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The Whispering Muse

ebook / ISBN-13: 9781529343007

Price: £8.99

ON SALE: 16th April 2020

Genre: Fiction & Related Items / Historical Fiction

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‘Funny, strange, provoking and disturbing; darkness with a light touch.’ TLS

A master storyteller, Sjón weaves together Greek and Nordic myths with the legacies of the Second World War in this mesmerising novel, which reminds us that everything is capable of change.

Valdimar Haraldsson is an eccentric Icelander with dubious ideas about the relationship between fish consumption and Nordic superiority. To his delight, in the spring of 1949, he is invited to join a Danish merchant ship on its voyage to the Black Sea.

He is less delighted with the lack of fish on the menu. Worse, his fellow travellers show no interest in his ‘Fish and Culture’ lecture. They prefer the enthralling tales of the second mate, Caeneus, who every evening regales them with his adventures aboard the Argo, on Jason’s legendary quest for the Golden Fleece.


Funny, strange, provoking and disturbing; darkness with a light touch.
A quirky, melodic, ticklish, seamlessly-translated, lovingly-polished gem of a novel. Sjón's work deserves space on any self-respecting bookshelf of European fiction.
David Mitchell
Once again, Sjón has chosen an unusual subject, interwoven the fantastical with the ordinary, and produced a complex and strangely compelling work of fiction.
<i>Huffington Post</i>
An extraordinary, powerful fable - a marvel.
Alberto Manguel
'Sjón pulls off the difficult task of creating an unboring bore with panache. Not only that, he allows a twist at the end that changes our perspective...He has changed the way I see things.'
A. S. Byatt, <i>New York Review of Books</i>
'Sublime...A work of coy humor and shape-shifting magic.'
<i>Wall Street Journal</i>