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This is the story of one Englishman's obsession with a half-frozen, roughly duck-shaped island in the cold North Atlantic. 'Iceland, Defrosted' is less about wars over cod, flight-halting volcanoes and globe-shattering financiers, and more about relaxing in natural hot pots, sharing barbeques in howling winter storms and eating waffles and rhubarb jam while watching This is the story of one Englishman's obsession with a half-frozen, roughly duck-shaped island in the cold North Atlantic. 'Iceland, Defrosted' is less about wars over cod, flight-halting volcanoes and globe-shattering financiers, and more about relaxing in natural hot pots, sharing barbeques in howling winter storms and eating waffles and rhubarb jam while watching playful Arctic foxes. Oh, and desperately, desperately searching for the elusive Northern Lights (which might not exist anyway). Loosely based on a circuitous route around Iceland, it concentrates on places, people and experiences, soundtracked by the coolest Icelandic musicians, all wrapped up in the warmest lopapeysa and jump-started with the strongest coffee. It is a story that's almost a love letter, born from a constant yearning for this special place and fuelled by a growing understanding and a desire to uncover the real Iceland.


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This is the story of one Englishman's obsession with a half-frozen, roughly duck-shaped island in the cold North Atlantic. 'Iceland, Defrosted' is less about wars over cod, flight-halting volcanoes and globe-shattering financiers, and more about relaxing in natural hot pots, sharing barbeques in howling winter storms and eating waffles and rhubarb jam while watching This is the story of one Englishman's obsession with a half-frozen, roughly duck-shaped island in the cold North Atlantic. 'Iceland, Defrosted' is less about wars over cod, flight-halting volcanoes and globe-shattering financiers, and more about relaxing in natural hot pots, sharing barbeques in howling winter storms and eating waffles and rhubarb jam while watching playful Arctic foxes. Oh, and desperately, desperately searching for the elusive Northern Lights (which might not exist anyway). Loosely based on a circuitous route around Iceland, it concentrates on places, people and experiences, soundtracked by the coolest Icelandic musicians, all wrapped up in the warmest lopapeysa and jump-started with the strongest coffee. It is a story that's almost a love letter, born from a constant yearning for this special place and fuelled by a growing understanding and a desire to uncover the real Iceland.

30 review for Iceland, Defrosted

  1. 5 out of 5

    Iona

    Amusing enough. Some interesting music recommendations at the end. Hard to decipher fact from fiction sometimes, but his line about Arctic being derived from the Greek for Bear and Antarctic therefore being derived from the Greek for Penguin made me laugh. A little too much UK-bashing for my liking, writer seemed to believe he was above the average tourist for some reason, despite doing all the touristy-type things (Blue Lagoon, Northern Lights). And I can't help but wonder what his wife thought Amusing enough. Some interesting music recommendations at the end. Hard to decipher fact from fiction sometimes, but his line about Arctic being derived from the Greek for Bear and Antarctic therefore being derived from the Greek for Penguin made me laugh. A little too much UK-bashing for my liking, writer seemed to believe he was above the average tourist for some reason, despite doing all the touristy-type things (Blue Lagoon, Northern Lights). And I can't help but wonder what his wife thought of all his perving on 'special' Icelandic girls! I also did not like how dismissive he was when it comes to learning a language - if you don't try, how are you to know how difficult it is to learn one? (although, granted, I am a linguist, and am therefore qualified to say Icelandic is indeed pretty tricky.) It certainly hasn't put me off visiting Iceland, but I'd be looking for something a bit more detailed, better researched, and that reads less like a friend recounting what he did on his (multiple) holidays to Iceland.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Simon

    A quick and easy read, but not a particularly memorable one, mostly due to Hancox's weak writing. He gets around a bit and meets lots of people and does some fun things but he rarely has anything interesting to say about any of it. He keeps asserting that certain things about Iceland are really cool or brilliant but his range of interests is quite narrow (music and hot springs, basically), and his observations about Icelandic society and temperament are fairly superficial. There are a couple of A quick and easy read, but not a particularly memorable one, mostly due to Hancox's weak writing. He gets around a bit and meets lots of people and does some fun things but he rarely has anything interesting to say about any of it. He keeps asserting that certain things about Iceland are really cool or brilliant but his range of interests is quite narrow (music and hot springs, basically), and his observations about Icelandic society and temperament are fairly superficial. There are a couple of good tips for places to visit but really this isn't worth much more than a quick skim, if that.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Thebooktrail

