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De gelukkige krijgers

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  236 ratings  ·  33 reviews
In het IJsland van de elfde eeuw is het christendom de officiële godsdienst, maar bezingen de dichters nog de oude goden en de bloeddorstige heldendaden van de Vikingen. Dichter Thormod Bessason en krijger Thorgeir Havarsson worden bloedbroeders en besluiten de wereld in te trekken in de geest van hun vaders en voorvaderen. Halldór Laxness schreef met behulp van oude IJsla ...more
Hardcover, 411 pages
Published October 1st 2011 by De Geus (first published 1952)
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Average rating 3.85  · 
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Aug 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
'Wayward Heroes' by Halldór Laxness

4.5 stars/ 9 out of 10

I was interested in reading "Wayward Heroes", because I have spent time in Iceland, and also have read and enjoyed Independent People by the same author.

This is a new translation, direct from Icelandic, by Phillip Roughton, (an earlier English translation by a different translator having been from a Swedish translation), to be published in October 2016.

I thought the translation was excellent. The descriptions were vivid, and used colloquia
Once again unintentional serendipitous simultaneous reading leads to a dual review: of Halldór Laxness’s Wayward Heroes (translated by Philip Roughton) and Outlaws of the Marsh by Shi Nai’an and Luo Guanzhong, translated by Sidney Shapiro (I am given to understand that there is no adequate English translation of The Outlaws of the Marsh, but it’s on Philip Ward’s Lifetime Reading list, and this abridged version was the best I could do. And, in fact, I re ...more
This English edition was actually a translation from the Swedish translation of Gerpla. I'm reading it alongside the Icelandic original because the language in Gerpla—Halldór's self-created medieval Icelandic—is so complex and stylized that it would be pretty difficult for me to read it on its own within the given time frame. (Halldór said that he could have taught himself Chinese six times in the time it took him to develop the language spoken by the characters in this book.)

This version conve
Eric Hinkle
Dec 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was very excited for this one, because it's been years since another Laxness book has been translated into English - despite him remaining a legend in Iceland nearly 20 years after his death. It's a very entertaining novel, both in its blatant humor and its not-so-subtle mockery of epic sagas and the ridiculous notion held by many proud Scandinavians that vikings were noble warriors with dignity, valor, and any semblance of morals. Laxness takes this epic tale of sworn brothers Þorgeir and Þor ...more
Jun 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Alle eer aan de schrijver alsook aan de vertaler, Marcel Otten, die onversaagd verder gaat met de vertaling, uit het IJslands, van de meesterwerken van Halldor Laxness. Deze "anti-vikingsaga" gaat speelt zich af in het Noorwegen van de 14de eeuw en handelt voornamelijk over 3 personages; de bloedbroeders Thormod de dichter en Thorgeir de krijger en later Olaf de Dikke.Thormod en Thorgeir, 2 wat onbeholpen personages die het geluk en een zekere toekomst achter zich laten op zoek naar avontuur en ...more
Oct 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: challenge-2013
A fine book in the epic story tradition of the Icelandic Sagas. The author used existing sagas, but changed the character so the book became an hilarious tale of the wanderings of two young men who become blood brothers and want to live according to the old warrior traditions and tales of the Vikings. They want to gather fame in the service of a Norwegian king Olaf, a warrior who succeeds to become king and murders his country men.
The book is a parody of the old sagas of Iceland, which can be r
Oct 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-stars
I had a much more enjoyable time reading this than I had anticipated, and found myself laughing out loud on more than one occasion. My initial feelings were that this would be a good book to read, but not necessarily fun. In the end I was correct on the former and completely wrong on the latter.

