Moonstone by Sjón
Reykjavik, 1918. The eruptions of the Katla volcano darken the sky night and day. Yet despite the natural disaster, the shortage of coal and the Great War still raging in the outside world, life in the small capital goes on as always. Sixteen-year-old Mani Steinn lives for the movies. Awake, he lives on the fringes of society. Asleep, he dreams in pictures, the threads of his own life weaving through the tapestry of the films he loves. When the Spanish flu epidemic comes ashore, killing hundreds of townspeople and forcing thousands to their sick beds, the shadows that linger at the edges of existence grow darker and Mani is forced to re-evaluate both the society around him and his role in it. Evoking the moment when Iceland's saga culture met the new narrative form of the cinema and when the isolated island became swept up in global events, this is the story of a misfit transformed by his experiences in a world where life and death, reality and imagination, secrets and revelations jostle for dominance.
'Moonstone is Sjon's slim, simmering masterpiece. Vibrant and visceral, briskly paced but meditative, unsettling yet droll and flecked with beauty, it is a pitch-perfect study of transgression, survival and love.' - David Mitchell
'A work of miniaturist perfection: a brief, brilliant jewel of a book in which each paragraph is precision-cut, each sentence burnished.' - Sarah Crown, Guardian
'I always enjoy Sjon's books, but Moonstone: The Boy Who Never Was is an experience like no other. The author confronts his own limits, and raises the bar for the reader too. His portrayal of Reykjavik in 1918 is magical. The scene where a movie theatre falls silent, because all the musicians have succumbed to an outbreak of Spanish flu, is marvellous and very amusing. The novel has given me my best reading experience this year.' - Eka Kurniawan, Best Books of 2016, Financial Times
Imprint: Hodder & Stoughton
Weight: 154 g
Dimensions: 198 x 131 x 13 mm