A Voyage Long and Strange

Rediscovering the New World
Narrated by: John H. Mayer
Length: 17 hrs and 16 mins
Categories: History, Americas
4.2 out of 5 stars (180 ratings)

Audible Premium Plus

$14.95 a month

1 audiobook of your choice.
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
$14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $34.95

Buy for $34.95

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

On a chance visit to Plymouth Rock, Tony Horwitz makes an unsettling discovery. A history buff since early childhood, expensively educated at university - a history major, no less! - he’s reached middle age with a third-grader’s grasp of early America. In fact, he’s mislaid more than a century of American history, the period separating Columbus’s landing in 1492 from the arrival of English colonists at Jamestown in 16-something. Did nothing happen in between?

Horwitz decides to find out, and in A Voyage Long and Strange he uncovers the neglected story of America’s founding by Europeans. He begins a thousand years ago, with the Vikings, and then tells the dramatic tale of conquistadors, castaways, French voyageurs, and many others who roamed and rampaged across half the states of the present-day U.S. continent, long before the Mayflower landed. To explore this history and its legacy in the present, Horwitz embarks on an epic quest of his own - trekking in search of grape-rich Vinland, Ponce de León’s Fountain of Youth, Coronado’s Cities of Gold, Walter Raleigh’s Lost Colonists, and other mysteries of early America. And everywhere he goes, Horwitz probes the revealing gap between fact and legend, between what we enshrine and what we forget. 

An irresistible blend of history, myth, and misadventure, A Voyage Long and Strange allows us to rediscover the New World for ourselves.  

©2008 Tony Horwitz (P)2008 Books on Tape

Critic Reviews

"Horwitz writes in a breezy, engaging style, so this combination of popular history and travelogue will be ideal for general readers." (Booklist

"Like travel writer Bill Bryson, Horwitz has a penchant for meeting colorful characters and getting himself into bizarre situations." (The Christian Science Monitor

"Funny and lively...popular history of the most accessible sort. The stories [Horwitz] tells are full of vivid characters and wild detail." (The New York Times Book Review)   

What listeners say about A Voyage Long and Strange

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    85
  • 4 Stars
    57
  • 3 Stars
    29
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    3
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    70
  • 4 Stars
    35
  • 3 Stars
    13
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    3
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    71
  • 4 Stars
    20
  • 3 Stars
    26
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    4

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Just Not For Me

If you have read any history beyond the standard middle school, high school and even college stuff much of this book is a rehash. If you are like me and have read about this time period extensively you may find yourself "hairsplitting" about Horowitz's take on some of the stories. The author's personal experiences with site visits had the potential to be funny--but to me they missed the mark. Overall, I thought these trips went on a bit too long and fell flat. In the end I was either bored or irritated by the whole experience. Disappointing for me--but worth a try if you like Tony Horwitz's style of humor and are up for a history "review". Other reviewers here on audible seem to love it.

29 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Funny, informative, insightful, entertaining.

Determined to learn more about early America than his education in history provided him, Tony Horwitz set out to research the written record, and travel to all of these historic places, collecting enough information along the way to write this book. But this is not a dry, dense, "just the facts, ma'am" type of history book. Most of the story lies in the people who Horwitz visits in his travels. From Hispañiola to New Mexico, to Florida, Virginia and finally back to Plymouth Rock, He finds local people who are well qualified to have opinions about the local history. The opinions of these people, combined with the author's observations and the written record, serve to weave a story not just about early America, but about the way that all histories are written. Horwitz has a great ability to find the humor and silliness in all of this, and the narrator, John H Mayor, does a splendid job of bringing that across. I found myself smiling, chuckling, and sometimes even laughing out loud at the absurdity of it all. Meanwhile, my mind was enriched with accounts of tales that should be common knowledge, but are not the stories that the winners of American history passed on, so therefore are little known. It was one of those books that I got so involved in, I forgot about the rest of the world until it was over. Highly reccomended.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

History meets myth

The story was interesting at times, but tended to get bogged down into minutia from time to time and the author also made some tortured and tenuous cultural connections between history and modern day meaning. I found Tony Horwitz's book "Confederates in the Attic" to be better. This was still a very good book and I enjoyed traveling on the authors adventure. As far as technical quality of the audiobook, the reader was excellent and was easy to listen to. No complaints there.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Say Yes to This Voyage

For people like me who spend our days continually amazed at our sheer ignorance, Horowitz's new book is perfect. My major in college was history, U.S. history, but the time between Columbus washing up in Hispaniola (todays D.R. and Haiti) in 1492 and the Pilgrims landing in 1620 was basically a complete blank. Horowitz seeks to fill that gap in his knowledge (and my own), by tracing the routes and landing spots of the early Viking, Spanish, and French explorers and colonizers. Historical travel writing at its best, filled with weirdo American's and laid-back Domican's, A Voyage Long and Strange is one worthwhile journey.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting

This is well researched and very accessible way to learn some history. But as the author travelled the path of early Europeans through America, his contemporary descriptions of present-day people sometimes have a subtle mocking tone, as if he and us, the readers, are in on a joke at the others’ expense. This is subtle, and not always there, but it knocked my rating down a notch. Also, the language he uses to describe the original peoples, of “natives” and “warriors”, comes across as anachronistic to my 2020 ears.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

a historical travelogue

much more a travelogue than a straight history. works pretty well though, nice selection of facts and places, once past the first section (Vikings)

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Definitely worth repeated listening!

Although th narrator did not match my imagined voice of Tony Horwitz, the engaging, informative, and entertaining writing kept me listening throughout the book. Horwitz is a national treasure. - I can't wait to find his next book!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Good history

This book fills in a portion of history that I had known very little about. It's well researched and well written. It even has an important moral at the end. I'd recommend it to anyone.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Okay read

Struggled to finish, but very informational. Not enjoyable while reading, but interesting to learn and ended up better than I thought.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

It was ok

It was good I like it but is was hard to read and kind of boring at sum parts