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From the Mouth of the Whale

From the Mouth of the Whale

Author(s): Sjón

Location(s): Iceland

Genre(s): Fiction

Era(s): 1635

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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. Jónas Pálmason, 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, Jónas recalls his exorcism of a walking corpse on the remote Snjáfjöll 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.

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This captures what I imagine 17th Century Iceland to be like a land of mountains, colc colc seas and ancient stories and Jónas Pálmason is very plausible, written in the form of tales. –...

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