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The Little Book of the Hidden People: Stories of elves from Icelandic folklore Kindle Edition
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This book is a welcome respite from 'cute' and sanitized folk stories. There are lots of sexual escapades, some very peculiar Icelandic customs, as well some touching tales of love ending in grief. Alda does a great job in filling in the background on the stories, some of which would be real 'head-scratchers' without her explanations.
With the international media running wild with the sensational headline ‘All Icelanders Believe in Elves’ shtick, Alda seeks to clarify the Icelandic folktales in their historical and sociological contexts. The Little Book of the Hidden People is a collection of stories, with each one followed by commentary (that are both informative and fun!).
I highly recommend this book, as well as the other Little Books (Little Book of the Icelanders; Little Book of the Icelanders in the Old Days). They are great for gaining a bit of insight into the many little quirks of the Icelandic character.
Oh, and if she's ever in town for a book reading, GO!
Go and meet the brains behind the book.
If you are considering the purchase of this book, you are here because of some interest in Iceland. Without a doubt, Alda is the Queen of English language books about society (and things in general) concerning Iceland.
Alda was born in Iceland, raised in Canada, and lived in a number of other places before returning to Iceland, perhaps 20 years ago. She is uniquely qualified to explain to the rest of the world, those things that are exclusively Icelandic...such as the "belief" in Elfs.
If you have been to Iceland, you know what it is all about. If you are considering your first visit there, you have to go and see it for yourself; but I really do believe you will be "hooked", and return continually, as I have since 1976.
Iceland has a population of about 320,000; they expect about 3,000,000 visitors this year. That says a lot about Iceland, and, quite honestly, Alda is the the source for explaining Icelandic society and culture to the English speaking world. This book, while it deals with Elfs, is an insight into the history of Iceland, Icelanders, and how they think.
If you do purchase the book,I recommend that you make your first read "the Introduction".
When I buy a new book, I just hop to the begining of the story. But whether you are new to Iceland, or have been a long time visitor, this time I recommend you begin with the introduction, as it gives a good background for the stories that follow. It will help you understand why Iceland (and Icelanders) do the things they do. So strange, but so sort of the same......that is Iceland, and Alda explains it..
Without a doubt, I have to give this a 5 star recommendation. Alda is a great writer; but she is also capable of explaining those things in Icelandic society that seem so strange to us on the outside.
Iceland is a fantastic country to visit, if you have been there you know. If not, put it on your list of places to visit.
Whether you have been to Iceland or not, you will enjoy the interesting stories in this book. But if you know Iceland, you will like them even more.
This is an excellent book, and I highly recommend it it for anyone who is interested in things Icelandic.