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The Xenophobe's Guide to the Icelanders
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"Not only has an Icelander held the title of World's Strongest Man, but there have been several Icelandic Miss Worlds. There have also been a surprising number of Icelandic chess grandmasters, and Iceland has more writers and artists per capita than any other country on earth. These facts reinforce the Icelanders' belief that they are a nation of strong, beautiful and intelligent people." "The essence of Icelandic conversation is the insult. Icelanders are born with a talent for it and use it with ease from an early age. Because of their farming and fishing ancestry the most telling jibes involve sheep and fish. It is a very serious matter to refer to someone as a sheep or a codhead." Richard Sale is the author of AAA Essential Switzerland and Climbing the World's 14 Highest Mountains.
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About the Author

Richard Sale was born in England's West Country - reason enough to feel sympathy with all minorities who speak with strange tongues.Being quite good at sums he took a degree in theoretical physics and a PhD in astrophysics, and then sought a job in glaciology in order to be nearer his first great loves, snow and ice. He is now a travel writer, specialising in wilderness areas, most particularly the Arctic. He fell in love with Iceland the first time he saw it - barely, through the fine rain that was falling - and has been going there, summer and winter, ever since. He is constantly frustrated by its weather and endlessly fascinated by its mixture of landscapes, its bird life and its people (though not always in that order). He would like to thank several Icelandic friends for their (sometimes inadvertent) assistance with this book. Sadly, none of them is willing to be identified.

Reviews

'I came across this nifty little book by chance. I've been fascinated by all things Icelandic for a while and this is a fantastic read for anyone who has any interest in the place and people. It would also make an excellent companion to anyone planning travel there too. It's witty, highly informative and fun to read. It provides a useful background to Icelandic life and culture, their national characteristics and customs. You get to learn some really incredible facts as well as their quirky habits. All in all essential reading for anyone planning a trip there or remotely interested in the place.' -- Reviewer from London 'This little book is hilarious, highly entertaining and filled with wonderful details. Yes, Icelanders are notoriously unpunctual. Yes, they have annoying breaks in movie theatres in the middle of the show. And yes, they don't know moderate drinking - at all. Whilst indulging in xenophobic and superficially-appearing yet "so true" facts about Icelanders, it becomes clear that Icelanders are charming folk, who the author loves just as much as the reader will.' -- Review from The Reykjavik Grapevine 'Fantastic portrayal of a nation. I'm Icelandic myself and everything this book states is completely correct and a greatly humorous view of the nation.' -- Reviewer from Reykjavik, Iceland 'Great & Humorous Insight. What a delightful surprise I had in store when I purchased this book for a friend that will be traveling to Iceland for the first time. I couldn't put it down once I opened it. Filled with humor, it is delightful from start to finish. Now I wish I were the one traveling to Iceland!' -- Reviewer from Maryland, USA

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