Home > 2000, 21st Century, Book Club, Icelandic Literature, Novel, Olafsson Bragi > Book Club: would you like to read The Pets by Braggi Olafsson?

Book Club: would you like to read The Pets by Braggi Olafsson?

September 1, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

September is usually a busy month. Children are going back to school, activities such as football, track and music resume. After the relative idleness of August, bye-bye cicadas, welcome back, busy little ants. Unless an Icelandic volcano plays tricks on us again, this is what September should be like. It called for an entertaining novel to relieve the stress and it’s going to be The Pets by Braggi Olafsson. So last month our Book Club was exploring the condition of women in the Victorian Age, now, we’re headed to contemporary Iceland.

Here is the blurb:

olfasson_animauxBack in Reykjavik after a vacation in London, Emil Halldorsson is waiting for a call from a beautiful girl, Greta, that he met on the plane ride home, and he’s just put on a pot of coffee when an unexpected visitor knocks on the door. Peeking through a window, Emil spies an erstwhile friend—Havard Knutsson, his one-time roommate and current resident of a Swedish mental institution—on his doorstep, and he panics, taking refuge under his bed and hoping the frightful nuisance will simply go away.

Havard won’t be so easily put off, however, and he breaks into Emil’s apartment and decides to wait for his return—Emil couldn’t have gone far; the pot of coffee is still warming on the stove. While Emil hides under his bed, increasingly unable to show himself with each passing moment, Havard discovers the booze, and he ends up hosting a bizarre party for Emil’s friends, and Greta.

An alternately dark and hilarious story of cowardice, comeuppance, and assumed identity, the breezy and straightforward style of The Pets belies its narrative depth, and disguises a complexity that grows with every page.

Doesn’t it sound marvellous? It’s a find we owe to Guy’s eclectic tastes for books and it seems funny in the department of odd relationships between bipeds. I had to show you the cover of the French translation of The Pets, Les animaux de compagnie. I think it’s excellent.

I will publish my billet at the end of the month. Anyone interested in it is warmly encouraged to reading it along with us. I’ll read all the blog posts you’ll publish about it and of course, you’re more than welcome to leave comments and links below my billet.

More info about The Pets?

Disover Guy’s review here and Max’s here.

  1. September 1, 2013 at 1:56 am

    This made my best of the year list when I read it, and now some time later, I am still chuckling over the book. I hope you like it as much as I did.


    • September 1, 2013 at 5:23 pm

      It went on my TBR after I read your review. I hope I’ll like it too.


  2. September 1, 2013 at 8:49 am

    I’ve got it but I doubt I can join plus I’m on holidays at the end of the month and begining of October. I’m not even sure how to manage my own readalong.


    • September 1, 2013 at 5:24 pm

      Too bad, it would have been nice to have you with us. What’s this month’s readalong?


      • September 2, 2013 at 8:48 am

        I’ll post on it tonight.:)


        • September 2, 2013 at 9:52 pm

          I’ve seen it but not read it yet. I have the feeling you didn’t like Les âmes grises that much.


  3. September 1, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    I read The Pets last year. It was definitely interesting and unusual, though I wouldn’t say I loved it. I’ll be interested to see what you have to say about it.


    • September 1, 2013 at 5:26 pm

      Thanks for the message. I’ll have a look at your review, but not now. I don’t like to read reviews of the book I’m about to start.


  4. September 2, 2013 at 7:25 am

    This looks like an interesting book, Emma! Emil Halldorsson makes me think of the main character in Patrick Süskind’s ‘The Pigeon’, who gets into a situation similar to that of Emil. If I am able to get this book, I will join you for the readalong. Happy reading! Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it.


    • September 2, 2013 at 9:53 pm

      I’ve only read The Perfume by Süskind, so I don’t know the one you’re referring to.
      I hope you can find it and read it along with us. (it’s short)


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