Read 101 Reykjavik by Hallgrímur Helgason Brian FitzGibbon Online


Hlynur Björn is an unemployed 30-something loner, still living with his mum, who spends his days on the Internet, watching satellite TV, and gazing at girls in the pub. But Hlynur's cosy, unthreatening world is shaken when his mother comes out as a lesbian, and her Spanish girlfriend Lolla moves into their home. 101 Reykjavík is a first-person account of a blackly funny anHlynur Björn is an unemployed 30-something loner, still living with his mum, who spends his days on the Internet, watching satellite TV, and gazing at girls in the pub. But Hlynur's cosy, unthreatening world is shaken when his mother comes out as a lesbian, and her Spanish girlfriend Lolla moves into their home. 101 Reykjavík is a first-person account of a blackly funny and bizarre love triangle, a dark, comic tale of perverse sexuality and slacker culture in Iceland's trendy capital city that pokes fun along the way at such foibles of our culture as CNN weather reports and porn videos....

Title : 101 Reykjavik
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780641592218
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 352 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

101 Reykjavik Reviews

  • Matteo Fumagalli
    2019-01-17 09:59

    Videorecensione:"Guardo il notiziario pakistano, più che altro per vedere se nel planisfero hanno incluso l'Islanda. L'Islanda non c'è e questo è il problema. L'Islanda è un paese che a volte c'è e a volte no. Dipende da come gli girano al grafico. Se ha voglia di includere anche quest'isola, mentre disegna sul vetro nello studio pubblicitario di Karachi fradicio di sudore, con il fax ancora guasto e due settimane dopo che la fidanzata l'ha piantato. Ecco perché questa chiazza di sperma sul planisfero. Non sono abbastanza nazionalista per farmi innervosire da questo fatto. In un certo senso è una bella sensazione abitare in un'isola che non compare nei planisferi. Deresponsabilizzati. Non ci siamo. Noi guardiamo ma nessuno ci vede."

  • Toby
    2019-02-14 05:01

    I read the English translation of this book. The translator, Brian FitzGibbon, has his name buried on the copyright page, which is a shame because a novel like this has got to be a tough one to translate. FitzGibbon seems to have done an admirable job, but since I can hardly compare his work to the Icelandic original by Hallgrimur Helgason, I can't be sure.I had trouble with the first third or so of this novel; the style of writing that puts the reader inside protagonist Hlynur Bjorn Haffsteinsson's head is littered with pop culture references, long stream-of-consciousness word-association games, and private jokes. When Hlynur deigns to speak to someone else, his dialogue is usually a vocalization of whatever's going on inside his head, which has got to be a strange experience for anyone within earshot: unless you're inside his head, Hlynur speaks in non sequitur. Most other characters pass him off as "funny" but he's really just odd. He's a crazy Icelandic Hamlet.Hlynur makes other mommy's boys look like hardened men doing hard time. This thirtysomething kid -- who else would be happy about the prospect of being the father of his mother's child (by possibly impregnating his newly-bi mother's girlfriend Lolla, not incest)?Hlynur can't decide if he hates women (he calls their genitals a "bacon sandwich" and watches live birth videos as porn), but he spends his time masturbating and trying to get laid, which, to his credit as a misogynist for whom no other woman can measure up to mommy, usually brings him to consider his sex partner a piece of meat, not a person. He'd be just as happy to screw a farm animal.But Hlynur's world is nonetheless fascinating, his whirlwind year of parties and sex and self-discovery that is detailed in the book. His heartbreak when he finally chooses to love a woman, an Internet pen pal, only to have her already in the arms of another; his quixotic suicide attempt by AIDS by having unprotected sex with a Parisian hooker; his bizarre dealings with the oddball Timer and their pseudovoodoo attempts at aborting Lolla's unborn child.And all through this FitzGibbon keeps the language and style on key: puns are still puns, fake palindromes and all. Gotta be a feat.

