Mary Reinert's Reviews > Independent People

Independent People by Halldór Laxness
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Jan 22, 10

Read in July, 2009

Books that take me to another culture, time and place are the top of my reading list. This one certainly does just that. Bjartur is one of the most unlikeable but yet interesting characters in literature. His quest for independence is admirable yet at times just stupid and cruel. The portrayal of the life of an Icelandic peasant is so well crafted one can almost hear the sheep bleating. This is definitely a well written, deeply thought provoking book.

Yet, it is also hard to read especially at first. It took me quite a while to get used to the language and the use of personal and place names (I have absolutely no familiarity with Iceland or its culture). Several times I had to go back and reread.

This is a great book; however, I must recommend one that I felt was even better in its portrayal of a peasant family in Norway: Knut Hamsun's Growth Of The Soil which won the Nobel Prize in 1920. If you liked INDEPENDENT PEOPLE, please take a look at Hamsun's book as well.
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