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"We raised our fists and cheered. . . . With the sagas in our heads, with Iceland at its wildest beneath our boots, it would not have been impossible to see Bárdr clumping along the summit ridge, prodding the glacier with his staff, ready to show us the way down."

Iceland is a pictorial classic on one of the last "undiscovered" countries in Europe--reissued for the first time in paperback.
        Iceland is often thought to be covered by ice, but in fact it is gloriously green. Lush meadows, wildflower fields, and miles of rich tundra cover a landscape of remarkable variety: deep lakes, bubbling hot springs, tumbling waterfalls, snow-capped mountains. It''s also a landscape amazingly alive with massive lava flows and enormous glaciers. The human story of Iceland goes back more than eleven thousand years, and its heritage is told here in a treasury of riveting sagas of real-life heroes and all manner of supernatural beings.
        Both the land and the people of one of Europe''s most gorgeous countries come to life in this colorful account of the authors'' adventures as they walk, climb, and photograph their way through Iceland and connect to the bone-chilling sagas and the unfamiliar terrain. With breathtaking photographs from critically acclaimed writer and journalist Jon Krakauer, author of the international bestsellers Into Thin Air and Into the Wild, and a penetrating narrative from Outside contributing editor and travel writer David Roberts, Iceland splendidly captures the spirit of this enigmatic country.
        Circumnavigating Iceland in summer and winter, Krakauer and Roberts encounter tales of monks and Vikings, outlaws and adventurers, trolls and witches. While touring and photographing, they discover the myths and legends of Iceland''s stirring history. Numerous other feats--including a hazardous winter climb to the summit of one of Iceland''s tallest mountains--round out a fascinating introduction to this unique and beautiful land.

From the Inside Flap

sed our fists and cheered. . . . With the sagas in our heads, with Iceland at its wildest beneath our boots, it would not have been impossible to see Bárdr clumping along the summit ridge, prodding the glacier with his staff, ready to show us the way down."

Iceland is a pictorial classic on one of the last "undiscovered" countries in Europe--reissued for the first time in paperback.
        Iceland is often thought to be covered by ice, but in fact it is gloriously green. Lush meadows, wildflower fields, and miles of rich tundra cover a landscape of remarkable variety: deep lakes, bubbling hot springs, tumbling waterfalls, snow-capped mountains. It''s also a landscape amazingly alive with massive lava flows and enormous glaciers. The human story of Iceland goes back more than eleven thousand years, and its heritage is told here in a treasury of riveting sagas of real-life heroes and all manner of supernatural beings.
&

From the Back Cover

"We raised our fists and cheered. . . . With the sagas in our heads, with Iceland at its wildest beneath our boots, it would not have been impossible to see Bardr clumping along the summit ridge, prodding the glacier with his staff, ready to show us the way down."
Iceland is a pictorial classic on one of the last "undiscovered" countries in Europe--reissued for the first time in paperback.
Iceland is often thought to be covered by ice, but in fact it is gloriously green. Lush meadows, wildflower fields, and miles of rich tundra cover a landscape of remarkable variety: deep lakes, bubbling hot springs, tumbling waterfalls, snow-capped mountains. It''s also a landscape amazingly alive with massive lava flows and enormous glaciers. The human story of Iceland goes back more than eleven thousand years, and its heritage is told here in a treasury of riveting sagas of real-life heroes and all manner of supernatural beings.
Both the land and the people of one of Europe''s most gorgeous countries come to life in this colorful account of the authors'' adventures as they walk, climb, and photograph their way through Iceland and connect to the bone-chilling sagas and the unfamiliar terrain. With breathtaking photographs from critically acclaimed writer and journalist Jon Krakauer, author of the international bestsellers Into Thin Air and Into the Wild, and a penetrating narrative from Outside contributing editor and travel writer David Roberts, Iceland splendidly captures the spirit of this enigmatic country.
Circumnavigating Iceland in summer and winter, Krakauer and Roberts encounter tales of monks and Vikings, outlaws and adventurers, trolls and witches. While touring andphotographing, they discover the myths and legends of Iceland''s stirring history. Numerous other feats--including a hazardous winter climb to the summit of one of Iceland''s tallest mountains--round out a fascinating introduction to this unique and beautiful land.

About the Author

Jon Krakauer is an editor-at-large for Outside magazine and is the author of Into Thin Air, Into the Wild, and Eiger Dreams. His work also appears in Smithsonian and National Geographic. He and his wife live in Colorado.

David Roberts is a contributing editor to Outside magazine and is the author of several books, including Once They Moved Like the Wind and In Search of the Old Ones.