    Visit the locations in the novel : http://www.thebooktrail.com/book-trai... 2000s: Do you fancy a journey to a half-frozen, roughly duck-shaped island in the cold North Atlantic? Whether you are a fan of the cold or not, this book is an amazing journey into the heart of Iceland. The wit and stunning descriptions will warm your heart so you’ll not feel the cold anyway. Iceland is in the author’s blood and it shows. Iceland Defrosted is just that – a guide and an ode to the country that has so many Visit the locations in the novel : http://www.thebooktrail.com/book-trai... 2000s: Do you fancy a journey to a half-frozen, roughly duck-shaped island in the cold North Atlantic? Whether you are a fan of the cold or not, this book is an amazing journey into the heart of Iceland. The wit and stunning descriptions will warm your heart so you’ll not feel the cold anyway. Iceland is in the author’s blood and it shows. Iceland Defrosted is just that – a guide and an ode to the country that has so many levels to it. As he roams across the many varied terrains of Iceland, he spots and writes about the flora and fauna, the fascinating creatures and the stunning landscapes with a passion. Edward is the ideal guide – knowledge and passionate and a great storyteller. He takes you around the tourist sites yes but through his eyes they look very different! But it’s the off the beaten track where he opens his heart -that’s the part of the journey that really captivates. It’s like he’s letting you into Iceland’s many secrets. Ssh!! Just book your flight to Iceland and don’t tell anyone why you’re going. But be sure to take this book with you.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jude Broad

    As a fan of Iceland, and all things Icelandic, it was fantastic to be guided around this weird and wonderful island by someone who loves it as much and knows it far better than I do. This is more than a travel book, it inspired me to get on the next available trip there.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    I first heard about this book on Kickstarter several months ago, but only managed to get my hands on a copy recently in anticipation of my first trip to Iceland later this year. Hancox does a wonderful job of making you fall in love with Iceland, the people, the music; at times it's almost like being there with him and his passion just bounces off of every page. The interviews with various Icelandic musicians and anecdotes about seeing Bjork and the illusive Northern Lights make this unlike any I first heard about this book on Kickstarter several months ago, but only managed to get my hands on a copy recently in anticipation of my first trip to Iceland later this year. Hancox does a wonderful job of making you fall in love with Iceland, the people, the music; at times it's almost like being there with him and his passion just bounces off of every page. The interviews with various Icelandic musicians and anecdotes about seeing Bjork and the illusive Northern Lights make this unlike any 'travel' book I've read before, it just feels really personal but without making the reader feel excluded, it's more like you've been invited to a secret party. so yeah, I really enjoyed this book, it's given me plenty of inspiration for my upcoming trip my only gripe was with the several stories in the first few chapters about the Icelandic 'mythical beings'. Not the stories themselves but that Hancox is far to quick to point out several times that whilst they are nice 'stories' he doesn't believe in Elves/trolls etc, which I felt didn't really need saying and almost spoiled the atmosphere of the story, in the way that say going on a trip to 'chase the loch ness monster' would be spoiled if the tour guide at the end turned around and said 'but I don't believe it really exists'. But that is a small gripe on what is on the whole a fantastic book and I think is essential reading for anyone planning on going to Iceland.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Chetna

    a splendid book on Iceland. Volcnoes, naturally heated pools, caves, puffin colonies.. I will visit Iceland for sure and will remember this book by. A very pleasant read, what it lacks in being a griping read (at some places), it makes up by being a dispassionate introduction to Iceland. The ending with the NL=sighting is acer. Kudos Edward Hancox

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ariadna Perez

    I really enjoyed reading this book while touring Iceland. Funny at times, it is an easy read with many anecdotes. Shows the love of the author for Iceland and its people. Every night I went back to re-read passages about places I just visited.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Helen

