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Showing posts from November, 2021

Bust: Viking pillagers in the 21st century

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  While I had been writing Where the Shadows Lie , happily losing myself in thoughts of sagas, rings, volcanoes and Gull beer, the financial world was melting down around me. I remembered how I had explained to the German author ten years before that it would never be possible to write a financial thriller set in Iceland, and now the country was smack in the middle of the biggest financial crisis the world has yet seen. Friends urged me to write another financial thriller. I was reluctant. But I couldn’t ignore it. Especially since I had resolved to write about issues that went beyond Iceland. As a foreigner, I wanted to write about Iceland’s interaction with the outside world, about big issues, not small ones, and there was no bigger issue as far as Iceland was concerned than the financial crash. It was a subject that I knew well, and the intersection of greed, hubris, ambition and self-delusion in the people who caused it was exactly the kind of thing I had examined in my financial

Favourite Places – Selatangar

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  There are two ways to get to the Blue Lagoon from Reykjavík – the Blue Lagoon is the large geothermal pool-spa next to a power station, and is well worth visiting, although it is expensive. One way is to take the main highway to the airport and turn left on a well-paved road following the tourist buses. The other way is by the back roads, turning off the main road just past Hafnarfjördur and following signs to Krýsuvík. The small road passes Seltún , a geothermal area of vents, mud pots, hot springs and sulphurous ponds that simmer and burp amid hillsides of red, yellow and orange, and water of an other-worldly green-blue. Just south of these is the ‘draining lake’, Kleifarvatn , which sprang a leak in its floor in 2000, revealing a hundred metres of black volcanic sand and rock around the shore (Arnaldur Indridason wrote a great novel set here). All around here, you are very aware that something in the ground beneath you is unsettled. The place is spooky, especially when the mist m