The Atom Station, Paperback Book
2 out of 5 (1 rating)

Description

When the Americans make an offer to buy land in Iceland to build a NATO airbase after the Second World War, a storm of protest is provoked throughout the country.

Narrated by a country girl from the north, the novel follows her experiences after she takes up employment as a maid in the house of her Member of Parliament.

Her observations and experiences expose the bourgeois society of the south as rootless and shallow and in stark contrast to the age-old culture of the solid and less fanciful north.

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One of Laxness's shorter and possibly more accessible books, Atom Station is a satire on post-war society, politics and authority. Even though it is short, it needs to be read carefully, as much of Laxness's writing here stirs further reflection. It is very good at highlighting the clash between the northern Icelandic serving girl and the southern politicians and city-dwellers whose lives and idiosyncrasies are a source of amusement. Often, though I found it difficult to read mainly because of its disjointedness and slightly surreal nature. However, this should not deter me from either re-reading it or attempting some of Laxness's longer novels.

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