Today’s book review is Edward Hancox’s Iceland, Defrosted, and I simply cannot say enough good words about it. While it is his debut book, it feels like he has been writing for a while. I was surprised at how smooth and free flowing the words were, and the quality of the book was greatly enhanced. His sly and cheeky observations were cleverly written, and I found myself laughing out loud upon reading them. After all, this book was a love letter to the wonderful country of Iceland, and Mr. Hancox made no pretension otherwise. If you haven’t already fallen in love with the country of just over 300,000 souls, you are almost guaranteed to do so after finishing this fine book. From stories of the amazingly friendly citizens to beautiful sights to the unique culture to the fantastic music scene, what’s not to like? The capital city Reykjavik has many of these things, but in the pursuit of presenting a fair portrayal of the grossly underrepresented rest of the country, Hancox traveled all over the country. Not only was it a fascinating portrayal of more rural Icelandic life, he made several recommendations for must see sights and events. Part travel commentary and part love letter, each page was bursting with joy at being in the loveliest country in the world.
One aspect that I thought was worth mentioning was the music scene in Iceland. Now, the likelihood that you’ve heard of Björk and/or Sigur Rós are high, but I did hear more about the other Icelandic performers/bands. The ones that came to mind were Retro Stefson, Ólafur Arnalds, Rökkuró, but one Englishman’s group, Cheek Mountain Thief was mentioned. Needless to say, my iTunes library has been expanded significantly through Mr. Hancox’s recommendations. It attests to the strength of Iceland’s music scene, and I am honestly very happy to hear (pun intended) it.
Overall, this book was fantastic. It is rare to find a book that you absolutely devour, let alone one on Iceland, but this was it. Edward Hancox has a gift for writing and I hope he continues with it. I would highly, highly recommend this, and it will definitely make you want to travel (or go back to) Iceland! Takk fyrir, Mr. Hancox!
You can buy it here from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Iceland-Defrosted-Edward-Hancox/dp/1781321086/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1386617571&sr=8-1&keywords=iceland+defrosted. (As a disclaimer, no, I’m not getting royalties from him to promote the book. I just enjoyed it that much.)