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The Sagas of Icelanders: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) Paperback – Deckle Edge, March 1, 2001
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From Library Journal
The Icelandic Sagas are among the masterpieces of world literature whose composition stretches from about the year 1000 to 1500. Presenting the adventures of Norse and Viking heroes, the sagas are told with ritual simplicity and a realism that anticipate the modern novel. This volume offers nine full sagas and six tales, all new translations by various hands and all part of The Complete Sagas of the Icelanders, also edited by Thorsson. Published to mark the 1000th anniversary of Leif Ericksson's voyage to North America, as told in the Vinland Sagas, this selection includes (along with the Vinland Sagas) the famous Egil's Saga and that of Gisli Sursson. The volume also offers a preface by novelist Jane Smiley and a scholarly introduction by Robert Kellogg of the University of Virginia. Wonderful for anyone interested in world literature, this selection is recommended for public and academic libraries.
-Thomas L. Cooksey, Armstrong State Coll., Savannah, GA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"One of the great marvels of World Literature.... This is a dream come true." --Ted Hughes
"A testimony to the human spirit's ability not only to endure what fate may send it but to be renewed by the experience." --Seamus Heaney
"The glory of the Sagas is indisputable." --Milan Kundera
"Generally excellent, accurate and readable, these translations are sure to become the standard versions." --The Times Literary Supplement (London)
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My one gripe is that there is no list (that I could find at least) of which sagas and tales are included in this book, which happens to be some pretty important information for someone who's looking to quickly beef up their library with Norse Literature.
So, in order to save anyone I can some time, and possibly money, I've listed all the sagas and tales included in this book here:
The Saga of the People of Vatnsdal
The Saga of the People of Laxardal
Bolli Bollason's Tale
The Saga of Hrafnkel Frey's Godi
The Saga of the Confederates
Gisli Sursson's Saga
The Saga of Gunnlaug Serpent-Tongue
The Saga of Ref the Sly
The Saga of the Greenlanders
Eirik the Red's Saga
The Tale of Thorstein Staff-Struck
The Tale of Halldor Snorrason II
The Tale of Sarcastic Halli
The Tale of Thorstein Shiver
The Tale of Audun from the West Fjords
The Tale of the Story-Wise Icelander
I hope that you find this list helpful!
This selection offers good value for money: it includes a lot of sagas, and -- unlike many paperbacks its size -- uses high-quality paper, and is well-bound and not especially liable to disintegrate. It is also just about light enough that you can read it in bed. Some of the most famous sagas -- "Njal's Saga" and "Grettir's Saga" in particular -- have been omitted. Some omissions were inevitable, because of space, but the omission of "Njal's Saga" was still unfortunate. (If you're unfamiliar with the sagas, read Njal's first: it's a much more effective hook than any of the others.) On the other hand, several of the shorter sagas in this volume are excellent and less than famous -- e.g. the saga of Gunnlaug Serpent-Tongue and the tale of Sarcastic Halli. The introduction is thorough if somewhat boring, and the maps, charts, and genealogies are invaluable. The translations range from adequate to solid -- sometimes awkward but at least never archaic.
Most recent customer reviews
i'm sure it's great. Tables full of this book at duty free in Reykjavik.