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Independent People by Halldor Laxness
Independent People

Jarred, January 4, 2011

Halldor Laxness is truly a great writer and Independent People is his greatest work. Laxness compares to the great Russian novelists in the way that he can take a terribly flawed character and make the reader feel a connection with them. Independent People tells the story of Bjartur of Summerhouses who is a poor sheepherder who is determined to be an independent person in a changing Iceland, even at the cost of his and his family’s happiness. I will admit that the book did not seem like it would be terribly exciting when I started reading it, but the more I read the more I felt connected to Bjartur and how amazed I was at Laxness’ ability to tell a story and develop characters. Independent People is not an easy read, but the readers will be well rewarded with this lost classic.
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