“I looked out the kitchen window and two people were literally eating his guts out in the back yard! What the hell kind of country is this?” “It’s Iceland, with zombies.”
Nanna Arnadóttir was always one of my favourite writers on the Iceland Review. I was disappointed when she left to concentrate on her latest project, the Zombie Iceland book. This is billed as a combination zombie story/travel guide and features illustrations by renowned cartoonist Hugleikur Dagsson. I couldn’t wait to read it.
Now I will admit that if you aren’t interested in either Zombies or Iceland, this might not be the book for you. But if you are looking for a bit of light reading that also throws in some interesting facts, this is a great book. I’ve never really “got” zombies so wasn’t particularly excited about this aspect, but in fact I really enjoyed the story.
I felt that the combination of zombie story and travel/Iceland tips worked really well together, surprisingly! Maybe this is because the storyline was naturally far-fetched and so having some random facts thrown in made it more of a well-rounded book? Whatever, it worked for me. And I even learned a few things – who knew Cheerios were so popular in Iceland?
Nanna has also done something very innovative and exciting by including a playlist with the book, complete with a QR code for each chapter. This is such a good idea! It even got me thinking about including a song with each of my blog posts. You can also listen to the playlist here. It just adds another fun element to the book and gets more people listening to Icelandic music.
My only gripes would be that none of the characters are particularly developed as it pretty much takes place within a 24 hour period, and it could have been improved by a longer timeline with less detail. I’ve seen other reviews mention proofreading and grammatical errors, and I did notice a few missing words.
This book seems to be in just about every shop in Reykjavík (ok, I spend a lot of time in book shops) but you can also order it online in book or e-book form. Laxness it isn’t, but if you take it for what it is, I think you will like it.
I really enjoy Nanna’s funny writing and I think she could also do an extended version of the “factual” side and produce that rare thing, a witty travel guide. In any case, I do hope there’s a book two in the pipeline.