Iceland: Land of the Sagas

David Roberts, Author, Jon Karkauer, Photographer, Jon Krakauer, Photographer ABRAMS $39.95 (159p) ISBN 978-0-8109-3452-8
In an ingenious approach to a little-viewed land, journalist/outdoorsman Roberts and Krakauer ( Eiger Dreams ) examine Iceland today through its principal literary heritage. The harsh backdrop of the heroic tales featuring the fierce, beautiful Gudrun Osvifrsdottirsp ok or courageous Burnt Njal is much the same as it was in the 13th century when the sagas, blending myth, history and fiction, were written. The most volcanic land in the world, with plentiful waterfalls and hot springs (``geyser'' is from the Icelandic geysir ), the country is only four degrees from the Arctic Circle, yet, warmed by the Gulf Stream, possesses deep valleys and pastures to support indigenous populations of horses and sheep, as well as a quarter of a million people. In chapters such as ``Of Monks and Vikings'' and ``Women and Winter,'' Roberts deftly examines Iceland's history and culture while Krakauer's 100 arresting color photos capture the land's topographical power. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 08/29/1990
Release date: 09/01/1990
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