January 24, 2010

Frost on my Moustache, by Tim Moore

You might be thinking that it took me an awfully long time to read this one book. I've actually read 2 others in the meantime, but they were too prosaic to write about in detail. I'll give it a little go. The first one was called Iceland: Land of the Sagas, and I picked it up because Jon Krakauer took the photographs. It's a rather dry "pictorial classic" (publishers' words), published in 1990, and it tells about Iceland's history and culture through the sagas, violent semi-historical tales about Iceland's heroes that everyone there knows. They're actually pretty important to Iceland, so I'm glad that I had an overview of them.

The other book was Lonely Planet Iceland. Not much to say about that, except that it's now highlighted and Post-It flagged within an inch of its life.

So, yeah. Guess where I'm taking a trip to in March?

Frost on my Moustache was recommended in Lonely Planet. (Thanks for the lead!) It's a travelogue about the author's trip to Iceland and Norway, following in the footsteps of one Lord Dufferin, a 19th century aristocrat and once-Governor General of Canada (so that's why we have so many Dufferin Streets in this country), who made the same trip in 1856.

This book is bloody hilarious. I can't tell you how many times I put it down and sat there heaving with silent laughter. Moore is very dry and there are a few subtle jokes that took a few seconds to sink in, which I think shows how talented he is. There are also a few jokes with British references I know I didn't get, but that's all right. I didn't laugh as much towards the end, especially when it sort of dries up in Norway, but I still heartily recommend this book, even if you're not visiting Scandinavia.

Frost on my Moustache: The Arctic Exploits of a Lord and a Loafer

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