Iceland begins with Paul arriving at a mysterious Institute to pick out—on doctor’s orders—a new internal organ. There he meets Emily, a young, bikini-clad woman hired to stimulate the organs preserved in a nutrient-enhanced swimming pool, and falls in love amidst a flurry of chlorine and kick-boards. In Jim Krusoe’s world, this is about as simple as life gets.
Paul’s brief interlude with Emily sets the course for his extraordinary adventures, which involve a troublesome stain on Paul’s rug, a volcano, Paul’s marriage and children, six years in a piano bar, and a long stretch in the State Penitentiary. But throughout it all Paul keeps re-imagining that first afternoon by the poolside with Emily, his one true love.
Iceland is a novel of melancholic hilarity that along the way raises questions about the nature of memory, imagination, and desire.