‘Katla in Desmond Bagley’s next book’.
Many Icelanders will be familiar with the books Gullkjölurinn (The Golden Keel) and Skriðan (Landslide), which have enjoyed great popularity here along with others by the same author. Desmond Bagley, the author, is currently visiting Iceland with his wife to research material for the eighth book, which is set to take place in Iceland.
Bagley spoke with reporters today, but he did not want to say anything about the book. “I understand that Katla will erupt soon”, he said, “and I intend to put it into the story, in the confidence that Katla will have erupted when the book comes out. I also need to try to include your roads. I’ve only been to one country where the roads are better, which is New Zealand. On the other hand I admire the Icelandic radio system, it is always running.” The couple have been travelling around the country for 12 days looking at historical sites and more. Bagley became interested in coming to Iceland when he heard that his books were selling well here, and when they had decided on coming, his wife had sat down and began to study Icelandic. “It wasn’t really necessary though, because everyone here speaks English. In a restaurant I tried to order one pilsner and one Coca-Cola in Icelandic, but it didn’t work out so well, as we got sixteen bottles!”
“I am very impressed by the finish of the Icelandic editions of my books”, said Bagley, “but I cannot say that about all the editions.”
Bagley’s books have been translated into 15 languages. Four of them have already been published in Icelandic; Gullkjölurinn (The Golden Keel), Fjallavirkið (High Citadel), Fellibylur (Wyatt’s Hurricane) and Skriðan (Landslide) and the fifth Víveróbréfið (The Vivero Letter) is in print and will be published this autumn, by ‘Suðri’ the publisher of the Icelandic versions of Bagley’s books. The sixth book is currently being published in the original language and is called The Spoilers. The seventh book takes place mostly in Antarctica, it is still under construction. “I’ve written the first four chapters six times, and I hope they will be okay for the seventh time,” Bagley says laughing.
The eighth book is to take place to some extent in Iceland, as stated earlier. “Iceland is a very unusual country,” says Bagley, and then jokes: “It is also an advantage how few people live here, so if I were to write some nonsense, then nobody knows the right thing, except Icelanders.”
Bagley and his wife leave for London on Saturday, but say they definitely want to come back here and stay longer.
Image Caption: Desmond Bagley and his wife inspect the Icelandic version of Fjallavirkið (High Citadel). Tíminn Image – GE.
- ‘Kötlugos í næstu bók Desmond Bagleys’: Tíminn, 15 August 1969, p. 2.