty.Men of science marvel over a unicorn s horn, poor folk worship the Virgin in secret, and both books and men are burnt.Jonas Palmason, a poet and self taught healer, has been condemned to exile for heretical conduct, having fallen foul of the local magistrate Banished to a barren island, Jonas recalls his gift for curin [...]

    5. From the raw, volcanic landscape of early seventeenth century Iceland, with ancient myths of mermen and unicorns tumbling from its fissures a land of endless nights, burning snow and whales the size of mountains Sjon has crafted an extraordinary novel, which has been deservedly longlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize From The Mouth Of The Whale conjures a precipitous landscape upon which early Lutheranism has taken a violent hold, making the population paranoid of old pagan rituals [...]

    6. I received a free copy of this book from LibraryThing s early reviewers program.I feel completely unqualified to review this because I ve never read anything like it before and I didn t understand half of it It was difficult for me to piece a time line together or separate fact from fantasy or figure out even the basics of what was going on all the so since the book had very few paragraphs and also, for the most part, lacked proper sentences Most sentences ended with an ellipsis instead of a pe [...]

    7. A confusing book I read it for my book group without any idea what to expect So far as I can recall this my first foray into the world Icelandic fiction I say fiction, From the Mouth of the Whale is a historical novel and is based on the life of J n the Learned here renamed J nas P lmason The Prelude is a variation on the story of the fall of Lucifer Then follows part 1 Autumn Equinox, 1635, and through to part 4, Spring Equinox, 1639 Through these four years we find out about J nas reminiscence [...]

    8. Sjon s first novel to be translated into English was The Blue Fox It was a spare eighty pages long and took the author two years to write In an interview he said of the process The first year was or less spent researching 19th century Iceland and reading about the different subjects that make up the story, such as fox hunting, accidents at sea, avalanches, burial rites, the care or abuse of mentally handicapped people, opium smoking, cravats and bow ties late Byronesque or otherwise.Sjon, who i [...]

    9. In the prelude to this tale we follow a hunter on his way home from hunting some colossal and huge tusked boar, the most savage brute the north has ever snorted from it s icy nostrils , although the traditional way is to leave the carcass where it fell, the hunter is carrying it home to demonstrate to his father, which of his sons labours the hardest Home, we the reader, learn is called Seventh Heaven and all is not well, the gate guards are silent, there s no sound of merrymaking from the banqu [...]

    10. Call it Sj n fatigue, I found myself having a really hard time getting through From the Mouth of the Whale Granted, it is a longer novel than The Blue Fox and The Whispering Muse, but reading three books of his back to back was probably not such a great idea.As with the previous two, the story is captivating so the fault doesn t lie here In fact, I m not sure if it s possible to pinpoint an exact fault since all the elements were in place but they just didn t gel as well as I hoped it would Sj n [...]

    11. The author chose a difficult subject, four years of the early seventeenth century Iceland before Icelanders are limited to trade only with the Danes Catholicism in its ritual and its charity has been superseded by Lutheranism The former is secretly practiced but lack of avenues for charity worsens unfortunate years Black arts sorcery is condemned yet scientific practices and views by contrast to superstitious beliefs are considered suspect The surrealism and stream of consciousness narrative is [...]

    12. One of the most fascinating novels I ve read in some time From the Mouth of the Whale is the meeting place of surrealism and paganism, very Icelandic It s the story of the exile of an alchemist and exorcist, of his understandings of the strangeness of the world Central to that understanding is the interconnectedness of all things But this wholeness isn t just that All is One kind of New Age epiphany or even Emerson, for that matter It becomes a rationale without being didactic for a surrealist w [...]

    13. I had no idea what to expect from this, but knew that the author was an award winning lyricist who worked with Bjork You occupy the mental space of an Icelandic poet and healer in 1635, and you will not always know what he s going on about so feverishly The book does an excellent job of recreating the feeling of picking up a strange artifact you have no hope of fully understanding, and there were times when I almost gave up, alienatedbut Jonas is plucky and earnest, peppering the narrative with [...]

    14. set in mid 17th century iceland, sj n s from the mouth of the whale r kkurb snir is perhaps a little enigmatic than either the blue fox or the whispering muse but surely no less gratifying the icelandic poet and novelist and bj rk collaborator composes works that hybridize contemporary and surrealist elements incorporating some icelandic folklore for good measure , resulting in enchanting novels characterized by lyrical, melodious prose from the mouth of the whale follows the fate of j nas p lm [...]

