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I pesci non hanno gambe

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  1,127 ratings  ·  168 reviews
Tutto comincia con l’amore, questa «esplosione solare che ti distrugge la vita e rende abitabili i deserti», ma che con il tempo può raffreddarsi diventando un banale martedì. È allora che Ari, poeta di vocazione ed editore di successo, manda tutto in frantumi, tradisce sua moglie e i tre figli e fugge dall’Islanda. È allora che sua nonna Margrét, un secolo prima, ritorna ...more
Paperback, 440 pages
Published May 2015 by Iperborea (first published 2013)
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3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,127 ratings  ·  168 reviews


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Dolors
Jun 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Do you hear the music of words?
Shelves: read-in-2016
Words and music are at the core of this contemporary story set in Keflavik.
Surrounded by miles and miles of black lava fields and a fishless sea, the town has lost its natural sustenance to regulation and globalized modernity.
This is the desolate place Ari returns to when he hears of his dying father after having run away to Copenhagen in a desperate attempt to escape his failures as a husband and son. Haunted by his remorse and inadequacies, he is confronted with a stream of unsummoned memori
...more
Cecily

Image: Monument to Might (of the sea) by Steinunn Þórarinsdóttir on the outskirts of Sandgerði

"It all began with death… In every death, there’s a new life."
The heart is a muscle, light is kindled, the sea and snow enhance and limit life, eyes are vividly described, words and stories have mystical power, and angels look out over tussocks. Reading the first thirty pages was like snuggling into the welcoming embrace of a beloved grandparent. But like the aged relative, things are not quite as remem
...more
Gill
Sep 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, favorites
'Fish Have No Feet' by Jón Kalman Stefánsson (translated by Philip Roughton)

5 stars/ 10 out of 10

Ever since I was a child I have wanted to visit Iceland. Twenty years ago I made it there, albeit only for some hours at Keflavík airport, as a refuelling stop. A few years after that I spent a wonderful couple of weeks in Iceland, walking and sightseeing. Since then I have read anything available about the country; so I am very pleased that 'Fish Have No Feet' is now available in English (translated
...more
Héctor Genta
Aug 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: preferiti
Forse la bellezza non salverà il mondo...
ma magari mi aiuterà a salvarmi dal mondo. Jón Kalman Stefánsson: è lui il Virgilio a cui ho deciso di affidarmi per questo tratto di strada. Altri lo hanno preceduto (Pessoa e Leonard Cohen, Carver e Mark Strand, Rilke e Tord Gustavsen... sono solo i primi che mi vengono in mente), altri lo seguiranno. Ma adesso tocca a lui, a quella scrittura attenta che ho imparato a conoscere attraverso i suoi libri precedenti, alla scelta accurata delle parole e al l
...more
Patrizia
Mar 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
“Nessuno può camminare sul mare, è per questo che i pesci non hanno gambe”
Cento anni di storia di una famiglia, tanti volti, tante esistenze segnate dal mare e dall'attesa, da sogni non realizzati, da aspettative disattese. Donne e uomini in un paese, l'Islanda, al confine del mondo. Vite dure, difficili, amori, rimpianti, nascite e morti, in mezzo a una natura bellissima ma inclemente.
Una prosa poetica, immaginifica ed evocativa, ma tratti eccessivamente carica a discapito della narrazione, che
...more
Moira Macfarlane
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
Jón Kalman Stefánsson schrijft filosofisch, poëtisch, zwaarmoedig. Rijke volle zinnen met veel woorden en ruimte voor rust, een zekere traagheid, melancholiek, maar in oh zo'n stijlvol ritme. Daar moet je van houden en ik denk ook even het juiste moment voor vinden (want al die zwaarte kan anders wel rauw vallen), maar ik vind het stuk voor stuk mooie woorden waarin hij je meeneemt zijn wereld en gedachten in.

