A review of the novel “Moonstone” by Sjón

This novella – it runs to a mere 100 pages of actual text – is the product of Icelandic writer Sigurjón Birgir Sigurðsson (Sjón is his pen name). The setting (the Icelandic capital Reykjavík) and the period (October-December 1918) are unusual and the central character – 16 year old Máni Steinn or the titular Moonstone (an Anglicised version of his name) – has some unconventional habits.

Sjón tells three interwoven stories: a young man’s discovery of self, the devastation of so-called Spanish flu on a community, and the impact of the early years of cinema. It is not a tale that will be to everyone’s taste and, if I’m honest, it wasn’t really to mine, but the novel has won prizes and was recommended to me by very close friends. . 


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