    15. The Whispering Muse hinted at the kind of wild, hallucinatory epic Sj n was capable of cleverly restrained in that particular novel , and he lets loose with it in From The Mouth of the Whale Mythology, Christian epic, natural history, medieval Icelandic history and the whole, wide, boundless mind of a banished healer visionary poet are among the elements that make up this strange and haunting novel Told mostly from his exile on a lonely island in 1635, Jonas Palmason s scattered, hungry thoughts [...]

    16. Really impossible to describe this is one strange but truly wonderful book The prelude which is very different from the book itself had me instantly hooked but when I hit Chapter I, I was struck by the number of long Icelandic names and obscure references cultural, biblical, historical Despite the strong start, I suddenly wondered if I would be able to finish it Within a few pages, however, I was completely immersed again The power of this book is in the author s power of description His choice [...]

    17. The realm of the specific is what provides you with stories, and hopefully, if they are well told, they ll speak to people everywhere Sjon, from an interview with David K Gestsson Thus, this wonderful tale set in early 17th century Iceland, succeeds in reaching readers over time and cultures It is told in the voice of Jonas the Learned, a self taught polymath, whose lingering pre Reformation sensibilities set him at odds with the new Lutheran order The violent upheavals of the Reformation were s [...]

    18. This is another book I read spread over a few weeks and which i finished to dot the i s and cross the t s as it turned out to be disappointing and far from what I expected a blow me away novel, possibly a candidate to a top 10 from both reviews and the sample.I found myself reading the novel and not making any real sense of it i would understand of course each word, each sentence or phrase and each paragraph, but nothing cohered into a whole maybe it s the author s style, maybe the translation b [...]

    19. The cover of the book has pull quotes from Junot Diaz, A.S Byatt, the WaPo and the Independent, and though I don t usually attend to them, in this case, they re are true From the Mouth of the Whale IS kaleidoscopic and mesmerizing, an epic made mad, wildly comic and incandescent, hallucinatory, lyrical, extraordinary It s a captivating meditation that enfolds you totally into its world I could smell Iceland on it s pages, and was reminded of the time we ve spent there the quiet, the grass, the o [...]

    20. I read the prologue and couldn t go on It felt like something an angry teenage heavy metal fan might have written to shock his sixth grade teacher Silly and pompous.Bummer.

    21. In 17th Century Iceland, J nas P lmason s strange way of life casts him into a suspicion His old pagan beliefs, superstitions, extensive learning, and naturalism are believed by many to be sorcery, and so he is sent into exile.When I saw the description of this book, I knew that I had to read it I have read few books about Iceland, and certainly never one about Iceland in the 1600 s Also, the publisher is known for printing strange, atypical books that I often than not find myself loving.Well, [...]

    22. Oh, I wanted to like this book Oh, I tried to like this book but it did not work for me I do believe that there is a right time for a book, and this one maybe came at the wrong time I usually don t mind stream of consciousness but I really found it hard to follow it here The narrator s voice jumped and changed from long fantastic flows into historical accounts I did like those they were a reprieve to mystical meanderings I would get lost and as much as I tried and paid attention, I could not fin [...]

    23. I think that reading the bulk of this while vacationing in Iceland earned it an extra star I was very much interested in Jonah, however, and the story of his trials and wanderings It just missed emotionally, I think.

    24. This is the second book of Sj n s that I ve read and I hope to read I spent a week in Iceland a few years ago and I m fascinated by the place There s an epic emptiness to it I ve read a few books by Icelandic authors and apart from Indridason s thrillers, I wonder what it would be like to read them without knowing Iceland Nature has the upper hand in almost all the Icelandic novels I ve read There s no cosy fireplace, it s man against a climate that is not kind Here, the main character has been [...]

    25. An Icelandic daydream of florid prose Sjon s novel may well have lost some of its mystique in translation yet this does not hold From the mouth of the whale back from charming the reader with strange snippets from a superstitious time This book is not much for plot rather it should be read with patience, allowing the reader to drift into the wistful fairytale that is Iceland.

    26. Unlike anything else I ever read strange lyrical brutal magical Set in Iceland in 1635 Jonas Palmason, poet and healer, is exiled for heretical conduct A magical evocation of an enlightened mind in a vanished age Highly recommended

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