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The Swan

3.29  ·  Rating Details  ·  132 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
The Swan is a masterful work by one of Iceland's most accomplished novelists and one of its leading fictional innovators. A nine-year old girl is sent to live and work on a country farm to serve her probation for shiplifting, a common form of punishment in Iceland. There, in a powerful, unchanging landscape, she experiences a community torn between ancient tradition and ne ...more
Paperback, 152 pages
Published March 1st 1998 by Mare's Nest (first published 1991)
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(showing 1-30 of 304)
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Siamo in Islanda. Una bambina di nove anni, messa in in punizione dai genitori per aver fatto piccoli furti nella sua città, è costretta a soggiornare e lavorare in campagna per un periodo imprecisato di tempo in una fattoria molto poco accogliente nell'entroterra islandese. Potrà ritornare alla sua casa e alla sua famiglia solo quando la gente del luogo avrà dimenticato i suoi piccoli "misfatti" (ai nostri occhi assolutamente lievi)

La bambina, affidata a persone fredde e sconosciute e in un luo
Apr 21, 2012 Renée rated it really liked it
Lovely writing. I dont see why there arent more books translated in English or Dutch and I find it a pity.

The story is well described through the eyes of the young girl, sometimes disturbing but not just to provoke. The book has a surreal feel to it but still it never becomes incomprehensible, I can still get into all the thoughts of the girl and the things happening except maybe the end.
I can also feel a bit of Iceland through the book. A strange but fascinating book that will stay with me. Al
Angel's books
Jul 13, 2015 Angel's books rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Geçen yıl CNR kitap fuarından almıştım bu kitabı. Puanı düşük diye okumayı erteleyip durmuştum. İskandinav Edebiyat ödüllü bir kitap. İzlanda Edebiyat ödülünü de almış. Ama bana hitap eden bir kitap değilmiş. Beğenmedim :/ Kitabın kahramanı hırsızlık yaptığı için, çalışsın diye köye gönderilen 9 yaşında bir kız çocuğu. Kurgunun bir amacı yok. Belki finalle toparlar diye devam ettim ama ı ıı, olmadı.
Jan 04, 2016 Chiari rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
There is no storyline whatsoever. I wanted to do a book report on this one for school, but I'm finding it hard to describe the story as there is none. Nothing happened. The characters don't have depth. There are some moments in the book which cross the line between special and perverted. The writing (or at least the Dutch translation) is not smooth, lose your attention for a second and you can do the page all over. There have been many times in which I had to read the sentence again because I di ...more
Feb 23, 2012 Carolyn rated it really liked it
A beautiful but disturbing book seen through the eyes of an imaginitive and very unusual child. The closely observed and poetically described responses to nature transform this novel into a work of art. While there are some passages that are difficult to read for their cruelty or even repulsiveness, the window we have into the girl's soul is transformative.
Jun 03, 2011 Thura rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 06, 2010 Abi rated it really liked it
Shelves: 20th-century, iceland
A lot odder than I was expecting. A very interesting book that I think I need to reflect on more before I can review it properly. I see that the Goodreads description describes the ending as 'almost surreal'. The 'almost' is misleading there.
Aug 12, 2015 Frank rated it liked it
Icelandic author Guðbergur Bergsson offers something far from usual story of a young girl spending a summer in the country. A stark existentialism weaves through his tale of a nine-year-old girl sent to a country farm, in a typical Icelandic stroke of justice, where she is to serve time for shoplifting. None of the characters is named. Our protagonist is "the girl." She lives on a farm with "the farmer", "the farmhand", "the daughter", and so on.
When a group of children from neighboring farms ga
Jessica Smith
Jun 05, 2016 Jessica Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Es el segundo libro de autor islandés que me he leído, y los dos tienen algo en común: la naturaleza y la muerte. En este libro, ambientado en el campo, se describe la naturaleza des de la primera página hasta la últoma, y la muerte es mencionada en casi todos los momentos más perturbadores de la historia. Porque la historia es perturbadora sin duda, pero está tan bien escrito que podría estar describiendo como matan a una vaca y parecerte lo mejor que has leído en todo el año. Es un libro que s ...more
Aug 24, 2015 Linda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015

Kitabı tesadüfen bulup okudum, pek beğenmedim. Betimleme ağırlıklı ve hızlı okunuyor. Karakterlerin özel isimleri yoktu. Kızın çevresine bakış açısı ve hayal gücü çoğu zaman şaşırttı. Ama konu bir yere varacak mı diye düşünürken kitap bitti.

Elimde bulunan basımında yazım hatası ve anlam bozukluğu olan cümleler vardı. Umarım sonraki basımlarda bu hatalar düzeltilmiştir.
Jul 04, 2015 Victoria rated it really liked it
I am still processing this odd little cygnet of a book. It is already unusual in that none of the characters have names--the main character remains "the Girl" all the way through the book. Masturbation, copulation, abortion are just a few of the things seen through the eyes of this 9-year-old. Very interesting, and amazing contrasts. I'll be thinking about this book for a while.
Betull ❂
May 25, 2013 Ffiamma rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nordica
troppa metafora, troppa allegoria, troppe suggestioni in questo romanzo di formazione ambientato nella campagna islandese. ho desiderato a lungo di leggerlo e, quando me lo sono ritrovato tra le mani, ho scoperto di non avere la chiave giusta per entrarci dentro. peccato, per me il cigno non ha spiccato il volo.
[ma un grazie all'amica claudia che l'ha scovato e me l'ha regalato]
Gunnar Hjalmarsson
Dec 19, 2013 Gunnar Hjalmarsson rated it liked it
Guðbergur Bergsson er bestur en þessi er ekkert svo spes.
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Guðbergur qualified as a teacher from the Iceland University of Education in 1955, went to Spain for further studies and graduated in Spanish, Literature and Art History from the University of Barcelona in 1958. Since then he has spent much of his time in Spain.
His first books, the novel Músin sem læðist (The Mouse That Creeps) and the poetry collection Endurtekin orð (Repeated Words), appeared in
More about Guðbergur Bergsson...

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