Hieronder de eerste bladzijde van het boek, die zo prachtig de toon zet van alle bladz
...more
Vanessa
Apr 22, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I did a full, 17.5 minute review of this on my YouTube channel (link is in my bio), so I'm not going to bother with going into too much detail here. Suffice it to say that this book was a massive disappointment for me, despite being one of my most anticipated longlist reads.

In my honest opinion, this was a poorly written book with overly flowery language for the sake of having more words on the page. This writing didn't enhance the book at all, instead highlighting the fact that most of the imag
...more
Neil
Apr 13, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-mbi, 2017
This is my first experience of Stefansson, so I cannot draw any comparisons with his other works. But I can say that, despite the occasional repetitiveness, there is some beautiful, poetic prose in this family saga. The book interleaves three story lines. Firstly, we read about Ari as he returns from self-imposed exile in Denmark to the Iceland of his birth and growing up. Secondly, we hear the story of his childhood and adolescence in Iceland with his friend (more on this later) who narrates th ...more
Bellezza
I have rarely reviewed the books I hold the most dearly on this blog. I am afraid that my words will tarnish them, that my words and their author’s words have no business being on the same page.

So it is with Fish Have No Feet by Jón Kalman Stefánsson. If I tell you that I read breathlessly, turning the pages without being aware of the paper, or the light, or the time, or my chair, you might say, “I’ve heard all that before.”

You might even be unconvinced of its power if I told you there was a lin
...more
Simona
Oct 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
"Abbraccio è senza dubbio la parola più bella di ogni lingua".

Libri come quelli di Stefansson ti mettono in contatto con la natura, con il mondo, ti invitano a riflettere, a porti domande.
Dai paesaggi che Stefansson riesce a descrivere in modo magistrale, ti senti circondato da amore, meraviglia e da commozione.
Il viaggio che Ari intraprende è il viaggio non solo fisico, ma anche interiore, il viaggio di chi si pone domande, di chi cerca risposte agli interrogativi della vita. Dalle domande s
...more
L'indifferente
Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lett-scandinava
Mamma mia che scrittura pazzesca. Lirica, intensa, moderna, preziosa, ricca... eppure scorrevolissima, mai di troppo; ed è proprio questo equilibrio qui - quello in cui una prosa lavoratissima si consuma in pagine che scorrono da sé, in totale scioltezza - ad avermi colpito. O folgorato.
Portal in the Pages
One of these two stars belongs to the translator...
Paul Fulcher
"In Keflavik there are three cardinal directions: the wind, the sea and eternity.

'Nowhere in all of Ireland do people live as close to death.'(*)

The unrelenting wind seems to be able to blow from two directions at once, gusts bearing salt and sand took turns lashing us, the sky so distant that our prayers over ever made it halfway there, then dropped like dead birds or changed into hail, the drinking water as salty as the sea. This place isn't fit for habitation; everything is against it: commo
...more
Cosimo
Aug 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Non può finire bene

“La vita cresce dalle parole, la morte dimora nel silenzio. Per questo dobbiamo continuare a scrivere, a raccontare, a mormorare versi di poesia e imprecazioni e così tenere lontana la morte, per un po'”.

In un Islanda che è il posto più nero del mondo e insieme un luogo che non esiste, un urlo arcaico tra la brughiera di Keflavìk e le montagne e la lava di Nordfjordur, il poeta e editore Ari vive il suo ritorno a casa, nella terra familiare della memoria e del dolore, in occas
...more
Sini
Jul 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Door mee te doen aan de win-actie van Hebban kreeg ik, mazzelpik die ik ben, zomaar Stefanssons tweeluik "Vissen hebben geen voeten" en "Iets ter grootte van het universum" cadeau. Wel tegen de voorwaarde dat ik minstens een van beide boeken zou recenseren, maar dat voelt eerder als extra pret dan als een verplichting. Want ik hou wel van Stefansson, en heb mij eerder - ondanks wat kleine bezwaren- met zijn trilogie prima geamuseerd (zie mijn recensie van "Het hart van de mens"). En zo ook met " ...more
Anya
Apr 15, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Fish Have No Feet” follows a young man named Ari home, to his childhood town of Keflavik, Iceland. Ari returns to Keflavik after several years abroad, feeling that he finally needs to confront his past…

“Fish Has No Feet” provides an interesting window into the past and present of Keflavik. We learn about Keflavik’s climate, main industries and shaky economic present. We also learn about Ari’s life, as well as the past and present of his numerous friends and acquaintances..