  • Lorenzo Berardi
    2019-02-05 08:53

    Oh My Bjork.I still remember this one. I wish I had forgotten it.Well, I might have a very good reason for keeping the memories of '101 Reykjavik' alive. You may say it's because of the post code, but you would be wrong. Actually I'm not planning to send any flattering paper letter to Hallgrìmur Helgason. And I am afraid that dispatching a wrapped package full of rotten tomatoes to him would cost me way too much via air mail. What a pity!Perhaps I can recall this novel 6 or 7 years after having swallowed it because it stands around the top of many lists of mine. Let's have a look at the rankings: #1 The best book to give to your worst enemy.#2 The biggest waste of paper I've ever read.#1 The silliest plot ever written north of Copenhagen.#5 The easiest object to toss in a recycling bin.#3 The worst male character in a XXI century novel.#2 The most unnecessary movie-adaptated book.#4 The greatest relief ever felt in my life (after being done with it).Ah, by the way: how does it end? I am pretty sure I'm not giving any justice to "101 Rekyjavik" by not including this novel in the rankings of "the worst final ever".

  • Bettie☯
    2019-02-17 10:18

  • Gretel
    2019-02-12 07:03

    I am so glad this book is over. The author tries far too hard to be edgy and witty. There were one or two fleeting moments in the book that made me smile but these were needles in a haystack of misogynistic crap. I have no idea how this book got published. I would only recommend this book to somebody I despised.

  • Rachael Hewison
    2019-01-27 04:52

    This is possibly one of the most bizarre books I have ever read. It doesn’t actually go anywhere; just details the life of an incredibly annoying moron.Hlynur is just awful. He has no social skills, no awareness of what’s going on, is incredibly self-centred and overall an idiot. He lacks any charm to make the reader emphasise or even like him and seems mentally disturbed. A lot of what he says and thinks is really quite offensive and vulgar and at times it made unpleasant reading, particularly when he tries to catch aids off a French prostitute. As the book is mainly a collection of his thoughts, we don’t particularly get to know any of the other characters bar through his eyes. We know the hotness of the females and occasional information about his friends but other than that it’s just a monologue of his life.Whilst it was divided into a few sections, there were no chapters so the continuous prose became dry at times as there was no natural break. Helgason also would include randomly short sentences that did not flow naturally, “Heavenly. I’m an angel now. Flittering. Fluttering.” He also did not make it clear which parts were actually real and which were in Hlynur’s imagination.However very well done to Brian Fitzgibbon for a great translation into English. It must be hard to translate Icelandic humour in a way that makes sense to English readers but it was very smoothly done. The only positive I can say about Helgason’s work is that I found it interesting to learn about Icelandic 90s culture, which I thought he portrayed well. Other than that this is a book I will never touch again.

  • Chris
    2019-01-31 07:13

    Helgason was the only author I couldn't interview back when I was in Iceland in 2000, so maybe that's why I never got around to reading it; or maybe its because it was the most over-hyped thing ever when I was living there; or maybe because everything I ever read about it made me dislike it; or maybe because every interview with Helgason made him seem like a complete dick. Anyway, I've never read it, but I still hate it.

  • Insomnia
    2019-02-03 13:06

    Tas bija visnotaļ murgs. Galvenais varonis ir nedaudz garīgi atpalicis, nespējīgs saprasti citu cilvēku emocijas, ar tādu domu gājienu, ka rodas iespaids, ka autors nav bijis skaidrā prātā, to rakstot. Pirmās 20-50 lpp šāda pārmaiņa izvēlētajā literatūrā pat ir interesanta, bet pie 200lpp jau sen tas viss ir apnicis. Pilnīgs sviests. Un tā ir viņa populārākā grāmata, kurai ir pat filma. Vienkārši ko???

  • Thomas Strömquist
    2019-01-28 11:08

    OK book. Does not stand out very much from others in its genre (reading the blurb will tell which that is) other than that it's set in Iceland. Which is a nice difference.

  • Bananafish
    2019-01-21 08:53

    Immaginatevi se Welsh, Palahniuk ed Ellis si trovassero in Islanda e facessero un figlio assieme. Ecco a voi: 101 Reykjavik.

