Icelandic Folk Legends: Tales of Apparitions, Outlaws and Things Unseen
The Icelandic nation has a long and rich history of storytelling. Throughout centuries characterized by hardship, poverty and dark winters, the Icelanders kept their spirits high and moral values intact by telling each other stories.
In this collection of 14 Icelandic folk legends, we get a glimpse of the world-view of the Icelanders in centuries past as they endeavored to understand and cope with the natural phenomena around them. There are stories of malicious ghosts, outlaws living in carved-out boulders, hidden people residing in grassy knolls, trolls that are tripped up by their own stupidity, and much more. Throughout we get a powerful sense of the Icelanders’ beliefs, values and fears, as well as their strong religious sense and need to cling to all that was pure and good.
In the foreword to the book I have tried to explain the importance of storytelling to the Icelanders. Our spirits, like our bodies, need nourishment to survive, and these and other stories provided that nourishment to the Icelandic people as they spent months indoors in abject living conditions and all-encompassing darkness.I have also provided a short “field guide” to the apparitions and beings that appear in this book and other Icelandic folk tales, outlining their main characteristics and qualities.
To download a free sample of the book in Word, click here.
Icelandic Folk Legends is an electronic download designed for e-readers or computers, and costs USD 9.99.
While this is the first time the book appears in electronic form, 12 of the stories were previously published in hard copy on two separate occasions. The book has been out of print for about four years now, and that does not seem likely to change any time soon. In the digital edition, I have added an introduction, a “field guide” to the apparitions, and two more stories.
When the book was reprinted, it received a stellar review in the Reykjavík Grapevine. Excerpt:
[T]his short collection of folk tales is a fascinating introduction to Icelandic myth for the uninitiated anglophone. Fascinating and confounding in equal measure. [...] Icelandic Folk Legends is a vivid portrait of pre-20th century Iceland – as much in terms of living conditions and landscape as of imagination, values and belief. Part of its appeal is that the tales spring from the magical imagination that Iceland’s varied and unforgiving landscape inspires. Beyond that, however, the questions they raise offer a fascinating window onto the values espoused by close-knit, rural communities as they struggle with the natural and supernatural forces that threaten their everyday lives.
You can read the full review here.
Now for the practicalities:
By clicking the BUY NOW button, you will be taken to an external page in which you are asked to pay for the book, either via PayPal or by credit card. When your payment is complete you will be sent an email with a link to download the file.
By clicking on the link, you will download the book to your hard drive in .epub format, which is the standard format for e-readers, except Kindle.
Update: A few people have got in touch and asked why the book is not available in PDF format, like my previous eBooks. The reason is that, with so many people who now have eReaders, ePub is quickly becoming the standard format and PDF is becoming redundant. In fact, Adobe has a special program now – Adobe Digital Reader – that you can download to your computer that is especially designed for reading eBooks. Adobe, of course, are the people who previously made it possible for us to read PDF documents with Adobe Reader.
SO – if you wish to read the book on your computer, I recommend a program such as Adobe Digital Editions, which is free and which gives much the same experience as reading on an eReader.
If you have anything other than a Kindle, you should be fine with the standard .epub file. All you need to do is send it to your device.
If you have a Kindle you will need to convert the .epub to .mobi format, which is what the Kindle reads. The good news is that this is very easy to do.
The best way is to use Calibre, which is a free program that allows you to keep all your digital books in one library. You can download Calibre here.
When you’ve opened Calibre, you need to add the file you’ve just downloaded to your Calibre library. You do that by choosing “Add books” and choosing Icelandic Folk Legends from your hard drive. You’ll see that it appears in your list of books, like so:
Next you’ll want to select the tab that says “Convert books”, and choose “convert individually”. You then get another screen, like this:
You’ll see that, up in the left corner, the default “input format” is EPUB. That’s fine. In the top right-hand corner, however, you’ll also have EPUB as the default. You’ll need to change that to MOBI, as I’ve done in the screenshot above.
Then you just click OK and you’re done! After that, you can send the book to your Kindle.