I chose this book for the Triangle review because I presume many readers are fans of Richard Fidler’s interviews on ABC radio. I also recently read his book, Ghost Empire, relating the trip to Turkey he took with his son, and loved it. I was also interested in the book because I know virtually nothing about Iceland.
The structure of Saga Land is interesting: the two authors write alternate chapters, interspersed with the retelling of traditional sagas—the comings and goings of Nordic gods, heroes and villains, ‘dangerous women’ and long-standing blood feuds. Gislason was born in Iceland, so his take on the journey throughout the country brings a different perspective to that of Fidler. Together they succeed in painting a fascinating picture of this unique country as they travel to places where the sagas unfolded thousands of years ago.
This is one of those books you probably need to dip in and out of—there is, if anything, too much information to take in at a few sessions. It has inspired me to learn more about Iceland—I might start by re-reading Burial Rights by Hannah Kent!