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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 members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Beautiful

This is a beautifully written book but only to be matched by the way it was read. Can’t wait for the movie... whenever that day may come.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Wonderful story

Fighting, Vikings, woman, intrigue,Buried treasure, this book has it all. The translation from Norwegian it good and the reader wasn’t bad either. If you like Viking sagas like myself just go ahead and use the credit.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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this book is a gem

This book is a gem. The reader does an excellent job bringing the story to life.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Amazing translation and story

Fast paced adventure of the Viking persuasion. These are not your ordinary peasants but aristocrats of the time. Sea, trips and plunder.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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not very captivating story.

not very captivating story. a long and drawn out plot with no meat to it.

0 of 1 people found this review 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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Nile_Etland
  • 03-19-18

Marvellous story, pronunciations a bit strange <br />

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!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr. Anthony D. Bateman
  • 09-03-18

an epic saga

I wish I had known of this book yrs ago as it is older than I. 5days after purchasing, by coincidence bbc2 showed the 1964 film version and as Hollywood's want, did it no justice, narrated as if listening to an old friend I found I could listen into the early hrs as if listening to his experience, such is the writing so good to create a piece of extraordinary literature

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  • Cooking Again
  • 06-05-18

A long time to discover

Why haven't I come across this before?
Captivating, Interesting, rollicking, entertaining, educational. Believable characters, adventurous yarn wearing the underlying knowledge of Norse mythology and folk lore lightly.
A less bloody confrontational style of Vikings v Christian disquisition than Bernard Cornwall.
Fabulous narration, too!
Looking for more even before I finish this epic!

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Lee
  • 03-04-18

Terrible narrator,

Don't waste your money,it's like a computer talking....bad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-13-18

good stuff.

I loved it. Piity it is not one of a long series. Could manage many more.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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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 .