From the Mouth of the Whale

From the Mouth of the Whale

By (author) , Translated by


Free delivery worldwide

Dispatched from the UK in 2 business days

When will my order arrive?

In the chilling aftermath of Iceland's Lutheran Reformation in 1635, Jonas Palmason - a poet, naturalist and self-taught healer - has been condemned to exile for heretical conduct. Sitting on a barren island, he contemplates his life in a country that has become gripped by feverish superstition and the cruelty of poverty. He recalls his gift for curing 'female maladies', his exorcism of a walking corpse in the remote county of Snaefjallastrond, the frenzied massacre of innocent Basque whalers at the hands of local villagers and the death of two of his children while his family were on the run. When his exile is suddenly revoked, Jonas finds himself swallowed and spewed from the mouth of a north whale, back onto the mainland. There he returns to the arms of his son and ends his days writing books of poetry and legend. Based on the historical figure Jon Gudmundsson, From the Mouth of the Whale is a magical evocation of an enlightened mind and a vanished age.

show more
  • Paperback | 275 pages
  • 128 x 206 x 24mm | 281.23g
  • Telegram Books
  • LondonUnited Kingdom
  • English
  • 1846590833
  • 9781846590832
  • 82,792

Other books in Contemporary Fiction

Other people who viewed this bought:

Review quote

'Hallucinatory, lyrical, by turns comic and tragic - an extraordinary novel.' Hari Kunzru 'Achingly brilliant, an epic made mad, made extraordinary.' Junot Diaz 'Sjon is a poet, and the aesthetic excitement is his own. He is an extraordinary and original writer. And his translator, Victoria Cribb, is also extraordinary in her rendering of the roughness and the elegance, the clarity and the oddity of this splendid book.' A.S. Byatt, The Guardian 'The narrative is kaleidoscopic and mesmerizing, comic and poignant by turns. Victoria Cribb's translation brilliantly captures these multiple changes in tone and scene.From the Mouth of the Whale should open up a world of Icelandic writing...a world of nature and of ideas, which stands comparison with the Iceland of the Nobel Prize laureate Halldor Laxness.' Carolyne Larrington, Times Literary Supplement 'This is an extraordinarily accomplished novel that challenges and informs the reader in equal measure. Victoria Cribb's superb translation conveys the intricacies of Sjon's language, Jonas's strange turns of phrase, and the novel's meandering narrative.' Independent 'A strange blend of myth and reality, it is a spellbinding book, Sjon using lyrical prose to create an other-worldly universe that sucks the reader in.' Big Issue

show more

About Sjón

Sjon was born in Reykjavik in 1962. He won the Nordic Council's Literature Prize (the equivalent of the Man Booker Prize) for The Blue Fox, which was also longlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2009. Sjon was nominated for an Oscar for his lyrics in the Lars von Trier film Dancer in the Dark,and has been working on Bjork's current musical project, Biophilia. His work has been translated into twenty-two languages.

show more

Reviews from