Þorgeir and Þormóður (the "Þ" in their names is, I believe, pronounced like the "Th" of Thor) are the titular wayward heroes. They are born at a time when Icelandic men are moving away from the tradition
Mar 27, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is really not my sort of book and therefore it’s difficult for me to write a review. I decided to read it as I know very little about Halldor Laxness’s work and am always eager to expand my knowledge of authors from other countries, but this one defeated me. Very much in the tradition of the Sagas and therefore packed with all the tropes of such literature, I found it unengaging and difficult to read – not least because the translator chose to use the Icelandic alphabet. The historical back ...more
Nick Jones
Jun 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
De Gelukkige Krijgers is a very fine and unusual book. I enjoyed the tour of the eleventh century Nordic world, from the West fjords of Iceland to Ireland, England, Normandy, Norway, Kiev and Greenland. Even more I enjoyed the way Laxness debunks the warrior myths of Iceland, as well as the sanctity of the early church, showing cruelty, pettiness, greed and banal self interest where his warrior and his skaldic poet see honour and fame.
Jeremy Hornik
A parody of the classic sagas of violence and murder. I saw what he was getting at, at least in part, and didn't hate it. But a little of this went a long way. ...more
Jul 27, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
July 27, 2020 : Could've done without the irony, and the digressions to the rise and fall of kings, though I get the purpose of the latter, whereas the former dilutes the poignancy of this heartfelt novel-length condemnation of the urges to power and violence. The book is great when it cleaves close to its two disturbing and, in some sense, fascinating main characters. It is utterly great when it pauses to narrate particular events in detail, down to the conversations. But that doesn't happen as ...more
Maria Beltrami
Questo è probabilmente il più islandese dei romanzi di Laxness, non solo nella storia quanto soprattutto nella struttura, e questo mi ha creato qualche difficoltà di lettura. L'avventura tragicomica dei due fratelli d'armi Thorgeir e Thormod, ispirata a un'autentica saga, è scritta con uno stile e un ritmo che ricorda molto l'Edda di Snorri, che però non è un romanzo ma una serie di "quadri" narrativi intesi a dare ai poeti dei riferimenti letterari. Anche qui le avventure si svolgono in quadri, ...more
Elaine Aldred
Oct 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wayward Heroes was one book in the body of work for which Haldor Laxness was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1955. Its inspiration came from the wonderful classic Icelandic Sagas. Wayward Heroes is a title which says it all, because it is the story of Thorgeir and Thormod, two blood brothers. Thorgeir, is obsessed with becoming a warrior, while the less bellicose Thormod aspires to be a great bard. The text begins in a very grand manner in the style of a storyteller enthralling his audience huddled a ...more
May 29, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ég er mikill aðdáandi Halldórs Laxness og hef verið ákaflega hrifin af flestum bóka hans — fyrir utan Heimsljós sem ég náði einhvern veginn ekki að tengjast. Því miður fellur Gerpla í flokk með Heimsljósi. Ég veit að þetta er ádeila á Íslendingasögurnar og það kom fyrir að ég hló að einhverju — kannski sérstaklega í lokin — en mér fannst þessi bók samt eiginlega ekki segja mér neitt sem ég hafði ekki áður lesið í Fóstbræðrarsögu. Og mér fannst ég ekki þurfa að lesa Gerplu til að sjá fáránleikann ...more
Sep 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nordic-finished
Wayward Heroes follows the story of Þormóður Bessason and Þorgeir Hávarsson. The book, written by Icelandic Nobel Prize winner Halldór Laxness, is a retelling of various Icelandic sagas.

