Author – Bjørn Larssen was made in Poland. He is mostly located in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, except for his heart which he lost in Iceland. Born in 1977, he self-published his first graphic novel at the age of seven in a limited edition of one. Since then his short stories and essays were published in Rita Baum Art Magazine, Writer Unboxed, Inaczej Magazine), Edurada.pl, Homiki.pl, and Holandia Expat Magazine. He is a member of Alliance of Independent Authors and Writer Unboxed.
Bjørn has a Master of Science degree in mathematics, worked as a graphic designer, a model, and a blacksmith. He used to speak eight languages (currently down to two and a half). His hobbies include sitting by open fires, dressing like an extra from Vikings, installing operating systems, and dreaming about living in a log cabin in the north of Iceland, even though he hates being cold. He has only met an elf once. So far.
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Pages – 292
The Blurb –
In March 1920 Icelandic days are short and cold, but the nights are long. For most, on those nights, funny, sad, and dramatic stories are told around the fire. But there is nothing dramatic about Gunnar, a hermit blacksmith who barely manages to make ends meet. He knows nobody will remember him – they already don’t. All he wants is peace, the company of his animals, and a steady supply of his medication. Sometimes he wonders what it would feel like to have a story of his own. He’s about to find out.
Sigurd – a man with a plan, a broken ankle, and shocking amounts of money – won’t talk about himself, but is happy to tell a story that just might get Gunnar killed. The blacksmith’s other “friends” are just as eager to write him into stories of their own – from Brynhildur who wants to fix Gunnar, then marry him, his doctor who is on the precipice of calling for an intervention, The Conservative Women of Iceland who want to rehabilitate Gunnar’s “heathen ways” – even the wretched elf has plans for the blacksmith.
As his defenses begin to crumble, Gunnar decides that perhaps his life is due for a change – on his own terms. But can he avoid the endings others have in mind for him, and forge his own?
Today is my stop on the Storytellers blog tour. Many thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for the chance to read and review.
My thoughts – This book concentrates on Gunnar, a Icelandic man, happy with his lot as a blacksmith. Living by himself, with just his dog and horse to look after and his ‘homebrew’ to keep his demons away.
One night his life is interrupted by a stranger, Sigurd a man with a story of his own. Injured he has to stay with Gunnar until he heals, but no-one can know he is there.
With nothing to do, Sigurd starts to tell Gunnar a story, that unfolds as the book goes on. The cleverness of this book is how the author connects these two stories. It is a beautiful read that really pulls you in and makes you think. I find it more amazing that this a debit novel, it is written so well and the characters are so complex.
Author Giveaway –
Giveaway to Win 5 x copies of “Iceland: Making Memories” (INT)
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