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Index – Culture – We may think it is insignificant, but this is the strangest country in the world

Index – Culture – We may think it is insignificant, but this is the strangest country in the world

Egil Bjarnason The Inescapable Iceland – How a Small Island Changed World History His volume entitled in Hungarian was published by Figura Konevkiado, and translated by Boldizár Vijervár a few months ago. Although the title doesn't quite suggest that we'll be treated to the world's most exciting read—it gives the impression of an average history book—the reader receives an exciting, humorous, and (somewhat) endlessly colorful volume.

Success story on the cube

This is the most popular book about Scandinavian history on Amazon right now — and not by chance:

Iceland is more than the fishing, hot springs, and more than the expensive vacation spot for 20-something immigrants that Björk has “made” of herself.

Iceland's history dates back 1,200 years, and even its founding is fit for an adventure movie: a Viking captain and his useless navigator ran aground in the North Atlantic, so instead of a nesting place for Arctic birds, today it's a place for Arctic bird lovers. A small place, but at the same time, an important place in the life of other nations, became the home of the Icelandic people.

Without Iceland, man would never have set foot on the moon, and Tolkien would never have written it the Lord of the RingsR. This book takes readers on a historical tour, explaining how Iceland played a crucial role in events as diverse as the French Revolution, the founding of the State of Israel, or achieving equality for women. Time and time again, this humble people found themselves at the forefront of historical events and shaped the world as we know it.

– Can be read in ear text.

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What is the flavor of the book? In that it stands as far as possible from dry informational writings and reflects the spirit of the author. Naturally, Bjarnason puts Iceland at the center of everything, but he does so in an interesting way. The chapters not only enlighten readers but also reveal unexpected connections.

Naked, this strange yet exciting country is revealed to us.

The author places Iceland and its history in a global context. The book is informative and useful, easy to understand and accessible, and thanks to its humor and style, it is very easy to read. However, reliable, authenticated and real data can be read from it.

Colorful, but not enough

However, we cannot say that the work could be more diverse in terms of the topics it addresses – the author highlights some specific cases or events and draws chapters exclusively on them. Inescapable Iceland therefore feels more like a volume of essays than a coherent, coherent read.

However, fortunately, it also covers more interesting stories than the Vikings in these few chapters, and it explains quite modern and contemporary phenomena, so we are dealing with a truly 'up-to-date' publication.

It is not a complete book, barely 250 pages, and is a particularly quick read, does not burden the brain at all and, because of the separate stories, can be interpreted chapter by chapter.

(Cover image: Egil Bjarnason’s book “Inescapable Iceland – How a Small Island Changed World History.” Photo: Kata Nemeth/Index)