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Publisher's Summary

Bengtsson's hero, Red Orm-canny - courageous and above all lucky - is only a boy when he is abducted from his Danish home by the Vikings and made to take his place at the oars of their dragon-prowed ships. Orm is then captured by the Moors in Spain, where he is initiated into the pleasures of the senses and fights for the Caliph of Cordova. Escaping from captivity, Orm washes up in Ireland, where he marvels at those epicene creatures, the Christian monks, and from which he then moves on to play an ever more important part in the intrigues of the various Scandinavian kings and clans and dependencies. Eventually, Orm contributes to the Viking defeat of the army of the king of England and returns home an off-the-cuff Christian and a very rich man, though back on his native turf new trials and tribulations will test his cunning and determination.

Packed with pitched battles and blood feuds, and told throughout with wit and high spirits, Bengtsson's book is a splendid adventure that features one of the most unexpectedly winning heroes in modern fiction.

©1954, 2010 Frans G. Bengtsson; translation copyright 1954 by Michael Meyer; Introduction copyright 2010 by Michael Chabon (P)2017 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

What listeners say about The Long Ships

Average Customer Ratings
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Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful story

What a marvelous audiobook. Author, translation, narrator all top notch. This is not one of the over-testosteroned novels of violent theft and rape that are so popular these days. It’s the story of a Nordic man of the Middle Ages; his life, his adventures, his family. Yes he goes a-Viking, but it also follows the small things of his life. And the author does so with a dry, wry, ironic sense of humor that pervades the entire tale. Worth every penny and every second!!

74 people found this helpful

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Great Old Book!

This is a fun tale. It is not a page turner like Cornwell's Saxon Stories, but it is a lovely yarn that has subtle humor and lots of insight into the people of the Viking era. Less violence, less lust, more love - both fraternal and romantic, plus likable characters and interesting locales. If you enjoyed Poul Anderson's Three Hearts and Three Lions and his viking stories, you will probably like The Long Ships. Very nice performance.

64 people found this helpful

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Doesn’t get any better

This is a Scandinavian Saga modified so the occupants of this century can ride along. Both story and voice talent are peerless. A treasure. But a note of caution: should you reach the final page do not expect to be the same person that turned page one much earlier.

35 people found this helpful

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Elegant

Wonderful elevated language, suitable for a Norse saga. Unexpected in a translation, and makes me wish I could read in the original. The story is episodic but takes one main character from his childhood with an overbearing mother through unlikely adventures in exotic cultures and placid interludes with his wife and children. I hope the author, translator and narrator won satisfactory plaudits for this timeless work.

51 people found this helpful

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Great book if looking for a story

If you are looking for a story more so than a history book The Long Ships is the right book. I listened to most of this book while at work and would get side tracked from my work by daydreaming due to the imagery. The only note that I have is that sometimes I found myself getting lost due to the amount of story. Wonderful book however

29 people found this helpful

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Finally a great audio edition of this great book!

Loved this audio of a fantastic book! A classic adventure finally has it's audio edition.

27 people found this helpful

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A tale worth reviewing

Is a long tale but the subliminal dry humour makes the book. I loved the broad historical context.

12 people found this helpful

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A great road trip companion

We chose this book wanting to have something similar to Louis L'amour's Walking Drum and an epic like the Lord of the Rings. Historical fiction set in 900-1000 AD. It started a little slow, but was engaging in its history, culture, story, and characters. A good swashbuckling novel.

32 people found this helpful

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ALL THUMBS UP!!!😀😀😀😀😍

AWESOME STORY!!!!!
Very engaging from the first page all the way through to the last page.
This book won't disappoint at all.
ENJOY!!!

22 people found this helpful

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Not exactly a page turner

It began interesting enough, but about halfway through, it sorta died. Unlike a good story which a reader doesn’t want to end, I was actually wanting The Long Ships to end.

44 people found this helpful

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  • edward sidsaph
  • 04-08-18

Amazing.A joy and a pleasure to listen to.

This book in my honest opinion is the father of all other Viking books whether it be The Last Kingdom series by Bernard Cornwell or Odinn's Child series by Tim Severin.This has everything Vikings,Gods,Saxons, and Muslims layered together to bring the 10/11th centuries back to life.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Mr Bruce Taylor
  • 07-16-20

Epic

Excellent epic tale, well read and full of authentic historical detail. In the style of the best sagas

2 people found this helpful

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  • lee w
  • 01-22-20

Great book after a difficult listen to start with

After the first few chapters I was ready to give up on this book due to the narration, I even checked my library to see if I had listened to other books read by Michael Page, because it seemed so bad. Thankfully I persevered, and as the story developed it also allowed the reader to develop too.

Ultimately I thought this was a great book, and would recommend it others who like this genre.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Rebecca
  • 12-27-19

yawn!

I was told This was a classoc and a must read - Ill try the hardcopy coz this narrator reads it like a bullet list! this will be my second refund ever.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Manchester Mama
  • 11-19-19

The only book I have listened to more than once

Love the story. Love the humour. Narrator is superb. This should be a classic and read by as many people as possible.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Nile_Etland
  • 03-19-18

Marvellous story, pronunciations a bit strange

I found the way that some of the words were pronounced was quite distracting - for example in UK English plait is generally pronounced 'platt', and the reader pronounced portage in the French manner, with a soft 'g'. Confusing!

5 people found this helpful

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  • Jonathan
  • 07-19-19

Lucky Orm

Found the book a bit slow and boring to start but the enjoyment started, really enjoyed it because it was a little different to all he other Viking books I've listened to

1 person found this helpful

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  • john
  • 06-28-19

Brilliant!!

Epic adventure...highly recommended
Anyone who likes Viking story’s will love this.
Great narration also.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Claire
  • 06-01-19

A classic.

one of the great adventure stories, worthy of a place alongside Treasure Island and King Solomons Mines.

1 person found this helpful

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  • hair
  • 02-10-18

This is fun

The cheerful bloodthirstiness is very beguiling and the the characters are unexpected for a heroic epic, the main character being a hypochondriac Viking. I gave up listening to the book called "The Vikings" which I'd got hoping to learn a bit of Norse history and so I was especially happy to get a feel of the Viking world from "The Long Boats", which was never dull .

1 person found this helpful

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  • Phil Pfeifer
  • 05-12-19

awesome book, must read

honestly one of the best audiobooks I've ever listened to, beautifully narrated and fantastic story, loved it

1 person found this helpful

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  • Matthew
  • 05-16-20

It just waffles on and on.

Didn't finish it. I was so bored I can't recall even the interesting bits. It has no direction, not even a good tale... It simply goes from one dull tale to the next.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-29-19

Wonderful

This is without doubt one of the best books I have listened to; great story and well read.