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4.3 out of 54.3 out of 5
120 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Chad M
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Nice book about Iceland with wonderful full-page photos and engaging chapters
Reviewed in the United States on September 1, 2019
While it is a challenge to summarize any one nation in a book, the author and photographer here do a good job. Iceland is one of the most advanced countries in the world. In this book the detailed history, geography, sagas, industries, and natural features are revealed.... See more
While it is a challenge to summarize any one nation in a book, the author and photographer here do a good job. Iceland is one of the most advanced countries in the world. In this book the detailed history, geography, sagas, industries, and natural features are revealed. One can tell the author has a real love for Iceland.
What I gather from this book is the variety and contrasts of Iceland. Pagan and Viking history, but also one of the oldest commonwealth and parliaments; very reliant on outdoor labor and respectful of manly virtues, but also one of the first to provide women with the vote; appreciative of nature and scenic vistas, but also a nation that intensely uses energy and natural resources; a sub-Arctic country that would seem inhospitable, yet also a land with numerous dairy farms, sheep ranches, and some of the best ocean catches.
This book was written in 1990 just after Reykjavik attained fame in Cold War arms negotiations, and a good amount of change has occurred since then, most notably the real estate and financial crisis of 2008-2010. Iceland has a made a good recovery and is attracting a lot of attention. Tourism is a big part of the economy. The country is accessible by Icelandair and several other major airlines with connections to most European cities. As an optimist, I look forward to continued strong US-Iceland relations, good relations with the UK and the EU, as well as the continuation of their unique Icelandic culture, their safe communities, and their intriguing language.
4 people found this helpful
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K. Kenney
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A Treasure
Reviewed in the United States on July 20, 2016
This book added a dimension to our trip to Iceland that was very pleasurable. It shows how the Icelandic people carry the folklore of their country very proudly. Living Icelanders can connect real places on the island with the folkloric/historic Sagas, and they have been... See more
This book added a dimension to our trip to Iceland that was very pleasurable. It shows how the Icelandic people carry the folklore of their country very proudly. Living Icelanders can connect real places on the island with the folkloric/historic Sagas, and they have been doing this since the Sagas were first transmitted. The stories and photos in the book really give a taste of how Icelanders love their land and heritage. It is written for pleasure reading, flipping between a tour guide, anecdotes and Sagas, very nicely. And not only do the photos show the real sites of the Sagas, they are also art in themselves.

This book''s coupling of storytelling and photography gives a sense of Icelandic history and values. Iceland is a very unique and special place. It''s uniqueness is not entirely evident until we change the cultural lens through which we view a place we visit. This book successfully does just that.
10 people found this helpful
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Christopher R. Travers
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Helps the sagas come to life, but some issues
Reviewed in the United States on November 8, 2010
First, the good. This book, both text and photo, help the sagas come to life, as well as bring them to a new relevance regarding Iceland today. It''s a valuable book in this regard, but little more can be said because the pictures and text have to be experienced to have... See more
First, the good. This book, both text and photo, help the sagas come to life, as well as bring them to a new relevance regarding Iceland today. It''s a valuable book in this regard, but little more can be said because the pictures and text have to be experienced to have this effect.

On to the bad. While less than 1% of the land is inhabited, and while Iceland as a whole has a population of the same as a smallish city in the US, nearly every picture seems to be a picture of that 1% of inhabited and cultivated land. Moreover the text does not represent current thinking regarding the Sagas and is a bit dated (sagas are treated as purely historical).

On the whole, this is a book worth owning if you like sagas and have never been to Iceland. Otherwise, I am not sure I''d recommend it.
11 people found this helpful
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Raven
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Wonderful story and photos
Reviewed in the United States on April 3, 2017
Great photos that match the story of the sags. This is a wonderful history and overview of Iceland. I bought this book to prepare for my trip to Iceland. It was a great purchase! I feel more informed about the historical significance of the places and the founders of... See more
Great photos that match the story of the sags. This is a wonderful history and overview of Iceland. I bought this book to prepare for my trip to Iceland. It was a great purchase! I feel more informed about the historical significance of the places and the founders of Iceland.
4 people found this helpful
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Emmie
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Past and Present; Prose and Pictures
Reviewed in the United States on June 20, 2013
For those who may never venture to Iceland, the duo of Krakauer and Roberts will give you a taste of the Icelandic culture, without the salt. While Krakauer captures the scenery, including salt cod drying in the open air, Roberts fills in the text with the myths... See more
For those who may never venture to Iceland, the duo of Krakauer and Roberts will give you a taste of the Icelandic culture, without the salt.

