- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: MacLehose Press (March 24, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 162365470X
- ISBN-13: 978-1623654702
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,031,855 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Sorrow of Angels Hardcover – March 24, 2015
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"An epic tale of survival set among Iceland's unforgiving fjords . . . [The Sorrow of Angels] is its elemental terrors and existential challenges recalls a Nordic version of one of Cormac McCarthy's journeys . . . laconic stoicism yields in extremity to moments of surpassing tenderness and intimacy . . . beautifully rendered by translator Philip Roughton, the icy journey chills and thrills. Devour this book with a hot drink in a warm room; you will never feel more grateful for shelter and society."―Boyd Tonkin, The Indepdendent
"If you haven't read Heaven And Hell, the first in Reykjavik-born author Jon Kalman Stefansson's captivating trilogy, that needn't be a deterrent from falling head over heels in love with The Sorrow Of Angels . . . the author eloquently harnesses an overwhelming sense of enormity and vastness . . . The dizzying climax will leave you breathless."―The Herald Scotland
"An excellent translation from the Icelandic by Philip Roughton, who clearly has a deep understanding of the musicality of language . . . What is most striking about the novel is not the story, but the language: simple words are arranged in such a way that they become exquisite. Stefánsson uses lengthy sentences that in another author's hands would be clumsy and unwieldy; but in his unusual prose they become so startlingly beautiful that the reader must pause every few pages to absorb them. His syntax is unconventional in a way that is reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy: every paragraph is like a poem."―The Iceland Review
About the Author
Jon Kalman Stefansson is an Icelandic author, born in Reykjavík in 1963. His previous books, Summer Behind the Slope, and Of Tall Trees and Time were nominated for the Nordic Council's Literary Prize. He won the 2005 Icelandic Literature Prize for his novel, In Summer Light, Enter Night is set in a small village in the west of Iceland where one inhabitant after another wanders bewildered among the labyrinthine paths of the human heart. In 2011 he was awarded the prestigious P.O. Enquist Award. Over the last years Jon has been working on the trilogy consisting of Heaven and Hell, The Sorrow of Angels, and The Heart of Man. The third and final book in the trilogy won the Icelandic Bookseller's Prize 2011 and was nominated for the Icelandic Literature Prize. Stefansson has most recently won the Italian Grinzane Bottari Lattes Prize for The Sorrow of Angels.
Top customer reviews
The boy and Jens encounter a brutal blizzard, but learn much about themselves and each other, and life itself, as they fight for their lives against the elements. Stefansson shows us this in his heightened, poetic prose, from his philosophical point of view. It is a beautiful depiction of the terrible lives of the farmers and fishermen of this desolate yet lovely country, going deep at the same time into the nature of life itself, the will to live and love against all odds.
In the title, Stefansson continues the antithesis that is the basis of his vision. Volume One was titled Heaven and Hell. Here we have The Sorrow of Angels. As we quickly learn, the sorrow of angels is snow, the tears they inevitably shed in far too much profusion over the darkness and desperation of the life of mankind below. And yet beautiful at the same time. Jens and the boy are not only searching for the path across the frozen wastes, but for the love and companionship that makes life in the otherwise Iceland of the heart worthwhile.
I loved this book. It may well go on for a few pages of struggle through the snow too many. But if Jens and the boy can make it through, so can I. A remarkable work.