Customer Reviews


13 Reviews
5 star:
 (6)
4 star:
 (3)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A ripening of a young ethnologist in a multicultural world.
Johnathan, a graduate anthropology student, undertakes a new life on the remote Faroes--a near arctic archipelago southeast of Iceland. In this culturally alien setting, he cuts his teeth on myriad folk encounters, from supernatural to prosaic. Besieged by interminable frustration, he slowly learns--at the pace of continental drift--to accept life as it comes...
Published on September 9, 1997

versus
10 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An introduction to life in the Faeroe Islands
This is the sort of book where the exotic locale is the novel's sole strength. Few people have heard of the Faeroe Islands (a Danish possession north of Scotland), but those with an interest might enjoy this fictitious tale of an American anthropologist. The Faeroes are one of Europe's remotest corners, where people still pursue such customs as killing whales, eating...
Published on May 10, 2000 by saskatoonguy


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A ripening of a young ethnologist in a multicultural world., September 9, 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Far Afield (Paperback)
Johnathan, a graduate anthropology student, undertakes a new life on the remote Faroes--a near arctic archipelago southeast of Iceland. In this culturally alien setting, he cuts his teeth on myriad folk encounters, from supernatural to prosaic. Besieged by interminable frustration, he slowly learns--at the pace of continental drift--to accept life as it comes. Johnathan's foibles strike universal chords, thus transporting us into his story. Plus, he's great to laugh at. Never satisfied, he worries himself silly.
Kaysen's lucid style telescoped me into Johnathan's vivid psychological world, and delighted me many times over with a smorgasbord of delicious surprises. I only give it a nine because I just finished; I need time to fully digest its substantial rewards before I could say that it's perfect. But, it may very well be
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful coming of age novel, September 8, 2004
By 
Nina (Nashville) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Far Afield (Paperback)
OK, so Jonathan is 25 and should already have come of age, but as the only child of 2 professors, he has led the privileged, sheltered Eastern private-school life. So to watch him progress from emotionally detached, hyper-self-critical, pizza-eating Bostonite to a better self (you read the novel - let's just say there is whale blubber instead of pizza) over the course of his year on the Faroe Islands is a joy. A wonderful setting, humor, a great cast of characters, superb writing and an unforgetable young man in a book that I wish had a sequel.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Northern Exposure, September 15, 2004
By 
Sarah Granger (Portland, OR United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Far Afield (Paperback)
Jonathan sets forth from academia to apply his anthropological skills to the folks ways of the Faroe Islands. What ensues can best be described by the phrase "a duck out of water". Jonathan, who from the heights of his greater learning expects to note and judge "folk" behavior, survives his time in the field only because the good folks of the Islands take pity on him and take care of him - a fact to which he remains oblivious to the day he leaves. The writer approaches her subject with great wit and underlying compassion. When my book group read this book, it received a widely varied reaction. A year later, they still talk of this book and those who initially did not care for it find themselves more and more under it's spell. What is talked about a year later? The food (puffins and other delicacies). Fresh meat and sheep in the kitchen. The horrors of "stirring". A growing taste for Aqua Vit. The Danish girl. Definitely a book to read. You will never ever forget the Faroe Islands
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My island!, January 13, 2005
By 
Katrin (Faroe Islands) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Far Afield (Paperback)
Even though there are a couple of minor factual errors in the book I really enjoyed reading about my country and my neighbour village with the eyes of Jonathan. To me this is an important piece of history. Of course there are books in Faroese language describing this period (late 60's early 70's) - but this visitors' viewpoint really pinpoints the very soul of this tiny population. And by the way - Jonathan is not fictional. There really was an american by that name living in Skopun at that time. I know - he is not forgotten by his fellow villagers.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very humorous and surprisingly deep insight, January 31, 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Far Afield (Paperback)
The jacket blurbs promise a humorous look at Jonathan's year-long anthropological research visit to the Faroe Islands. Indeed, the reader will often laugh out loud! Especially when Jonathan finds himself the subject of study, instead of the examiner. What is unexpected are Kaysen's lucent and moving explorations of Jonathan's mental and emotional states-- the pain of self realization and of growing up; the discombobulation of being thrust into a new world. The writing skillfully weaves very down-to-earth narrative with more spiritual musings. Unforgettable is Kaysen's stunning description of the Aurora Borealis, as well as the visceral emotion of the whalehunt
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended reading for expats everywhere, July 9, 2009
This review is from: Far Afield (Paperback)
I am putting this novel on my list of recommended reading for everyone who attends my seminars on intercultural competence and communication, not because of the locale, but because it so beautifully describes the condition of CULTURE SHOCK, which is universal to anyone who has ever taken up residence away from "home".
Besides that, (imho) the book is beautifully written, with passages that bear reading over and over because of their juicy descriptiveness. I don't think I will ever visit the Faroe Islands in person, but I can now say that I have definitely been there in my mind. Fabulous read!
Susan Hoppe/ expat in Aachen Germany
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One to read again and again, March 1, 2012
This review is from: Far Afield (Paperback)
I have just re-read this book for the third time. I really do love this book. It caused me to learn about the Faroe islands and to want to visit them. The book enters into the minutiae of the heros daily life. What he eats, where he goes for walks, how often he thinks about sex (not too explicit). It also describes the angst of a shy young man in a very foreign culture. I love the moments where he starts to be accepted and also think his total lack of confidence in himself is very revealing. It is also about him realising tht the people on these islands do things to survive through the winter, like killing sheep and eating blood sausage.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An introduction to life in the Faeroe Islands, May 10, 2000
By 
saskatoonguy (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Far Afield (Paperback)
This is the sort of book where the exotic locale is the novel's sole strength. Few people have heard of the Faeroe Islands (a Danish possession north of Scotland), but those with an interest might enjoy this fictitious tale of an American anthropologist. The Faeroes are one of Europe's remotest corners, where people still pursue such customs as killing whales, eating sheep eyeballs, and (most shocking) slowly killing the household cat as an appeasement to the gods. The characterizations and the plot are too thin to sustain this novel; if it were set in (for instance) Maine, no one would ever give it a second look. The love-story-subplot is especially disappointing, consisting of the lead character obsessing over an airline clerk who is not equally interested in him, but who appears to be the only available woman in the country -- or at least that's the impression the reader is left with. Nevertheless, for those fascinated by remote Scandinavian locales, this in-depth look at Faroese life might be worth a read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


12 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my very favorite books!, July 9, 1999
By 
Happy Scherer (Delmar, NY United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Far Afield (Paperback)
This is a gem of a book, with wonderful writing and characters and a sense of humor that is delightful. And how often do you get a chance to read a novel set in the Faroe Islands? I am very involved with American Field Service(AFS) exchange programs, and I often recommend this book to Americans going abroad as well as students spending the year in the US, as it is so sensitive to issues of culture and "strangers in a strange land"... It works on so many levels. If you like "The Shipping News", you'll love "Far Afield."
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wanted it to be better, September 6, 2009
By 
Anna Karenina (Dallas, TX, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Far Afield (Paperback)
This is a book with lots of virtues--it's well written, very subtly witty, has a great sense of place. Unfortunately, it suffers from lack of plot and a main character who is only moderately interesting.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Far Afield
Far Afield by Susanna Kaysen (Paperback - April 19, 1994)
$16.95 $13.58
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.