  • Jennifer
    2019-01-21 10:50

    This is probably one of Iceland's best known film exports, if not just for the fact Damon from Blur did the soundtrack with ex-Sugarcube Einar Orn. Again, Hilmir Snaer is in it, so I would see it just for that...hehehe...but, seriously, I could not get into this book at first...even after I saw the movie. I just could not understand or relate to Hlynur Bjorn...but then I went to Reyjavik and got to know alot of the people (not because of the movie) and I read it again, and it Hlynur started to seem a lot more like a Scandinavian version of Rob Gordon (minus having a job or owning a record shop). That's when I saw it as a coming of age novel...and I burned right through it. Good times!

  • Rowan
    2019-02-07 09:05

    i wanted to like this. but about five pages in, i wanted to punch the protagonist in the face. set in iceland makes you almost forget the book is about an unemployed slacker hipster doofus. almost. i like iceland. i want to visit iceland. i do not want to read about a hipster doofus.i may try reading this again when i don't have anything else on my list. it has a certain weird charm. just maybe. if i can get past hating the main character.

  • Klara
    2019-01-17 11:59

    Hlynur, the novel's protagonist, is healthy and intelligent enough to support himself, but is so unmotivated that he prefers to live with his mother and take advantage of the welfare system. He spends his days watching porn, partying, and chasing women, assessing every female he meets based on how much he would be willing to pay to sleep with her. Being an ambitious young woman who abhors misogynists, I expected to hate this book based on the nature of its protagonist. In the end, however, I loved it! Author Hallgrímur Helgason skillfully crafts a character with enough depth, quirks, and doubts to make readers care about him, enjoy sharing his encounters and acquaintances, and perhaps even sympathize with him at times despite his seemingly unappealing nature. Hallgrímur Helgason's distinctive style features abundant clever dialogue and odd, arresting details; these scenes, masterfully woven together to create Hlynur's worldview, constitute a vivid, unforgettable work. Overall, the novel struck me as an edgier "A Confederacy of Dunces" (because of its bright but unmotivated main character dealing with bizarre, awkward situations) mixed with Alexander McCall Smith's Professor Igelfeld series (because of the colorful exchanges between characters). My only caveat is that Hallgrímur Helgason's sense of humor is extremely dark and irreverent. It struck me as similar in tone to some of Warren Ellis's writing. This added to my enjoyment of the book because I am a fan of dark humor. If you happen to be a devout Catholic or someone squeamish about sex, however, you should probably avoid this book altogether because it is graphic and/or sacrilegious enough to merit a "Parental advisory: explicit content" sticker according to mainstream American standards.On a side note, translator Brian FitzGibbon deserves just as much praise as author Hallgrímur Helgason for this work. Translating Icelandic puns, similes, colloquialisms, etc. to English must be an extremely difficult task. Considering how amusing and smooth the humor and overall narrative were in the English version I read, FitzGibbon should be praised not only for accepting the challenge, but also for handling it beautifully.

  • Gemma Alexander
    2019-01-18 05:55

    You’re supposed to read the book first. The movie is never as good and it will limit your imagination when you do read the book. I know this. But I watched Baltasar Kormákur’s movie, 101 Reykjavík, before I knew it was based on Hallgrímur Helgason’s novel. I really liked the movie. It felt a lot like an Icelandic Slackers; that’s the primary difference between the book and the movie.The protagonist Hlynur Björn is hapless in the movie. In the novel he is hopeless. The word play in 101 Reykjavík is nonstop, and kept me going when I started to get fed up with Hlynur. Every sentence is somewhere between silly putty and a hackey sack. I wonder how much of it transfers directly from the Icelandic and how creative translator Brian FitzGibbon had to be to create the same impressions Hallgrímur did in the original. Hlynur’s mind bounces around, sticking topics together in strange ways that sometimes flip the channel and sometimes reveal something profound.I can’t help but make comparisons with Halldór Laxness. (This statement alone is reason to read everything Hallgrímur Helgason writes.) Like Laxness, Hallgrímur incorporates high and low references so frequently that few readers could catch them all. Like Laxness, Hallgrímur has a dry humor, less developed in early novels but still present, that flies under the broad American radar. Like many of Laxness’ books, I often found 101 Reykjavík a hard slog with an unpleasant companion. His characters are even more flawed than most of us, but he makes their stories significant when less capable hands would merely make them sordid. Clean readers beware.