I enjoyed the pieces o
...more
Misha
Apr 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Have the Beatles ready to listen to after you have read this.
Tonymess
As readers of Jón Kalman Stefánsson’s other books will know, he is big on weather imagery, snow drifts, winds, storms, being buried in snow, the language and style match this obsession…”because the weather has done so much to shape life in Iceland for more than one thousand years.”

The references to Iceland are interesting with subjects such as US airbases, the economy and politics sprinkled throughout, but are these enough to hold a rambling existentialist question mark together?

Like Jón Kalman
...more
Cristina - Athenae Noctua
Jun 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Se dovessi spiegare cosa mi sia piaciuto di più di questo libro, sinceramente non saprei farlo. C'è la prosa di Stefánsson, fluida come il mare che fa da personaggio, oltre che da sfondo, e che in certi momenti tocca delle vette poetiche di un fascino insostenibile, in altri si fonde nel flusso di coscienza. C'è la storia struggente di Margrét, che cerca l'affetto in esplosioni di vitalità che i più non possono capire. C'è il rumore del mare e ci sono i tralicci su cui si appende il pesce ad ess ...more
Michal Červený
Aug 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
islandská odpoveď na Sto rokov samoty. lenže severská odpoveď. vyvoláva pocit sklucenia podobne ako dánske filmy.
autor použil zaujímavý jazyk s mnohými opakovaniami celých viet aj viacerých viet za sebou.
zároveň platí, že čím zložitejšie suvetie použil, tým bolo zrozumitelnejsie (tiež som sa čudoval).
záver som už musel dočítať na jeden šup, chcel som to mať za sebou. no nie preto, že by to bolo zle. no preto, že to asi príliš verne prebúdzalo tie najhoršie pocity.
Aike
Jun 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely beautiful writing style, so many beautiful ideas and thoughts and quotes, a book I started rereading immediatly after I finished it.
Cloudbuster
Mar 30, 2018 rated it liked it
"In nessun altro luogo nell’intero paese il popolo dimora in tale prossimità con la morte"

E’ il secondo romanzo di Jon Kalman Stansson che leggo dopo l’affascinante Paradiso ed Inferno. La sua scrittura si conferma bellissima, evocativa, originale e mai banale. Il senso del romanzo è riassunto in questo brano che compare nelle prime pagine del romanzo: la vita è incomprensibile, è ingiusta, eppure viviamo, non possiamo evitarlo, non sappiamo fare altro, la vita è l’unica cosa che abbiamo per ce
...more
Anna Sütőová
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ó, tak toto áno! Mrazivý opis islandskej klímy v "najčernejšom mieste Islandu" ma zmrazil až ku špiku kostí, a to som túto knihu čítala v sparnom lete. Nádhera. Atmosféra, štýl, príbeh, všetko. A ešte aj fakt, že nekončíme, neviem sa dočkať pokračovania. Napriek celkom slušnému rozsahu totiž v knihe nebolo prezradené takmer nič, čo sa prítomnosti týka, a tak celkom slušne navnadila. Najviac sa mi páči rozprávač, čo netuším, kto je, a akú má v príbehu úlohu, ale zdá sa mi dôležitý. Možno je to le ...more
Lù
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was ok
Non è il mio libro; è questa la sensazione che ho avuto annaspando tra le - spesso anche bellissime - pagine di questo romanzo. Pagine in cui ci sono degli attimi di pura poesia. C'è la crudeltà del vivere in Islanda, nel posto anzi più desolato dell'Islanda: Keflavik. Terra inospitale dove a comandare sono il meteo e le assurde normative che vietano la pesca, da sempre unica risorsa per gli autoctoni.
Ci sono poi i ritratti e le storie di tanti membri della stessa famiglia, dai nomi difficilissi
...more
Jaap
Mar 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mbi-2017
Iceland in this book is quite different from the beautiful multicoloured country you will find in the tourist brochures. It is harsh and cold, black lava rock with high snow. Silent people with deep feelings as black and white as the land. Warm feelings can turn into deep depression, tender love easily becomes sexual abuse.

