Book critic – “Sofandi að Feigðarósi”

19 01 2010
The book cover

Sofandi að feigðarósi

I have been reading “Sofandi að Feigðarósi” (Sleeping through the rapids) by Ólafur Arnarsson. I think the book is only available in Icelandic and I would doubt it will be translated to other languages. The book goes through the deregulation of the Icelandic economy and the expansion of the Icelandic banks abroad. It talks in detail about the events that occurred before and after the 26th of September, when Glitnir Bank was nationalized and up until the 9th of October when Kaupthing Bank – the last standing Icelandic bank – was nationalized. What did the authorities know before the crash, what did they disclose and what did the do with the knowledge they had?

I think that some chapters of the book are quite good and worth reading. There isn’t anything new in this book but it’s nice to have everything in one place in a coherent story and it is a very easy read. I didn’t like other chapters in the book when the author falls into a preaching mode, preaching about Iceland joining the EU and swapping the Icelandic Króna for the Euro without fully developed arguments and he starts pushing his own opinions as the truth. He also seems to find a way in his mind to blame one person, Davíð Oddson Chairman of the board at the Icelandic National Bank, for everything that has gone wrong in Iceland for the last 10-15 years. Some of it might be correct and even most of it but at times the blame game gets boring.

So the verdict is that the book is worth reading for anyone interested in the topic but it doesn’t tells any new truths and if you don’t agree with joining the EU and abandoning the Króna you might get pissed at times about the lack of arguments for the positions that the author obviously holds. The recommended way to read the book is in a hammock on the beach holding a cold cocktail and not to get too angry and upset while reading ;)

– Ö r n –

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