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Publisher's Summary

This magnificent novel - which secured for its author the 1955 Nobel Prize in Literature - is now available to contemporary American audiences. Although it is set in the early 20th century, it recalls both Iceland's medieval epics and such classics as Sigrid Undset's Kristin Lavransdatter. And if Bjartur of Summerhouses, the book's protagonist, is an ordinary sheep farmer, his flinty determination to achieve independence is genuinely heroic and, at the same time, terrifying and bleakly comic.
Having spent 18 years in humiliating servitude, Bjartur wants nothing more than to raise his flocks unbeholden to any man. But Bjartur's spirited daughter wants to live unbeholden to him. What ensues is a battle of wills that is by turns harsh and touching, elemental in its emotional intensity, and intimate in its homely detail. Vast in scope and deeply rewarding, Independent People is a masterpiece.
©1946 Halldór Laxness (P)2017 Tantor
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Critic Reviews

"A huge, skaldic treat filled with satire, humor, pathos, cold weather and sheep." ( Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By David Powell on 01-30-18

Epic Totally

A crude and vulgar giant of a sheep herder in the vast North of Iceland, determined to be independent but sucked in by the struggle to be independent. it's easy to detest him. you want to scream, "Don't do that!" But he does it anyway ... over and over again. He is so blind to his stupidity that one has empathy for him.
This is a powerful story, smoothly translated, and narrated with great skill.
My life would have been less if I had not found and read this book. This book is epic.
I have not said that about a book before.

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10 of 10 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Wade on 09-10-17

Nobel Prize - Of Course

Where does Independent People rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Independent People ranks first or second among the 200 or so books I've listened to.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The two main characters are both compelling. Both are trans-formative, both growing and maturing into new identities.

What does Michael Page bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Michael Page's narration and interpretation of the characters was splendid and expert. It was like listening to a play and he was playing all the parts and all were presented uniquley.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

This book should be consumed slowly and thoughtfully over time. It is not a piece of pulp fiction to chew up in one sitting.

Any additional comments?

Independent People can be a complex read. There are elements of description that seem overdone and unnecessary at times but the reward comes from the ultimate knitting together of compelling scenes and powerful characterizations. Well worth spending the time.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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