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The Long Ships

Narrated by: Michael Page
Length: 20 hrs and 12 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (86 ratings)

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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

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

6 people found this helpful

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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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Epic

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

1 person found this helpful

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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.

1 person found this helpful

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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.

1 person found this helpful

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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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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.

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The Long Ships is a fantastic listen.

Style The Long Ships is reminiscent of Tolkien, J. R. R's work to me. Its flowing prose, the dialogue between characters. It is starkly different to modern fiction, but is refreshing. It as a sense of gravitas, as if it were a book written hundreds of years ago. For myself anyway, that really drew me into the novel. It placed it well in the time period covered. It is a slow read however for this. The text only really picks up here and there in action, and has a methodical pace throughout. The conversations and choice of speech for all the characters is perfect however. There are some truly great lines, and epic retorts in this book. it had me laughing at certain points with it. Story The Story is that of Orm, a lesser son of a small clan. From humble beginings, where not much is expected of our protagonist, Orm goes on to have three epic voyages, three epic times where he goes a viking. From the Northern fjords, to Spain and far Constantinople, Orm grows as a hero with each voyage. They offer a really good background for him as a character, along with all the people he meets. All the cast members of this epic are interesting, and have something to add to this story. I was excited to meet them all, and see what part they had to play, and was even surprised by some of their returns later on in the book. The story itself is somewhat predictable, and some of the plot elements are very obvious. However, given the books ages, and the well telling of the plot, I think this is easily forgiven. Final Thoughts This is a great read, and one I would recommend to any lover of fiction. Go with Orm on a life spanning adventure, into the world of the vikings!

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Brilliant!!

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

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A classic.

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

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  • Stephan B. Collins
  • 28-08-18

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!!

68 people found this helpful

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  • Jenifer Reynolds
  • 11-09-18

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.

62 people found this helpful

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  • Gerald Albertson
  • 13-03-19

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.

33 people found this helpful

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  • Baz
  • 27-08-18

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.

50 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 19-02-19

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

28 people found this helpful

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  • Joseph A. Kelly
  • 02-02-18

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.

26 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-08-19

A tale worth reviewing

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

11 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 16-07-19

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.

30 people found this helpful

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  • Patrick
  • 14-03-19

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.

42 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-04-19

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!!!

20 people found this helpful