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Review: Drápa, by Gerður Kristný

© Matt Fallaize, May 2019

Gerður Kristný's Drápa is an unusual beast: at once a fable, an updating of Icelandic sagas and a piece of narrative journalism, a poetic In Cold Blood... Kristný takes the facts of the death of Gréta Birgisdóttir and constructs an entirely absorbing fantastical narrative around them, drawing on her interviews with the real-life  murderer, Bragi Ólafsson. But this isn't simply a work of poetic journalism either. Drapa (which translates as 'The Slaying') is a darkly magical fable, narrated by none other than Mephistopholes, himself...

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