  • Ape
    2019-01-26 12:48

    Well, I have now read this book. And yeah, it was mildly diverting, and yeah, I got to the end of it, but overall I was a bit disappointed by it and a bit overwhelmed by the way this guy's mind just drivelled on and on and on. This is narrated in the first person by 30-something Hlynur Bjorn, who is an absolute waste of a space, still lives with his mother, treats people, particularly women like crap, lives off unemployment benefit and spends his days sleeping, watching porn (he is an utter pervert), surfing the net and drinking. And whilst some of this book is the narration of a year or so in his life, a lot of it is the random thought threads rolling about in his head. Which occasionally come across as slightly pretenscious (excuse the spelling, but I'm tired!). I'll be the first to say a career isn't the be all and end all of life, but to have nothing in your life at all and be content to be a parasite on your country, your mother and women...ugh. And I am surprised to say this, but I think I prefered the film. He seemed to get some things resolved in that, but in this there's nothing. Maybe I was just expecting too much of this book.

  • Anna
    2019-01-22 07:52

    What a ridiculous book, but the way Hallgrimur Helgason plays around with words describing weather, mood, taste of alcohol, pretty much anything is so precise and funny. It's very Icelandic and dark-humored story, where there is not much of the story, just a description of a year in a life of this 34 year old guy from Reykjavik.It is quite impressive that the book taking place in 1995 (when I was 9 years old) speaks to me with no need of translation. I know every song he mentions, I know the references and I know the events... while when people mention modern singers and events, I have no idea what they are talking about. As for me, there is too much descriptions of the body functions of this guy, but at the same time it curious to know the flow of thoughts in a guys head with no filters.I loved reading it. But I must say you should know at least a bit about Iceland before reading this book, a lot of references wouldn't make sense without experiencing it yourself.

  • James G.
    2019-02-13 07:01

    I am guilty of loving this, feeling like it's a ridiculous "No Girls Aloud" clubhouse and a throwback to Bret Easton Ellis or Tama Janowitz; but I just came from Reykjavik and one of my closest friends has settled there. It felt like there was a kinda truth to this book, even if it might've been better if the author had more of ironic distance from the protagonist's amoral stance, but I just kept reading on. Other reviewers complain of the trying-too-hard writing. I was all: Clockwork Orange, Kerouac, and Burroughs out: it worked for me somehow.

  • Angelina Gefjun
    2019-02-02 11:16

    A brilliant way of portraying a cynical mans thought, written so well that even I, aperson with adhd can follow it. Even though nothing much happened, I was always so interested and entertained by his every move. I read it about 4 times now. Movie is kind of a let down though.. they left many important parts out.

  • Jane E
    2019-02-16 04:51

    Somewhat dated popular culture references but not surprising given the mid-90s publication date. Overall it has aged well but is very much of its time. Much would be less relevant and easily understood without having visited Iceland. Odd and sometimes laugh out loud funny. Worth the time investment.

  • Tom
    2019-02-17 11:01

    Funny, sometimes weird, vulgar, sexist, and full of surprising insights. I found this stream-of-consciousness novel about a 33-year old slacker to be quite entertaining. Not a great work of art but a fun read.

  • Liz
    2019-01-30 11:58

    Very good, and I suspect a very good translation. It's a little Nabokov, a lot of Hamlet, and probably many other references I missed, with pell-mell stream-of-consciousness good enough to make me not hate the present tense he uses. A touching story about a boy and his penis.

  • Ken Jurish
    2019-01-26 05:53

    Reminded me most of Douglas Coupland's, "Generation X," with a bit of Bret Easton Ellis' "Less Than Zero" and "American Psycho" thrown in. A good, if dense, read. Bits were absolutely hilarious and others were absolutely cringe-inducing. The main character is as about as reprehensible as they come. If you liked any of the books I listed above, you'll like this. It's worth your time.

  • Emily Creek
    2019-01-28 05:08

    Confusing, annoying, and honestly gross. There are plenty of amazing books where you hate the main character but I just couldn't stand reading his annoying point of view and objectification of woman.

  • Benjamin Warren
    2019-02-03 10:58

    It's satisfying to read a book about a slacker who makes absolutely no self-development in the course of a book. I wonder if the K-Bar still exists?

