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Stone Tree

Stone Tree - Gyrðir Elíasson, Victoria Cribb This book is made up of many short tales. It is difficult to say anything about them without being a spoiler due to their short length.

For the first half, I thought the stories were unremittingly bleak. However, I realized at that point that I was missing the point by looking for plot or detailed character studies. These stories are meticulously crafted to portray the landscapes of Iceland: bleak, harsh, and unforgiving. The author says it well in one story entitled The Lost Grimms' Fairytale, "there's no paradise without a serpent". Some of the stories could almost be described as prose poems for the way they use description of things to evoke emotions in the reader while leaving enough unsaid to allow the reader to use their own imagination to complete the tale.

I would have given this book 3.5 stars if I could but I rounded down due to some of the stories not being up to the quality of the rest of the book.