The book describes the life of Ari and his family by means of many time-shifted small scenes. The story is like snow on a dark afternoon - between the many small gems you gra
...more
Demeter
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Strachy a rozhodnutia. Rozliaty text, ktorý sa nečíta jedným dychom, ale keď si zvyknete na štýl, dostanete literatúru. Treba čítať!
Lydia
Dec 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Prvá skúsenosť s islandským autorom, ktorého mi odporučil brat. Poetické, pomalé, skôr hĺbavé čítanie. Je to melancholický i záhadný príbeh islandskej rodiny, ktorej osud je spätý s krajinou a morom ale zároveň ide aj o rozjímanie nad životom, láskou či smrťou.
Nina
Another book club read, and I am not a fan - I actually had to take a break in the middle of this novel and read something else because it was struggling to keep my attention. At one point I thought about DNFing it, but I read through some of the 5 star reviews on here, and I really wanted to see what they saw. Of course I’ve now finished it, and by my rating you can tell that I never got that insight, but at least I tried.

Fish Have No Feet is written very well in some places. It’s poetic, and
...more
Giulia Cordisco
Jul 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Le vite di tre generazioni che si intrecciano sullo sfondo di un'Islanda ostile e inospitale, a Keflavik, dove “più di ogni altro luogo nell’intero paese il popolo dimora in tale prossimità con la morte”. La prosa di Stefànsson è curata e calibrata, a tratti sfocia nella poesia, ma spesso si compiace della propria esattezza cadendo nel mellifluo. Nonostante ciò il libro non perde la sua incisività. Ogni personaggio ha dietro una storia che è un abisso e una crescita fatta di tormenti e angosce. ...more
Paolo Gianoglio
Jun 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Una lettura inizialmente difficile. Tanti personaggi, piani temporali diversi e non ben definiti, una geografia complicata. Occorrono pazienza e tenacia, è un po’ come quei percorsi di montagna che ti accolgono con una salita repentina, poi si assestano in una salita morbida e piacevole, non devi più badare al fiato e puoi godere del paesaggio.
In questo caso il paesaggio è fatto di tante cose, al punto che mi trovo in difficoltà a fare una sintesi. C’è l’Islanda fisica, una terra desolata e diff
...more
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The Mookse and th...: 2017 MBI Longlist: Fish Have No Feet 7 34 Apr 16, 2017 11:30AM  
ManBookering: Fish Have No Feet by Jon Kalman Stefansson 5 55 Apr 15, 2017 03:41PM  
Bókaklúbbur Borga...: Nálægt hafi sefast allar sorgir 1 11 Nov 18, 2013 04:01AM  
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Jón moved to Keflavík when he was 12 and returned to Reykjavík in 1986 with his highschool diploma. From 1975 – 1982 he spent a good deal of his time in West Iceland, where he did various jobs: worked in a slaughterhouse, in the fishing industry, doing masonry and for one summer as a police officer at Keflavík International Airport. Jón Kalman studied literature at the University of Iceland from 1 ...more
“La vita è troppo breve e incerta per distogliere lo sguardo.” 1 likes
“Those who feel no pain or emotion in life have cold hearts and have never lived – which is why you must be grateful for your tears.” 1 likes
More quotes…