While Krakauer captures the scenery, including salt cod drying in the open air, Roberts fills in the text with the myths and legends.

Having recently returned from Iceland, I can attest that Krakauer''s sumptuous photography truly depicts Iceland. Rugged peaks, sod houses, and the realm where glaciers and clouds meet are worthy additions to the book''s visual feast.

However, it should be noted that the best way to see these is to make the journey, too!
3 people found this helpful
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H. Lundwell
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Stunning photography---enjoyed this view of Iceland immensely.
Reviewed in the United States on April 3, 2013
I purchased this book at the same time I purchased "Iceland," by Jonnson. Two entirely different approaches to a fascinating land I had never taken the time to try to understand or appreciate. I must confess I purchased this book strictly for the photos, and I would... See more
I purchased this book at the same time I purchased "Iceland," by Jonnson. Two entirely different approaches to a fascinating land I had never taken the time to try to understand or appreciate. I must confess I purchased this book strictly for the photos, and I would do it again. Someone else will have to comment on the sagas, but I understand they are a very important, and beloved, part of Iceland''s tradition. Jonnson''s photos are of the physical land itself--no signs of man--and it is a stunning book, especially as you begin to understand the nature of the land. Krakauer, on the other hand, appreciates how man has settled into this land, and his photographs are equally stunning. A small farm, set against the base of a quiet volcano, beautiful and artistic sections of Reykjavik, trees, flowers---sort of like the great western landscapes of the US in their scope, but uniquely Icelandic. If you asked a tour guide to take you to the most beautiful and interesting places in Iceland, this would be your tour.
6 people found this helpful
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VeeSF
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Not bad for an out-of-date book
Reviewed in the United States on September 22, 2016
Love the general information but since it was published more than 20 years ago, some of the data is not relevant. The history, lore and sagas are interesting and gives a background to the island.
5 people found this helpful
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Mac McD
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Beautiful book!
Reviewed in the United States on February 23, 2016
What a beautiful book! The artwork is stunning, and the introduction to the Sagas is fantastic. I highly recommend this to anyone visiting Iceland. It gives you great insight into the Icelandic culture and gives you fantastic photos to show your friends if your camera... See more
What a beautiful book! The artwork is stunning, and the introduction to the Sagas is fantastic. I highly recommend this to anyone visiting Iceland. It gives you great insight into the Icelandic culture and gives you fantastic photos to show your friends if your camera breaks while you are there.
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Top reviews from other countries

Nt
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Disappointing
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 2, 2019
I thought this would be a much smaller book and more along the lines of Jon Krakauer''s other books - my mistake for not realising he was only the photographer and not the author. I haven''t read it fully yet, but the print quality leaves a lot to be desired and the text is...See more
I thought this would be a much smaller book and more along the lines of Jon Krakauer''s other books - my mistake for not realising he was only the photographer and not the author. I haven''t read it fully yet, but the print quality leaves a lot to be desired and the text is not all that compelling.
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Sally L. Dunn
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Beautiful book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 4, 2019
Bought as a Christmas gift for my son of a memorable trip to this fabulous island.
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mike bullock
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Not in the Krakauer mold.
Reviewed in Canada on December 4, 2019
I''ve ordered and read most of Krakauer''s books. This being the last of them. It is not written in his normal fashion (in fact he is not the writer, instead the photographer). The book has pretty great photographs. But there is a disjointed feel to the narrative, and it...See more
I''ve ordered and read most of Krakauer''s books. This being the last of them. It is not written in his normal fashion (in fact he is not the writer, instead the photographer). The book has pretty great photographs. But there is a disjointed feel to the narrative, and it dwells intensively on the saga''s of Iceland''s past,to the point of minutae and boredom, and does not really talk much about Iceland itself. // This book may appeal to some. But it is not in the mold of Krakauer and has not appealed to me. // . Side note: there is an egregrious error on the very flyleaf which speaks of 12 millenia of Icelandic history, rather than 12 centuries, a rather dumb mistake to make on the very flyleaf / intro.
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Milly
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Complementary photography for the informative text
Reviewed in Canada on May 17, 2019
A useful book to have before visiting Iceland It provides historical information together with legendary sagas of its past In addition atmospheric photographs are enticing for the would be visitor
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Xenia Bederov
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
It''s outdated, but as a Jon Krakauer fan - ...
Reviewed in Canada on December 28, 2017
It''s outdated, but as a Jon Krakauer fan - it was a must have for me. It certainly had more meaning after my Iceland trip.
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