As you might guess from the title, Thoughts From Iceland is a semi-random collection of observations, existing as a narrative largely because they happened in that order,. but without – so far – an overarching, grander tale. I don’t know yet what brought Lonnie Mann to Iceland specifically, but I do know a fair bit now about the specifics of his hotel room, what he had to eat and what sort of music he likes.
It’s basically a personal blog in comic-strip form. Which is fine if the person doing it has a keen sense of observation and an entertaining way of describing things. We get a sense of Lonnie’s ability to do this upfront with familiar items – the inflight movies…
Without thinking specifically about the author’s name, I initially assumed it was a woman writing this. Lonnie is actually a gay man, which isn’t something presented as especially relevant; you just sort of figure it out when he mentions cute guys. He’s certainly not PC, though – at one point he considers buying shoes made of seal fur, and learns that many Americans ask for phony “certificates of fakeness” to fool their more sensitive friends into believing it isn’t real fur. He also eats whale meat, which he likes the taste of.
And yes, he is nerdy – check out the way he describes his first encounter with local cuisine:
The issue I read was just day one – there’s also a day two, and he continues the story in installments on his own website. And this is perhaps my one niggle with the whole thing – the book is $4.99, but it’s all stuff that has been on his site for free. So we get down to the question of is it worth it to you to support independent artists, or do you think that maybe paying for this is a waste of time?
I can’t answer that for you. But I enjoyed myself, and feel like I learned something.