The Age of the Vikings

Narrated by: Eric Jason Martin
Length: 10 hrs and 45 mins
Categories: History, Europe
4 out of 5 stars (179 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The Vikings maintain their grip on our imagination, but their image is too often distorted by medieval and modern myth. It is true that they pillaged, looted, and enslaved. But they also settled peacefully and developed a vast trading network. They traveled far from their homelands in swift and sturdy ships, not only to raid, but also to explore. Despite their fearsome reputation, the Vikings didn’t wear horned helmets, and even the infamous berserkers were far from invincible.

By dismantling the myths, The Age of the Vikings allows the full story of this period in medieval history to be told. By exploring every major facet of this exciting age, Anders Winroth captures the innovation and pure daring of the Vikings without glossing over their destructive heritage.

He not only explains the Viking attacks, but also looks at Viking endeavors in commerce, politics, discovery, and colonization, and reveals how Viking arts, literature, and religious thought evolved in ways unequaled in the rest of Europe. He shows how the Vikings seized on the boundless opportunities made possible by the invention of the longship, using it to venture to Europe for plunder, to open new trade routes, and to settle in lands as distant as Russia, Greenland, and the Byzantine Empire. Challenging the image of the Vikings that comes so easily to mind, Winroth argues that Viking chieftains were no more violent than men like Charlemagne, who committed atrocities on a far greater scale than the northern raiders.

Drawing on a wealth of written, visual, and archaeological evidence, The Age of the Vikings sheds new light on the complex society and culture of these legendary seafarers.

©2014 Princeton University Press (P)2014 Audible Inc.

What listeners say about The Age of the Vikings

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting history. Narrator could be better

A well-written introduction to the history of Scandinavia. Not just a litany of people, places, and events. The author takes time to explore the culture, art, literature, politics, and religion of Scandinavia.
The narrator reads fairly well, but his habit of ending every sentence with the same inflection and dragging out the last syllable of every sentence drove me batty. Unlike the best narrators he was never telling a story. He was merely reading a book.

16 people found this helpful

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Amazing book, TERRIBLE narration

Winroth's perspective on the Vikings is fair, balanced, and excellent. Identifying how primary sources and their origins have affected the way we view the Vikings compared to other equally savage contemporaries is insightful and helpful.
One caveat: the narrator is horrendous. Not only is the same inflection used throughout, pronunciation is terrible. I don't just mean the pronunciation of unique Nordic-origin words (all of which are butchered) but also a variety of words like "prelate" and "sepulcher", which the narrator had apparently never heard spoken aloud before. The speaking voice is pleasant, but this seems like a case where the narrator could have been prepped in the basics of Nordic language family pronunciations as well as any kind of oversight for the pronunciations found on the final recordings. I love this book but this recording makes me wish I'd bought it in print first.

10 people found this helpful

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Monotone but informative

The information provided in this book is outstanding. There are lots of details and information that I was unaware of. so for that I give this book 4 stars.

However, the narration of this book is what made this book difficult to listened to. The narrator had a monotone throughout the entire book leaving my ears bleeding. 2 stars at best.

I do recommend this book, but warm you to have copious amounts of coffee when doing so.

1 person found this helpful

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Excellent Content,. Poor Narration<br />

In terms of content, this was a wonderful exploration of the Viking Age. The author was excellent in presentation of facts, details, and ideas.

Had true difficulties getting through it though because of the narration. Robotic, lifeless, and repetitive intonation (Let's draw out the last syllable of every sentence...every...single...sentence...shall we?)

Have purchased over 100 Audible titles over the past couple of years. Reviews are usually easy...five stars across the board. This is only one of two books I've purchased where it would be best to re-record with someone that would do justice to the author's efforts.

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the narrators voice was dull and tiring

the narrators voice was dull and tiring making it hard to listen for long periods without falling asleep. Other than that it was an excellent book.

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  • Ky
  • 11-03-18

Very Interesting

The real deal when it comes to a people largely fictionalized by modern day entertainment.

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a solid history of the Viking era

This book provides a great background on the Viking era. It is a bit dry, but overall worth the listen if you're interested in Viking age culture and society.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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this narrator

the narrator is horrible. the way he over extends the end of each sentence will drive you mad!!!

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  • Jonathan Brookes
  • 10-06-18

Read if possible

I have read this previously, it's well written, but poorly narrated with some known names and words pronounced oddly.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-30-18

good book but poorly read.

the book itself is well written but the narrator is monotonous and very tedious to listen to.

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  • Kelly Rickard
  • 03-06-15

A good history of the Viking

Really enjoyed this thorough history but about half way they it became more about the church. I would have liked more Viking and only a little on the church's involvement of the Vikings and more on the prominent Vikings.

The performance was good but certain words were pronounced wrong.