Huge thanks to Charlotte Theobold at Arctic Adventures for this wonderful review:
Iceland, Defrosted by Edward Hancox is ‘The story of one man’s obsession with the people, places and music of Iceland.’
Edward Hancox is a puffin loving Englishman with a passion for Iceland. Iceland,Defrosted is his first book, which evolved from his blog of the same name about all things Iceland.
”I found that the real Iceland is well beyond the confines of a hire car, or a weekend trip to Reykjavík. It doesn’t exist in current guidebooks, and can’t be brought with a stuffed puffin toy. The real Iceland is one where warmth, friendship, creativity and quality of life abound, making this small community into something really special.’’
I discovered the book through the wonder that is social media. When I moved to Iceland I set up my own blog to keep my friends and family updated on my experiences and adventures. I linked the blog to twitter and followed a lot of Iceland related accounts one of them being Ed Hancox. I started to read about this book that had newly published with the help of Kickstarter. So here I was, in Iceland reading these incredible reviews for a book written by a fellow Englishman about one of my favorite places. It was a no brainer. I had to purchase it and wow am I glad I did.
This book is not intended as a travel guide, it’s not a history book it’s just a book about one man’s passion for Iceland that just so happens to be an incredible travel guide and a very interesting history book. I read this book in my first week of being here and it inspired me to get out and see the country immediately. I was desperate to get up to the West Fjords and down to the South Coast as soon as I could.
Ed is honest in his writing he’s not shy to tell you when actually he didn’t really enjoy a certain experience or that it was a bit touristy for his liking. Something I have a lot of respect for. However, when he writes about an experience he found interesting or amazing you can feel his excitement in his writing and it is infectious like his love for Icelandic coffee, Puffins and Beer. He talks about some incredible places off the beaten track, with just enough information that a savvy traveler could research themselves but not with so much information that the whole world will have descended on them by next summer.
Ed covers all manor of topics from Elves to Einstök. Coffee to Cows and Seals to Shellfish and a recurring theme in the book his bad luck with seeing the Northern Lights or rather not seeing them.
The book is informative, funny and and times a little emotional. His words have stayed with me and whilst travelling the south coast last week I had a little Iceland, Defrosted voice in the back of my head reminding me of Ed´s experiences in the same locations or advice on the area.
I can´t recommend this book enough. I have an e-reader copy but have already decided I need a paper copy too as I want to take it everywhere I go this year for the advice and information. I have already noticed it in a number of bookshops around Reykjavik and I know that some independent bookshops in the UK are stocking this fabulous read too.