Moonstone: The Boy Who Never Was

Moonstone: The Boy Who Never Was


Moonstone: The Boy Who Never Was by Sjon
2016, hardcover

Sjon's most daring and accessible work yet, an award-winning novel from Iceland's freshest cultural export

Reykjavik, 1918. Katla, the large volcano in southern Iceland, is erupting, turning the sky over the city into a crimson light show, night and day.

Reykjavik is homogeneous and isolated. It seems entirely defenseless against the Spanish flu, which has ravaged Europe, Asia, and North America, and is now lapping up on Iceland's shores. If the flu isn't enough, there's always the threat that the Great War will spread north. Yet for all this seclusion and uncertainty, the outside world has managed one major incursion: cinema.

Here, young Mani Steinn can escape from the apocalyptic threats around him. But now, at his city's hour of greatest need, he must decide whether he should retreat completely into this imaginary flickering world or if he should engage with the culture that has so soundly rejected him. Mani Steinn is queer in a society where the idea of homosexuality is beyond the furthest extreme. He is a young man on the fringes of a society that is itself at the fringes of the world - at a moment when that world seems intent on destroying itself. What should he become?

The mind-bending miniature historical epic is Sjon's specialty, and Moonstone: The Boy Who Never Was is no exception - his most grounded and heartfelt work yet, a virtuoso performance by a major writer at the top of his form.