Killing Tourists (2021) is a sharp and witty crime novel set in the madness of mass tourism. It offers a peek behind the scenes of Iceland’s most bizarre industry just before the Coronavirus forced the world into lockdown. Be prepared to embark on a journey with unexpected twists at every turn. A not so classic who-done-it tale in the vein of Agatha Christie, served in short chapters for binge reading, a Fargo-style tongue in cheek journey through the wasteland of the Icelandic winter. Killing Tourists is your antidote to the dreary Nordic Noir crime novels of recent years.
The Bench – a diary from the Golden Circle (2019) gives an insider’s view of the Icelandic tourist boom when it peaked in 2019, just before the covid 19 pandemic. Seventy-six photos document the ever-changing weather in a twelve months period while the text describes a diverse group of international visitors as well as a man on crossroads – caught in a gold rush without an end.
In The Evacuation of Iceland (2017) the entire population of Iceland (340.000) is transported to Tempelhof, a former airfield in the middle of Berlin. It is a dystopian and somewhat political story, critical of modern Iceland were a handful of international companies are accumulating most of the wealth of the nation while the majority of Icelanders are blinded by consumerism that may eventually lead to their downfall. The novel harvested excellent reviews and was praised for its black humor and creative vision.
The Man Who Hated Children (2014) is Thorarinn Leifssons latest novel for younger readers. It was nominated for The Icelandic Literary Prize , The Icelandic Bookseller’s Literary Award and perhaps most importantly; The Nordic Council Children and Young People’s Literature Prize followed by a publication in Denmark in 2016. Film rights have been acquired by The Icelandic Film Company.
The Foreign Kid was originally a schoolbook commisioned by The Ministry of Education in Iceland that Leifsson subsequently developed into a 70 minutes stageplay, premiered in an independent theater company in Reykjavik in the autumn of 2014. The piece is fiercely critical of immigration politics in western Europe.
The Street Painter (2011) is a biographical novel based on the author’s personal experience as a vagabond in Spain and Morocco in the late eighties. Its a journey into the exotic and dangerous world of street artists and tramps. The narrative is exciting and adventurous, full of darkness and subtle humor.
Grandmother’s Library came out in Iceland in 2009 and won the Reykjavik literary the year after. This post bank crisis fantasy about a world where books are forbidden harvested excellent reviews and was soon published in Denmark, Norway, Finland, Estonia and Salani in Italy. Cereja will publish Grandmother’s Library in Brasil in 2019.
Father’s Big Secret was Thorarinn Leifssons debut in 2007. This children’s book about a cannibalistic patriarch may be the authors best known work. The publication in Iceland was soon followed by Germany, Denmark, Norway and The Faroe Islands. The story is widely praised for its originality.
Total Freedom (2001) was Co-written with author Audur Jonsdottir and richly illustrated by Leifsson. It was hailed as the second best children book of the year by the Icelandic book seller unionwhen it came out in 2001 . The book was Leifssons first real attempt at writing besides a few surrealistic comic strips and blogs.