The Boy Who Never Was

eBook - 2016
Average Rating:
Rate this:
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.
Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2016
Edition: First American edition
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9780374712877
Branch Call Number: EBOOK OVERDRIVE
Characteristics: 1 online resource (147 pages)
Language Note: translated from the Icelandic
Additional Contributors: Cribb, Victoria


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Feb 11, 2018

One of the most unusual stories I have ever read. I am not sure what the author was trying to accomplish, but he does succeed at making a cohesive story (which I write because he is known for being an experimental writer, and so I almost expected an introspective mess). This is notable because it shows life in Iceland between the world wars and during the Spanish flu.

Jun 13, 2017

This slight novel is too ambitious to succeed at any theme.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at SPL

To Top