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Viking Voyager: An Icelandic Memoir

4.67  ·  Rating details ·  30 ratings  ·  20 reviews
This vivacious personal story captures the heart and soul of modern Iceland. Born in Reykjavik on the eve of the Second World War, Sverrir Sigurdsson watched Allied troops invade his country and turn it into a bulwark against Hitler’s advance toward North America. The country’s post-war transformation from an obscure, dirt-poor nation to a prosperous one became every Icela ...more
Kindle Edition, 284 pages
Published November 3rd 2020 by Mascot Books
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Frank Parker
Feb 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
If you are seeking proof of the old adage that travel broadens the mind, look no further than this informative memoir. Sverrir Sigurdsson is an Icelander. For him and his fellow countrymen travel is in their DNA, from their Viking ancestors who colonised most of Northern Europe and parts of North America long before Columbus.
Sigurdsson begins his story with the history of each of his parents. Like most of their generation of Icelanders in the early ears of the twentieth century, they were self s
Elizabeth Lloyd
Jan 18, 2021 rated it really liked it
From a childhood in wartime Iceland to retirement in Chesapeake Bay, Sverrir Sigurdsson followed the life of a modern-day Viking. Working and travelling widely in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa through turbulent times he has given us a life story full of fascinating encounters and observations. The development of Iceland from its simple, traditional lifestyle to the modern successful country of today is shown in the lives of Sverrir’s family and friends and you can’t help but admire ...more
Billy Buttons
Mar 17, 2021 rated it really liked it
Title: Viking Voyager: An Icelandic Memoir
Author: Sverrir Sigurdsson with Veronica Li

Star Rating: 4 Stars
Number of Readers: 16
Editing: 8/10
Writing Style: 7/10
Content: 8/10
Cover: 5/10
Of the 16 readers:
12 would read another book by this author.
8 thought the cover was good or excellent.
16 felt it was easy to follow.
13 would recommend this story to another reader to try.
Of all the readers, 10 felt the author’s strongest skill was ‘subject knowledge’.
Of all the readers, 3 felt the author’s stro
Melissa LaRiviere
Jan 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: review-done
A tale of the history of a family history that pulls you in for a fully immersive experience. This is not a genre I typically read, but I can honestly say how this accounting of family history was fascinating and kept me reading on, fully engrossed in the story. Beautiful pictures help tell the story and are well placed, adding to the visualization of what is being described.

I really enjoyed this beautifully written memoir and highly recommend it. It was fascinating to learn about this family a
Adrienne Nassau
Nov 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Engrossing, entertaining, and educational

Sverrir tells the story of his personal journey from an Icelandic farm boy to a poverty warrior in far-flung lands. Along the way, we learn a lot about Icelandic history and traditions, as well as the difficulties of building stuff in counties with few roads and expertise. His account is honest, colorful and wry, and the book is fun to read.
Christina Jong
Nov 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A most entertaining and fun read about a man who was born in Iceland right before World War II, his life growing up there, and his adventures after becoming an architect, traveling the world and engaging in all sorts of projects for the UN and the World Bank. An extraordinary life for a seemingly ordinary man. An important read for anyone interested in Icelandic history and culture, or just want a delightful personal story.
Mar 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Viking Voyager: An Iceland Memoir by Sverrir Sigurdsson and Veronica Li (5 Stars)
Thank you to the publisher and Goodreads for giving me this book, which was a giveaway contest. What a spectacular life Sverrir has lived so far!.

First, I chose this book because the name contained the word Viking. We have been on two enjoyable Viking cruises, and had scheduled a third. Then the pandemic led to a cancellation, a reschedule and then a second cancellation. I think I just want to dream about a return t
Jan 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
I had the pleasure of receiving this book in exchange for a review. However, the opinions expressed are my own.

There is already plenty of information on what the book is about so I will just touch on my personal observations. I appreciated that the book was written with such involving details. It flowed from one part of the author's life to the next. It stayed fairly consistent with chronological order.

I have not seen too many books about Iceland so I was intrigued to learn some of the history o
Jun 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
What a fascinating life this author has led!
I was intrigued by his memoir because I've been interested in Iceland since I was in grade school, and I've been fortunate enough to visit the country twice. In this book, the reader gets a detailed history and an excellent picture of what it was like to live there in the mid-twentieth century.
Like his Viking ancestors, the author set out for adventure at an early age. He went to college in Finland, earning a degree in architecture. Various employment
Agnes Wang
What an amazing journey the Viking voyager takes the reader into the life of Sverrir Sigurdsson, who was born in the period of Iceland's transformation into an independent nation, and who developed from his reserved, thoughtful and intellectually curious nature into a professional architect and educator. True to his Viking ancestry he ventured far and wide through the continents, bringing technology, education and training to elevate the quality the lives of people in developing countries. Throu ...more
Nwanganga Shields
Dec 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Denis Broun
Feb 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A remarkable life journey from Iceland at the time of World War II to Washington, with twists and turns all around Europe, the Middle East, Africa and other places.
Sverrir Sigurdsson writes well, is never boring or too long, and describes a most astonishing career, from studying architecture in Finland without speaking the language to reforming financing of school text books for the World Bank. In addition, he communicates rather well his pleasure in working with his hands - repairing, creating
A Thorsson
Apr 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A delightful and inspirational memoir.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this memoir! The voice of the author clearly cuts through, as though he's chatting with you about his life story. And what a life! From a young lad in Iceland, to a successful and well travelled architect, he has experienced and lived through many adventures.
As a Brit who settled in Iceland some twenty years ago, I can empathise with the bravery of settling in a different country, learning a new language and culture, while at t
Sammy Iam
Jan 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Viking Voyager uncovers a history that most of us don't know about--the beautiful history of Iceland through the perspective of a man who travels the world through his work at the World Bank, Unesco, and other organizations. A fast-paced, riveting, and compelling narrative. An immersion into Nordic culture and work ethic fused with the insight of a broader global perspective. Loved it and recommending it to all my friends and family. Never thought I could learn so much about the world from the s ...more
Liliyana Shadowlyn
Jan 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
An absolutely captivating family saga that will pull you in from the start. I must admit biographies and memoirs are very hit-and-miss for me, and this was a huge hit! The prose flows well, and the pacing is perfect. A tale spanning the globe and many decades, the reader is introduced to new experiences and cultures along the way. An inspiring and heartwarming story.
Jill Smith
Dec 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a fascinating memoir and spans an amazing career and life. From Iceland the boy grows from a hands on wood crafter to train to be an architect. Who knew this would take him all around the world? I admire anyone who can learn a second language and this author is a multi linguist. I’ll have a full review shortly.
Jan 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A wonderfully written, candidly told story of an extraordinary Viking ! Engrossing and difficult to put down. It should be a must read for teenagers (but also adults, because... there’s always time to fulfill dreams so long as one is alive). I wish I had read something like this in my younger age. It is easy to close your eyes and travel the world with Sverrir. Do it !
Ho-yin Li
Nov 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Magnificent read. This is a good example of the connection between biography and history. Through Sverrir's story, we can see the development of his country, Iceland, and the evolution of the world he traveled in. ...more
Thomas Y
Feb 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Very impressive reading, with a lot of history on Iceland, interesting stories of the author and his family, and a good writing style. Recommended to all who are keen on things international.
Judy Thomas
Jan 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
An amazing adventure!
A very enjoyable and well written book. It had me wanting to travel to Iceland .The historical facts were very interesting. I loved it reading this book.
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