    Enjoyed this, although I have a few (minor) gripes with it. The author is an Icelandophile, and his book is a chatty, humorous account of visits to Iceland (not a chronological account, but loosely based on travels all round the island, which obviously took place at different times). It's particularly good for an account of the places which those of us who would be nervous about driving there would be unlikely to get to. His love of the country and friendly observations probably mean that this Enjoyed this, although I have a few (minor) gripes with it. The author is an Icelandophile, and his book is a chatty, humorous account of visits to Iceland (not a chronological account, but loosely based on travels all round the island, which obviously took place at different times). It's particularly good for an account of the places which those of us who would be nervous about driving there would be unlikely to get to. His love of the country and friendly observations probably mean that this won't join the long list of travellers' accounts which have caused offence in that country. The book is self-published through Kickstarter funding, looks fine but of course it would benefit from photographs, which presumably wouldn't be possible on this sort of budget. Minor gripes: he is himself a tourist, so perhaps too ready to dismiss or feel a bit superior to others on occasion; his love of the country and knowledge of its culture probably really has reached the point where he ought to make a bit more of an effort with the language (but yes, it's not the easiest!); and there are a few repetitions and minor errors which could be edited out (Manchester is not in the north east of England, for instance - and the habit of leaving babies outside shops and generally "taking the air" was very much a part of British life too at one time: guessing he is too young to remember that!). He obviously knows a lot about the Icelandic music scene and there is a list of music to follow up for those who are interested; there are also suggestions for further reading and there's a nice map. An index of place names might have been useful too. I think this is would be a good book to read before going to Iceland (and I bet with a bit of research you could find out where the lovely B & B in the north which he wants to keep to himself is!)

  9. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    A friend of mine recommended this book to me, and I'm so glad I read it. For the past couple years, I've had a bit of an obsession with Iceland. Ok, so really just an intense interest. It just seems like such an unusual and otherworldly place, I must go. So I was intrigued by this book, but leery because memoir/travelogue type books can go really badly if not written well. Luckily, this one was really great. The author does a fantastic job weaving travel tips and sightseeing tidbits in with his A friend of mine recommended this book to me, and I'm so glad I read it. For the past couple years, I've had a bit of an obsession with Iceland. Ok, so really just an intense interest. It just seems like such an unusual and otherworldly place, I must go. So I was intrigued by this book, but leery because memoir/travelogue type books can go really badly if not written well. Luckily, this one was really great. The author does a fantastic job weaving travel tips and sightseeing tidbits in with his personal stories and experiences. You really get a feel for the country, the people, and the culture. You get an introduction to the key places to visit in Iceland, but you also get a really great glimpse into the more off-the-beaten-path sights, and the aspects of the culture and country that really make it special. I also loved the humor that was thrown in, and the special moments that the author shares with us. Overall, a great read for those interested in Iceland. This has seriously renewed my interest in visiting - very soon.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Xzs

    I started reading this book just prior to visiting Iceland and brought the book along with me on the trip. It just so happened that the Iceland Airwaves festival was happening during my visit and when I googled the author I discovered that he was also visiting Reykjavik to attend the festival...interesting coincidence I suppose. When I started reading this book I didn't think it was going to provide a realistic glimpse of the culture. However, while in Iceland I heard many of the stories and I started reading this book just prior to visiting Iceland and brought the book along with me on the trip. It just so happened that the Iceland Airwaves festival was happening during my visit and when I googled the author I discovered that he was also visiting Reykjavik to attend the festival...interesting coincidence I suppose. When I started reading this book I didn't think it was going to provide a realistic glimpse of the culture. However, while in Iceland I heard many of the stories and tidbits I had read in the book repeated by various tour guides and locals....so this author does know a bit about Icelandic culture after all! Consequently, I highly recommend this book to anyone planning a trip to Iceland. ....By the way, Iceland was incredible! Shhh, don't tell anyone, I don't want too many people to find out how cool a place it is!!!! I can't wait to go back!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Drew

    Wonderful book - just what I was looking for. It's part travel guide, part... memoir maybe? Basically the author is an English man who has found a second home in Iceland and decided to write a book about the place. It gives informative info about Iceland places, history, culture, music, food, and people, all embedded in recountings of the author's trips there. It's a human companion to your basic travel guidebook. Highly recommend for those going to or just interested in Iceland.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Julia Yeates

    I read this book while I was Iceland It's a pleasant light read, a little heavy on the Icelandic music scene, a little light on factual stuff (when measuring a horse, a hand is 4"), and I found some of the writing style irritating but ...