  • Kathleen
    2019-02-09 05:50

    Interesting use of languageSelf-absorbed, self-pitying protagonist is a bore

  • Olav Olsen
    2019-01-21 06:51

    I Reykjavik går det i 101! Det er fort! Denne boken følger 34 år gamle Hlynur, "fire og tretti års ulykke i alle regnbuens farger" - som han selv kaller seg. I etterordet til den norske utgaven beskriver Johan Harstad hovedpersonen som: "...antiheltenes antihelt, som ikke er desillusjonert, bare ikke illusjonert, en post moderne Hamlet eller Hamlet post mortem som aldri tar til våpen, som i stedet tar opp kampen ved å gjøre ingenting..." (s. 378).Boken gir meg en sterk følelse av å beskrive en desillusjonert mann, som aldri kom seg ut av en pubertet i høyeste potens. Boken kan på den ene siden provosere og gi en dårlig følelse av å lese om en underutviklet og egosentrisk romanfigur. Der livet bare er en flukt fra samfunnet, ansvarsfølelsen og tilstedeværelsen. På den andre siden føler jeg oppriktig sympati (heldigvis), der han så til de grader har ordet i sin makt og gjør de mest strabasiøse beskrivelser av livet rundt seg, at jeg som leser nærmest blir svett. Sympatien opplever jeg kommer sterkest frem gjennom forfatterens ærlige skildring av Hlynur, som fortsatt bor hjemme hos moren - hun som bestemmer seg for å komme ut av skapet og bli lesbisk, mens faren fyker rundt i alkoholrus og prøver å bli bedre kjent med sønnen i de siste timer på byen. Og alle Hlynurs kvinnebekjentskaper, som ofte er de mest ensomme. Islands ensomste - et land litt utenfor verden. Hlynur er defensiv av natur, men samtidig totalt harmløs. Jeg har fått en følelse av at Hlynur var den som aldri lærte å fly, og derfor måtte bli igjen i redet. På genialt vis får forfatteren språket til å gløde, det er både lange og korte setninger om hverandre, og jeg opplevde å sitte i midten av en tennplugg som starter et jagerfly klar til å bryte lydmuren. På full guffe tar Hallgrímur Helgason et oppgjør med det sløve språket leseren kan frykte ut fra handlingen i boken. Hlynur har det så til de grader i kjeften at han nærmest angriper leseren. Jeg opplevde det var som å møte en språksjonglør med alle baller i luften samtidig som han balanserer på en line mellom liv og død. Forfatteren beviser at det er mulig å skape nytt liv mellom linjene ved å bli venn med språket! Boken er en fryd å lese, selv om historien i seg selv på ingen måte gir inspirasjon. Teknikken forfatteren viser, språklig, er det som gir boken tyngde, og gjør den til et eksempel på skrivekunst som fortjener plass på øverste hylle!

  • Roberta
    2019-02-13 12:53

    Mi ricordo le scarpe con cui mi mandavano in campagna: una suola, la linguetta, le stringhe e i buchi per infilarle. Ai tempi in cui gli oggetti erano quello che erano. [...] Le naik saranno sicuramente più saporite dei vecchi modelli in pelle di pecora. I modelli moderni servono a far dimenticare cosa sono le cose. Progresso? Forse. Me le sono provate, una volta, delle scarpe così. Sensazione di vuoto d'aria. Non c'era niente che potesse assomigliare al concetto di <> o di <>.Linur è così, perso per tutte le 300 pagine del romanzo. Distratto, spaventato, dipendente, un po' ostile. Vive col sussidio di disoccupazione e non osa lasciare la casa di mamma. La sua relazione migliore è con Katarina, ragazza ungherese conosciuta in chat, ma tutto si dissolve nel momento in cui si incontrano di persona. Pensa molto al sesso, ne fa poco. Quel poco che fa ha sempre conseguenze preoccupanti, come gravidanze, tradimenti, aids. Eppure alle donne sembra piacere, in qualche modo.Ha amici disastrati quanto lui, con cui girare per bar e feste, e procurare aborti telefonici. Ha una madre che si scopre lesbica 34 anni dopo la sua nascita, un padre infantile quanto lui, una sorella e un cognato borghesi con figli stronzetti e divani eleganti.Il romanzo è così, un continuo elenco di situazioni e oggetti. Le persone vengono descritte superficialmente, dato che il protagonista è socialmente inetto e non è in grado (o non vuole) di interagire con gli altri. Ad ogni donna è abbinato un cartellino con il suo prezzo.Mi fa strano rileggere questo romanzo a distanza di lustri da quando lo comprai, specialmente perché l'Islanda è una nazione che mi affascina. I ragazzi islandesi erano tutti come Linur? Eì per questo che l'Islanda ha fatto bancarotta? E adesso, come se la stanno cavando?Come spesso accade, la rilettura non è stata un'esperienza particolarmente piacevole. Lo rimetto tra i miei libri adolescenziali, quando gli ormoni in circolo potevano farmi sentire più nichilista di adesso.

