Under the Glacier

  • by Halldor Laxness, Magnus Magnusson (translator)
  • Narrated by Ken Maxon
  • 6 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Under the Glacier represents Nobel laureate Halldor Laxness at his entertaining and brilliantly inventive best. Philosophy, theological speculation, and charming wit combine to make this novel a timeless fable of modern times.
A youthful emissary of the Bishop of Iceland travels to the beautiful and mysterious district of Snæfellsnes, locally known as "Under Glacier" to investigate the affairs of the parish and its enigmatic pastor. The story is the young man's report to the bishop on the extraordinary events taking place at the foot of Snæfellsnes-Glacier and the remarkable characters he encounters in the course of his investigations. In this strange region, all accepted distinctions between past and present, the mundane and the supernatural, seem at times to vanish.


What the Critics Say

"Laxness is a beacon in twentieth-century literature, a writer of splendid originality, wit, and feeling." (Alice Munro)
"A marvelous novel about the most ambitious questions. It is also one of the funniest books ever written." (Susan Sontag)
"The qualities of the sagas pervade his writing, and particularly a kind of humor–oblique, stylized and childlike–that can be found in no other contemporary writer." (The Atlantic Monthly)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Horrible narration and performance. Not worth listening to this way.

The book itself is a bit difficult but can be interesting. Unfortunately, The narration is a travesty. The narrator is flat and an interesting and has not bothered to check out how to pronounce any of the names or places in the book. I travel to Iceland four or five times per year over the last 10 years. Listening to every name and place being mutilated is too distracting to make it possible for this book to be listen to for long. Any school child could have put the names into Google and have them pronounced correctly. If you are able to overlook the grating sound of names being mashed, and the narrator sounds as if he is stumbling over most of them, the narrator is still just not able to make the story come to life. It is almost like listening to a telemarketer. A real shame as this can be a very interesting book. Requested a refund
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- Arsenio Paez

Wonderful, engaging

Although it is true that the pronunciation of non-English words and phrases has a distinct English accent, I do not think this has a significant effect on the quality of the performance. On the contrary, the reader's tone and affect are very appropriate for Laxness's style of dry, mocking humor.

The story is engaging, and to me slightly reminiscent of Nabokov's tendencies to mock, at least superficially, any target in sight.
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- Roman

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-08-2011
  • Publisher: Audible Studios