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ICELAND: LAND OF THE SAGAS 1998 Softcover Fine SIGNED by Jon Krakauer and David Roberts
By Krakauer, Jon and David Roberts.
Price: $75.00


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New York, Villard, 1998. 160 pp, color photos. Large format paperback. 

SIGNED on the title page by Jon Krakauer and David Roberts.

Krakauer's "forgotten" book has been reissued; the story of Iceland, with descriptions of several climbs done by the authors.

In an ingenious approach to a little-viewed land, journalists/outdoorsmen Roberts and Krakauer (Eiger Dreams) examine Iceland today through its principal literary heritage. The harsh backdrop of the heroic tales featuring the fierce, beautiful Gudrun Osvifrsdottirsp ok or courageous Burnt Njal is much the same as it was in the 13th century when the sagas, blending myth, history and fiction, were written. The most volcanic land in the world, with plentiful waterfalls and hot springs ('geyser' is from the Icelandic geysir), the country is only four degrees from the Arctic Circle, yet, warmed by the Gulf Stream, possesses deep valleys and pastures to support indigenous populations of horses and sheep, as well as a quarter of a million people. In chapters such as 'Of Monks and Vikings' and 'Women and Winter,' Roberts deftly examines Iceland's history and culture while Krakauer's 100 arresting color photos capture the land's topographical power.

"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.


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