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Saga Land

Length: 13 hrs and 51 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A gripping blend of family mystery, contemporary stories and the beautiful and bloody Viking tales, set against the starkly stunning landscape of Iceland.

Broadcaster Richard Fidler and author Kari Gíslason are good friends. They share a deep attachment to the sagas of Iceland - the true stories of the first Viking families who settled on that remote island in the Middle Ages.

These are tales of blood feuds, of dangerous women and people who are compelled to kill the ones they love the most. The sagas are among the greatest stories ever written, but the identity of their authors is largely unknown. Together, Richard and Kari travel across Iceland, to the places where the sagas unfolded a thousand years ago. They cross fields, streams and fjords to immerse themselves in the folklore of this fiercely beautiful island. And there is another mission: to resolve a longstanding family mystery - a gift from Kari's Icelandic father that might connect him to the greatest of the saga authors.

©2017 Richard Fidler and Kari Gislason (P)2017 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

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Profile Image for madison
  • madison
  • 11-04-17

Iceland is the most beautiful place in earth

Listening to this book and having been to the country I could close my eyes and see the landscape.
Thankyou both for the amazing book

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • P. Bladon
  • 12-19-18

Hang on through the opening

I enjoyed this audiobook, it's definitely worth a listen.

Pros:
- A great way to learn about the family sagas, with a good amount of variation so you don't feel like you get stuck in a rut.
- The narrators are willing to open up about their personal saga, and their journey of discovery is an interesting one.

Cons:
- I almost rage quit the audiobook in the first few minutes as the two narrators kept switching. I thought if the whole book was like that my head would explode. The rate of switching gets better though, so stick it out!
- The pace of the narrative is a little odd. It crescendos at about 80% of the way through, and then the last 20% is mostly just day-to-day minutiae. It's not wholly dissatisfying, but a little anti-climactic. I think I can understand it though, in light of the family sagas being about families in antiquity often dealing with that same level of minutiae - and then occasionally outright murdering each other - so the ending of this book being about relatively normal family routines is perhaps apt.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Adam
  • 07-12-18

Brilliant

Hard to do it justice in a review. A mix of history, travelogue and autobiography. Kari's personal story and family life is the beautiful personal touch this story needed to make it great.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 11-24-17

Ok book

got too slow at the end. interesting history worth listening to for that reason. enjoy

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Laura
  • 07-26-19

So fascinating!

Wow, I enjoyed this novel so much! Fidler and Gislason's non-fiction novel is part memoir, part history lesson that makes for one fascinating read. I was so intrigued by Fidler's wonderful portrayal of Icelandic history and how perfectly it is offset by Gislason's amazing story of discovering his past. A must read for any history fan.

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  • Lukasz Termer
  • 04-08-19

Sagas are great! But you need to FFWD a lot.

This book is in keeping with tradition of ABC like storytelling. In between Sagas, which are performed incredibly well, you will end up listening to (unless you fast forward) what the authors ate, drank and what the views are like in Iceland. You will also get descriptions of their accommodation and car they rented. I understand Kari's urge to tell the the world what the icelanders are like. I understand the need of relating Sagas to present times. I understand the need to having to frame them somehow. At the first glance the story of Kári Gíslason seems like a neat way of doing that. The problem is, two paragraphs would have been enough, but it seems like it's 60%. The juxtaposition of everyday travel mediocrity, being cold, feeling merry from too many beers with colourful stories of Vikings full of stakes and jeopardy leaves me feeling somewhat shortchanged.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-19-18

captivating

loved this unique book - history. geography. scenery. storytellong at its finest. Now the hatd copy

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-03-18

Enjoyable personal journey and historial overview

I really enjoyed this dual narrative and learned so much about Iceland's history. Fascinating and spellbinding. what an opportunity to learn about your ancestors!!

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  • KarlettaA
  • 01-04-18

Just what I was hoping for

Really interesting mix of sagas and travel memoir. Highly recommend the radio series Saga Land.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-13-17

Amazing

Amazing!! I love Iceland and it’s culture, this book makes you feel some how connected to it even with out being there. Beautiful.