"This is the tale of Alfgrim, an abandoned child, whose mother gave birth to him in the turf-and-stone cottage of Bjorn of Brekkukot, the fisherman, on the outskirts of what is now Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland. It is the history of his boyhood and youth, spent at Bjorn's home in the early years of the twentieth century, an hospitable place where strangers were welcome and often stayed for years and where, in the mid-loft, Alfgrim learned philosophy and much else besides." "When Alfgrim went to school he came into contact with a whole different world in which the reigning spirit was the singer, Gardar Holm, whose international renown was a source of pride to his fellow countrymen. But Alfgrim's encounters with the singer only served to make him and his fame more mysterious."--BOOK JACKET.