Ultimately this is a story about brotherhood, loyalty, friendship, power, and revenge. I loved the story and it was told really well. It takes place around the 10th and 11th century, the time period of one of my other favorite books, The Long Ships, and takes you on the adventures of Vikings. Halfway through, the
Verwacht geen verhaal over helden. De drie hoofdpersonen van dit boek zijn zware jongens die geweld niet schuwen. Geschreven in Edda-stijl is dit een bijzonder mooi verhaal, gebaseerd op een tweetal sagen, waaruit Laxness zijn eigen sagen gecreerd heeft. Oorspronkelijk geschreven in Oud-ijslands, een uitzonderlijke prestatie van Laxness. Maar een nog grotere prestatie was het vertalen in het Nederlands door Marcel Otten uit het Oud-ijslands in een niet al te modern Nederlands.
Een compleet ander
Frank Hering
If you are interested in Iceland or hero stories, this is a good book for you. Think Jason and the Argonauts. The book is very readable. Some of the sentences are beautifully constructed, even though this is a translation. I would have liked to see proper names also done in alphabetic characters instead of Icelandic ones. About halfway through the book, though, I got tired of it. I felt like it started getting repetitive. I received a free ebook version of this book in exchange for an honest rev ...more
Ronald van Duivenboden
Je moet wel heel erg van deze archaïsche vertellingen houden om het boek compleet uit te kunnen lezen. De roman is gebaseerd op door de auteur hertaalde zeer oude teksten van sagen uit de noordelijke landen IJsland, Noorwegen en Denemarken. De verhalen spelen zich af in ongeveer de elfde eeuw en stellen macht, krijgslust, overwinning en verlies aan de orde. In hoeverre de beschreven geschiedenissen historisch juist zijn valt te betwijfelen. Als ontspannende literatuur is het wel erg zware kost.
Jun 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ironic, witty, partly universal, partly requires deeper knowledge of Nordic history.
Very difficult to read in Icelandic so I had to use the English translation as a help.
Jun 04, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Anders by: George Schoolfield
A hilarious romp through Viking-Age Iceland and Northern Europe.
Jul 03, 2016 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
* e-Arc provided by Edelweiss *
Apr 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hei, þetta var flott bók. Þessi Halldór er bara dáldið klár.
Owen Youngman
Feb 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With this book, constructed and written in the style of an Icelandic saga, I completed reading the fiction of Laxness in English translation.
Dan Plonsey
Jan 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wayward Heroes is not by any means my favorite Laxness -- the characters are not as well drawn, the dialogue lacks the sly wit -- but it has its own rewards. Structurally, it is quite odd: it's a revisioning of two Icelandic sagas, knit together rather abruptly. The first third of the book deals with two local "heroes" whose idea of heroism is of arming themselves (with the worst imaginable weapons), and basically going door to door, robbing people, challenging them to a fight to the death. In t ...more
Nicki Markus
I am a huge fan of Halldór Laxness' writing and Wayward Heroes is no exception. I had already read a translation of the original sagas upon which this is based, but Laxness' version has a wonderful flow and is a beautiful retelling, showing events in a different light from the original tales. So while it's familiar in a way, there was also something new to discover. This will be a delight for any Laxness fan, but it is also a brilliant read for saga fans looking for a different take on the class ...more
Jan 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had moments in this book of wanting to shelve it, followed by great enjoyment and laughter. Wayward Heroes is an excellent critique of warfare and religion. The word "wayward" I wondered about. It did not seem very strong, but these synonyms make sense: willful, headstrong, stubborn, obstinate, obdurate, perverse, contrary, disobedient, insubordinate, undisciplined. Add lice ridden to these wayward heroes, and you have the picture. ...more
I’m loving Laxness. Will definitely be reading some more soon.
Dec 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some bits are heavy going, but you can't beat Icelanders for moral ambiguity. Great book, really stays with you. ...more
Jordan Webber
I liked it a lot in the first half but it lost me in the second half. Started to drag on a biting was introducing too many characters.
May 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's rare that a novel has this good of an ending. I'm still laughing. Thanks to Archipelago for offering this among its free lockdown ebooks. ...more
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Nordic Book Club: November 2016 - Wayward Heroes 3 16 Dec 07, 2016 08:35AM  

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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 only 17, the beginning of a long literary career of more than 60 books, including novels, short stories, poetry, and plays. Confirmed a Catholic in 1923, he later moved away from religion and for a l ...more

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