The Whispering Muse


First Sentence:     I, Valdimar Haraldsson, was in my twenty-seventh year when I embarked on the publication of a small journal devoted to my chief preoccupation, the link between fish consumption and the superiority of the Nordic race.

Back of the book:

The year is 1949 and Valdimar Haraldsson, an eccentric Icelander with elevated ideas about the influence of fish consumption on Nordic civilization, has had the singular good fortune to be invited to join a Danish merchant ship on its way to the Black Sea.

Among the crew is the mythical hero Caeneus, disguised as the second mate. Every evening after dinner he entrances his fellow travellers with the tale of how he sailed with the fabled vessel the Argo on the Argonauts’ quest to retrieve the Golden Fleece.

A master storyteller, Sjón seamlessly blends seafaring yarns of the ancient world with the manners of the modern age.

Quote from the book:

Had the perfidious termagants murdered them in their sleep and were they now planning to send us without captain or helmsman out on to the barren sea where our ship would founder like an insignificant louse in the blue beard of mighty Poseidon?

* * *

Last Sentence:     And drew the curtains again.

I preferred From the Mouth of the Whale