Devil's Island by Einar Karason

Devil's Island

Einar Karason

A wonderfully detailed observation of life in 1950's Iceland. There is so much hardship that this should be a depressing story, but the comedy and humour come through to lift the mood and make you smile.


Gummi was twenty-four, and had an office job with the Electricity Board. It was said that he was such a clumsy oaf that he was turning everyone's hair grey. Even Toti once admitted that God had not made a very good job of his Gummi: 'Sometimes I think he has a diesel engine inside his head,' Toti said, as he sat for a whole day chatting to Tommi down at the shop, drinking half a bottle of spirits and not daring to go home.

  • The Shipping News by Annie Proulx
  • Dina's Book by Herbjorg Wassmo

Books with similar mood

In Times of Fading Light

Eugen Ruge

The Russian Dreambook of Colour and Flight

Gina Ochsner

Black Flower

Young-Ha Kim

Stone's Fall

Iain Pears

Off Keck Road

Mona Simpson

The Missing

Tim Gautreaux

Small Crimes in an Age of Abundance

Matthew Kneale


Nenad Velickovic

The Paperchase

Marcel Theroux

The Hunters

Clare Messud


Naomi Alderman

No One Writes Back

Jang Eun-Jin


Oscar Casares

The Silver Linings Playbook

Matthew Quick

Diamond Dove

Adrian Hyland

Ideas Above Our Station

Ian Daley (ed)

Hard Knocks

Zoe Sharp


Kerstin Ekman

Dance by the Canal

Kerstin Hensel

Last Night on Earth

Kevin Maher

The Black Madonna

Peter Millar

The House of Special Purpose

John Boyne

Secrets of the Sea

Nicholas Shakespeare

The Reckoning

Patricia Tyrrell

Upon Dark Waters

Robert Radcliffe

The Book of Israel

Jeremy Gavron

The Desperate Remedy

Martin Stephen

Bobby Gold

Anthony Bourdain


Terri de la Pena


Shaena Lambert

The Girls

Lori Lansens

The Lowland

Jhumpa Lahiri

Oil on Water

Helon Habila

The Bethlehem Murders

Matt Rees

The Free and Easy

Anne Haverty

The Rule of Four

Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason

Wild Boy

Jill Dawson

White Oleander

Janet Fitch


Frank Ronan

White Trash

John King

Four Fires

Bryce Courtenay

Cold Water

Gwendoline Riley

Cuban Heels

Emily Barr


Marc Blake

Then We Came to the End

Joshua Ferris

Ghachar Ghochar

Vivek Shanbhag

Into the Fire

Manda Scott

Hiding in Plain Sight

Nuruddin Farah

The Mark and the Void

Paul Murray