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jim Awe

    OK read if you are preparing to go to Iceland and want some inspiration, but otherwise would be just some dude rambling on about his vacation and the people he met.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Promit

    A very good book, feels the author has written from the heart. He is funny, writing is quite humourous and analogies are quite intelligent. Language is also pretty good but that's something comes with being a British, i suppose. I recommend it for anybody who wants to learn about Iceland and still doesn't want to get bored. This book is testament that Iceland is not all ice after all, there is a big heart beating within it. But one thing that popped out while reading is that the book's editing is A very good book, feels the author has written from the heart. He is funny, writing is quite humourous and analogies are quite intelligent. Language is also pretty good but that's something comes with being a British, i suppose. I recommend it for anybody who wants to learn about Iceland and still doesn't want to get bored. This book is testament that Iceland is not all ice after all, there is a big heart beating within it. But one thing that popped out while reading is that the book's editing is not good. There are mistakes in printing, very sparsely, but it does. Could be a mood dampener at times. Good show overall nevertheless.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Susan Lee

    Best travel book I have ever read-wonderful guide to Iceland in narrative form.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Christopher

    as a fellow icelandophile, i was initially a fan of hancox's similar fanboyism of this great little nation. the first few chapters revealed a great sense of humor and a passion for a wonderful place that i view as on par with my own. however as the chapters progressed, different sides of hancox emerged. the first was the dismissive hancox. it seems as if he ever traveled to a town without the correct amenities for him, he disliked it. complaints of small and uncomfortable hotels and restaurants as a fellow icelandophile, i was initially a fan of hancox's similar fanboyism of this great little nation. the first few chapters revealed a great sense of humor and a passion for a wonderful place that i view as on par with my own. however as the chapters progressed, different sides of hancox emerged. the first was the dismissive hancox. it seems as if he ever traveled to a town without the correct amenities for him, he disliked it. complaints of small and uncomfortable hotels and restaurants without expansive menus in towns that do not flourish from tourism abound throughout this book. this is at odds with another unattractive trait of hancox, one slower to reveal itself but just as present, which is one of snooty possessiveness. he clearly thinks of iceland as "his" and he has great disdain for "tourists". in fact he refuses to identify a particular bed and breakfast he likes for fear that other people will go there and will increase their business. i'm sure the owners appreciate this, edward. but hey, whatever, it's "his" bed and breakfast. later he openly describes his (completely unfair) disdain for an australian who is traveling around the world and stopped in iceland for a few days, and laments being partnered with her for an afternoon of diving. considering his hatred for "tourists" he sure mentions taking photos a lot. as someone who clearly feels he belongs in iceland, it's interesting that he does so with a camera 'round his neck. while the book ends on an optimistic note (no spoilers given), what irks me is the book is clearly an excuse for him to raise funds via kickstarter for another trip to iceland. in the penultimate chapter, the author reveals that as he and his wife begin to have a family he is unsure when he will be able to return. the last chapter, which is the last to be written, seems to have occurred after the kickstarter. so if you're interested in reading a book that exists as a means for a guy to take a trip, then this is for you. the bottom line with "iceland, defrosted" (the title is pure cheese, btw) is that the first handful of chapters are very enjoyable. at a certain point, the author's disdain for simple country towns without amenities vented through adjectives such as "lifeless" and "without personality" along with his possessiveness get to be a bit much. it was tough for me to finish, so i cannot actually recommend this book.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kenny

    A mixed bag - at various points through reading I switched between one to three stars - and most placed in between - although it's really 2.5. This book breaks the usual rules of travel books by being an unashamed love letter to the location by a fanboy. At first that was amusing, then really irritating, then, just kind of fine. There were some good chapters - and many of the digressions around the Icelandic music scene and creativity are good. The concentration on music is a strength for the A mixed bag - at various points through reading I switched between one to three stars - and most placed in between - although it's really 2.5. This book breaks the usual rules of travel books by being an unashamed love letter to the location by a fanboy. At first that was amusing, then really irritating, then, just kind of fine. There were some good chapters - and many of the digressions around the Icelandic music scene and creativity are good. The concentration on music is a strength for the book, as with food, and some literature and film - in most travel writing there's a fair bit of historical background and perhaps politics - largely absent here. At first that annoyed me. Then, when he was concentrating on the current culture I realised that, for most visitors now - and perhaps world over - that this is the culture - maybe our generation doesn't need as much historical background, but a youtube or spotify connection. And perhaps that's enough. So I relaxed into this a bit more then. That said, a couple of bits really did annoy me - his sniffyness about short term tourists (when most of the time he's on a slightly longer tourist trip) and having an occasional rant about the obscure places where services may not be quite of the highest standards. On a less charitable night those along would dock another point. Let alone that half the final chapter is just 'what I did on my birthday'. Yet there's an earnestness and some terrible, terrible jokes that redeem this against other similar books. Not essential reading, but diverting, and with a good soundtrack.

  18. 5 out of 5

    James Tomasino

    Iceland, Defrosted is the story of one man's love affair with a beguiling little island in the middle of the Atlantic. It is not a travel story, or a guide, or any number of other things readers might mistakenly guess based on where it sits in a bookstore. Marco Polo didn't simply visit the far East. Sir Hillary didn't simply climb Everest. Like many before him, great and small, Edward Hancox experiences a deep connection to a place that is so profound it borders on ineffable. The magic of the Iceland, Defrosted is the story of one man's love affair with a beguiling little island in the middle of the Atlantic. It is not a travel story, or a guide, or any number of other things readers might mistakenly guess based on where it sits in a bookstore. Marco Polo didn't simply visit the far East. Sir Hillary didn't simply climb Everest. Like many before him, great and small, Edward Hancox experiences a deep connection to a place that is so profound it borders on ineffable. The magic of the book is in Mr. Hancox ability to share that penetrating allure with his readers. If you are already an Icelandophile then his anecdotes will sound familiar even if you have never traveled. That familiarity is the undercurrent, or theme, that glues everything into a cohesive story. No, it's not his endless search for the Aurora Borealis or magnificent puffin photography, it is love. It is, as the British poet John Betjeman would have named it, Topophilia at its purest. It would be a waste of effort to comment on any specific story or review his use of language in this review. I must review the book for how well it performs as what it is. In that sense, I must say it was fantastic. 4/5 on the Goodreads scale, 5/5 on the Amazon scale.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Robert

    Loved this book: not the greatest writer, but he sounds like a guy I want to be friends with - young, obsessed with Iceland, passionate about its music and cultural aesthetic, funny and sensitive. This book follows him around Iceland, throughout his many trips to there in the years around 2008-2012 (ish) and he visits and comments on pretty much every region in a thoughtful way. Since I am 2 weeks away from going there myself (!) it was particularly poignant. The real beauty for me was the fact Loved this book: not the greatest writer, but he sounds like a guy I want to be friends with - young, obsessed with Iceland, passionate about its music and cultural aesthetic, funny and sensitive. This book follows him around Iceland, throughout his many trips to there in the years around 2008-2012 (ish) and he visits and comments on pretty much every region in a thoughtful way. Since I am 2 weeks away from going there myself (!) it was particularly poignant. The real beauty for me was the fact that Hancox makes music a central figure in his visits. He is also a huge Sigur Ros fan, so he visits landmarks from >Heima< and interviews other artists such as Soley, and comments on his playlists and how they match the place. Frankly, that is precisely the way that I like to travel, so I made a bunch of bookmarks that i hope to catch on my trip. We'll see. Of all the travel books I've read about Iceland, this is the most recent, the most fun, and the most engaging. Highly recommended to any music-oriented travellers (or would-be-travellers) to Iceland.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Angela B.

    I was curious. Curious about Iceland, and curious about what seems to fascinate people so much about this little island. So, I read the book. At first I found myself thinking: hmmm, this is a little silly, and more than a little irreverent. But I kept reading, and it wasn't long before the author's sometimes silly, self-deprecating humour grew on me. And the irreverence was fun, and fitting for a country, it seems, so chock full of delightful eccentricities: hot pots, mud pots, weird volcanic I was curious. Curious about Iceland, and curious about what seems to fascinate people so much about this little island. So, I read the book. At first I found myself thinking: hmmm, this is a little silly, and more than a little irreverent. But I kept reading, and it wasn't long before the author's sometimes silly, self-deprecating humour grew on me. And the irreverence was fun, and fitting for a country, it seems, so chock full of delightful eccentricities: hot pots, mud pots, weird volcanic formations, skyr, fermented shark, a penis museum, sheep tongue, banana trees, Bjork... the list goes on. But there's also the amazing: fjords, glaciers, seals, foxes, blueberries, waterfalls, and of course, the elusive northern lights. Hancox does a great job of conveying his passion for this country. And it's contagious. Iceland is now on my own radar, and I've added it to my "must see one day" list.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

    I like reading books about people traveling through Iceland, interacting with locals and discovering the sights. This was one such book, and it offered unique perspectives I hadn't read yet on places like the Westfjords. However, the book wasn't particularly well-written. It seemed to take the form of a series of connected blog posts, with the writing being too informal for my particular liking. Sentence fragments abounded, for instance, and the writer sometimes didn't explain where he was I like reading books about people traveling through Iceland, interacting with locals and discovering the sights. This was one such book, and it offered unique perspectives I hadn't read yet on places like the Westfjords. However, the book wasn't particularly well-written. It seemed to take the form of a series of connected blog posts, with the writing being too informal for my particular liking. Sentence fragments abounded, for instance, and the writer sometimes didn't explain where he was setting off to or who he was with in that particular chapter. I'd rate it at 2.75 stars, if I could be so precise.

  22. 4 out of 5

    L Walker

    Whether you're going to Iceland, you've just been or you have a fascination with all things Icelandic, this is a must read. I read this book after a recent trip to Iceland and it was really nice to reinforce the memories of many of the sights I'd visited with Hancox's encounters of the same places. I enjoyed the author's easy conversational writing style and humor. Being an Icelandic music aficionado, he lists several Icelandic musicians and songs in the back of the book, which I have added to Whether you're going to Iceland, you've just been or you have a fascination with all things Icelandic, this is a must read. I read this book after a recent trip to Iceland and it was really nice to reinforce the memories of many of the sights I'd visited with Hancox's encounters of the same places. I enjoyed the author's easy conversational writing style and humor. Being an Icelandic music aficionado, he lists several Icelandic musicians and songs in the back of the book, which I have added to my on-line music stream. Cool! Thanks to Edward Hancox for bring Iceland alive in print.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Patricia Mann

    Learned a lot about a place I've only heard about being the "Land of the Vikings," but instead, it's the land of the Icelanders, and a very special place it seems to be. I read it in preparation for visiting the country this summer and am more excited than ever. Written by an Englishman who visited almost ten times in different seasons, he very clearly shared his love the the western-most country in Europe. Can't wait to go there and meet the very friendly, artistic and resourceful people of Learned a lot about a place I've only heard about being the "Land of the Vikings," but instead, it's the land of the Icelanders, and a very special place it seems to be. I read it in preparation for visiting the country this summer and am more excited than ever. Written by an Englishman who visited almost ten times in different seasons, he very clearly shared his love the the western-most country in Europe. Can't wait to go there and meet the very friendly, artistic and resourceful people of Iceland.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    My sister and I spent a week in Reykjavik last year, where I fell in love hard and fast with the city and the country. Living in Florida and being unable to return every weekend, this book is the next best thing. Hancox brilliantly captures the spirit of Iceland with writing that is dry, witty, and endlessly entertaining. Whether you're planning a trip or wishing you could go back, this is the book to read.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Dave Lusby

    Annoying writing style where mildly interesting facts are repeated again and again. The blurb on the back claims the author is "A devoted fan of all things Icelandic - and particularly Icelandic music" - but not 6 pages in he was wrong about Bjork's first band being The Sugarcubes and that set the tone for a series of small mistakes that wouldn't matter on their own, but built up into a frustrating read overall.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Stefanie

    Reading Iceland, Defrosted was like chatting with a friend who really, really loves Iceland and has a lot of stories about his travels there. It's not a travel guide, but just one passionate guy's experiences. The author touches on everything about Iceland - the music, food, history, landscape, wildlife, language, culture, and the wonderful people. Considering that I was vacationing in Iceland, this was a fun read for me.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Heather Noble

    The author is unashamedly obsessed with Iceland and his outrageously repeated enthusiasm for the island adds to the humour of the book. If you have visited Iceland it certainly makes you want to explore further afield than Reykjavik and more independently than the tour busses. I think it also works well as a personal introduction and I found his Icelandic music references interesting to follow up.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Schlatter

    Nice and amusing travelogue of an English man who loves Iceland, especially its music, beer, and food. I actually found quite a bit of overlap with the "Xenophobe's Guide to the Icelanders," which was interesting. But Hancox weaves his observations into his personal experiences driving across the country, making friends, interviewing musicians, and trying new foods and beers. He's also quite self-deprecating, even as he makes snide comments about other tourists and "big bus" tours.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Adele

    I read this in bits, in pockets of time grabbed here and there; whilst making dinner, between train stops, before falling asleep. Whether it was because of this, or the excerpt style it was written in, I felt it was piecemeal. Don't get me wrong - it's enjoyable, an easy read, and it's clear the author is passionate about Iceland. But there was no real flow to the book and I didn't learn anything particularly new.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Alice

    This is not a travel book. This is a love story about an island nation. It is the sort of thing that tourist boards (or indeed anyone trying to market a product) dream of and attempt imperfectly to imitate or fake in ways that all too often fall short and are all too transparent. But there's nothing to see through with Iceland, Defrosted. It is all sincerity. A beautifully crafted book full of humour and genuine appreciation for the landscapes, the culture and the people of Iceland.

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