  • Anastassia Dyubkova
    2019-01-26 05:56

    Всё-таки странные ребята эти скандинавы. В особенности исландцы, эти "странные люди без фамилий".Фильм по этой книге рекомендуют в сети как кино, позволяющее прочувствовать атмосферу Рейкьявика. С ним (с фильмом, да и с Рейкьявиком, если уж на то пошло, тоже) я пока не познакомилась, но в книге эта атмосфера, пожалуй, тоже есть. Возможно, это не так уж хорошо визуализируется, но между строк сквозит. В определённом смысле.А вообще, конечно, эта книга очень на любителя. Книга бессюжетная, книга, которая вынесет вам мозг, книга, которую неловко читать в общественном транспорте, потому что постоянно кто-то заглядывает на страницу - а там чьи-то половые органы, наркотики и описание содержимого носа главного героя. Чистейший артхаус в немыслимой концентрации. Стоит осознать это, и содержание начинает восприниматься лучше.Судя по отзывам, Хлин бесит практически всех читателей - и это объяснимо: он бездельник, лентяй, и, кажется, немного безумен, - но некоторые его рассуждения оказываются очень годными. И в целом его способ восприятия мира довольно занятный: здесь такое впечатляющее количество игры слов, выворачивания наизнанку каких-то привычных понятий и категорий, что этим оказывается невозможно не проникнуться. В итоге "101 Рейкьявик" становится первой книгой in a while, в которой я отмечаю отдельные цитаты, потому что чем-то они умудрились зацепить.В общем, это был необычный опыт. Другую книгу Хельгасона, "Советы по домоводству для наёмного убийцы", тоже надо будет почитать, только, видимо, попозже, когда отойду после "Рейкьявика" :)

  • Meaghan
    2019-01-26 13:18

    This book was probably okay for someone who likes slacker novels, but I'm not one of those types. The protagonist made me think of an adult Holden Caulfield. He was in his thirties, unemployed, on the dole and living with his mom and her lesbian lover. He spent his spare time watching TV, chatting online with a girl from Hungary, hanging out in bars and scouting women.The story revolves around three pregnancies: Hlynur's girlfriend's, his mother's lover's, and his own sister's. He believes he's responsible for all of them. (Yes, he did get his sister pregnant, but not in the usual way.) It was a very episodic book and didn't have much of a plot at all. Hlynur didn't really change or grow as a person: at the end he was still unemployed, living with Mom, etc. I didn't really like any of the characters and I had a hard time telling them apart, possibly because the Icelandic names looked so weird to me.This wasn't a terrible book and it did have its moments. I think it's just not to my taste.

  • Ian Mapp
    2019-01-26 05:08

    Wanted to read something set in Iceland and a search on the interweb brought me to the attention of this author. Set in a district of Reykjavik and telling the comedy story of a 30th slacker, it seemed in along the right sort of lines. Then I determined that it had been filmed and Damon Albarn wrote the music and that sealed the deal.The story is straighforward. Hlynur Bjorn lives at home with his mother, who has just come out of the closest. He spends his daying drinking and watching dodgy films and then complicates his life by sleeping with his mother's lover.The writing is excellent and dranks the book along, which really doesn't go anywhere or have much to say about things. There's kind of a free association thing going with the words, which he combines to comedic affect and makes some interesting observations.It told me only a little about the country but I have ordered the film from lovefilm, so my interest continues.