Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Swan” as Want to Read:
The Swan
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Swan

3.45 of 5 stars 3.45  ·  rating details  ·  91 ratings  ·  6 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)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Swan, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Swan

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 194)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Renée Damstra
Lovely writing. I don´t see why there aren´t 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.
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.
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.
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]
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gunnar Hjalmarsson
Guðbergur Bergsson er bestur en þessi er ekkert svo spes.
Jen Hughes
Jen Hughes marked it as to-read
Mar 01, 2015
Diana Aeryn
Diana Aeryn is currently reading it
Mar 01, 2015
Iris Meyer
Iris Meyer marked it as to-read
Feb 06, 2015
Lis added it
Jan 11, 2015
Sif added it
Dec 27, 2014
Ysmalan marked it as to-read
Jan 07, 2015
Andrew Anderson
Andrew Anderson marked it as to-read
Dec 05, 2014
Jenny marked it as to-read
Dec 02, 2014
August added it
Nov 06, 2014
Mayk Şişman
Mayk Şişman marked it as to-read
Jan 27, 2015
Grace marked it as to-read
Oct 26, 2014
Mh Re
Mh Re added it
Oct 11, 2014
Theresa~OctoberLace marked it as to-read
Sep 28, 2014
Eileen marked it as to-read
Sep 12, 2014
Juliana Summerling
Juliana Summerling marked it as to-read
Sep 04, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
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...
Tómas Jónsson: Metsölubók Músin sem læðist Hjartað býr enn í helli sínum Lömuðu kennslukonurnar Eins og steinn sem hafið fágar

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »