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The Great Weaver From Kashmir

3.33 of 5 stars 3.33  ·  rating details  ·  106 ratings  ·  17 reviews
The Great Weaver from Kashmiris Nobel Prize winner Halldór Laxness’ first major novel, the book that propelled Icelandic literature into the modern world. Shortly after World War One, Steinn Elliði, a young philosopher-poet dandy, leaves the physical and cultural confines of Iceland’s shores for mainland Europe, seeking to become "the most perfect man on earth." His journe ...more
Hardcover, 450 pages
Published October 24th 2008 by Archipelago (first published 1927)
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Read because I'm going to Iceland in the summer. I might try another of Laxness's books, but mainly because I wasn't the craziest over this one, and I am going to Iceland, after all. This was like a Hardy novel cut in half, only add 200 pages of the protagonist's philosophical and spiritual ramblings. There are some real ferocious parts to the book, but they are much fewer than the philosophical and spiritual nonsense that we use to look into the protagonist. I would recommend this to no one, bu ...more
Susan Skelly
An amazing journey through the many souls of man.

Only Laxness can throw everything, including the kitchen sink, in and have it work.
Because I want to go to Iceland.
And he understands how an utter ass can be the center of young girl's obsession.
Lindu Pindu
This is not a bad book. Trust me; I've been spoonfed Absolutes and the glorious decay of those who chase after it, as it were some inarguable national trait for Romanians blossoming on the pages of our national literature. After being steeped in that bullshit rhetoric, it is easy for me to see-- this book is quite the opposite.

This is an epic of an Icelandic family, taking place mainly on the continent, and making heavy use of the epistolary form (not as boring as it sounds). About the style: it
'The Great Weaver from Kashmir' by Halldór Laxness was okay. The book is a translation so some of the poetry I was expecting in the writing may have been missed. At times I found the book slow and could have cheerfully skipped over several pages, especially during the beginning. Ultimately, the book is about a young man, Steinn who leaves Iceland for the continent in order to find himself and experience a better life away from Iceland and the demands of his family. Steinn never manages to grow u ...more
I wrote a long review with quotes that got deleted. Incredibly bizzare book about sums it up. But I cannot resist giving this one quote after all. "It is horrendous to be betrothed to a woman: one can't go for a refreshing walk in the cool of the evening, like the Lord, without having a whole side of female meat hanging on to one. And what's more, a man has to endure this infectious carcass in his bed at night, lying over him, smacking her lips and groaning in her sleep, puffing and snuffling." ...more
Hjörtur Jónasson
The one I have read the most. Heated discussions the whole way through on big and broad topics.
ástin, trúin og sannleikurinn.
What an amazing book. This is not only a stunning literary work in and of itself, but it is also a great representation of all Icelandic literature has to offer. This groundbreaking author deserves two thumbs up for introducing the world to the Icelandic culture's precise detail and perfectly in-tune voice in modern world literature.

I am very much enjoying this introduction to a culture's contribution to world lit that I have not previously experienced.
** I obtained this title due to Goodread's First Reads***
I enjoy a challenge of conquering a book that is considered a hard read. This book and I have been involved in a battle for quite some time, and well the book won. This book has some beautifully written passages and others that cause to me change topic and focus. I feel that I need to do more research and reading of Luxness before I try this title again.
Laxness is one of my favorite authors. This was his first novel, and it reads like it was a first effort. At times it is boring...more a theological debate than a novel. And it is somewhat misogynistic which I don't recall in his later work. Perhaps I missed something. I appreciated his use of humor & irony which would become better developed later on. Definitely an important book for anyone interested in Laxness.
Brilliantly telling line...15 pages of meandering on the soul's torments. Hilarious aside...12 pages on the failings of modern philosophy. Clever description...9 pages on Icelandic weather. And so forth.
Overall I was not impressed with this book. I will admit that I was looking forward to this book. The description I had read led me to believe it was of a different nature.
This book can be beautiful when it is not busy philsophising or moaning. disappointing as my first introduction to halldor laxness, though.
Sep 30, 2009 Aimee is currently reading it
Remembering how to see the light behind the visage of other words, some people don't seek beauty because they bring it.
I tried, I really did, but I found the earnest search for Absolutes and the national and emotional stereotypes too tiresome.
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Born Halldór Guðjónsson, he adopted the surname Laxness in honour of Laxnes in Mosfellssveit where he grew up, his family having moved from Reyjavík in 1905. He published his first novel at the age of 17, the beginning of a long literary career of over 60 books, including novels, short stories, poetry, and plays. Confirmed a Catholic in 1923, he later moved away from religion and for a long time w ...more
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