The Long Ships

The Long Ships Frans Gunnar Bengtsson s The Long Ships resurrects the fantastic world of the tenth century AD when the Vikings roamed and rampaged from the northern fastnesses of Scandinavia down to the Mediterranea

  • Title: The Long Ships
  • Author: Frans G. Bengtsson Michael Meyer Michael Chabon
  • ISBN: -
  • Page: 421
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Frans Gunnar Bengtsson s The Long Ships resurrects the fantastic world of the tenth century AD when the Vikings roamed and rampaged from the northern fastnesses of Scandinavia down to the Mediterranean 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 oarFrans Gunnar Bengtsson s The Long Ships resurrects the fantastic world of the tenth century AD when the Vikings roamed and rampaged from the northern fastnesses of Scandinavia down to the Mediterranean 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 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 nyrb

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    About " Frans G. Bengtsson Michael Meyer Michael Chabon "

  • Frans G. Bengtsson Michael Meyer Michael Chabon

    Frans G Bengtsson 1894 1954 was born and raised in the southern Swedish province of Sk ne, the son of an estate manager His early writings, including a doctoral thesis on Geoffrey Chaucer and two volumes of poetry written in what were considered antiquated verse forms, revealed a career long interest in historical literary modes and themes Bengtsson was a prolific translator of Paradise Lost, The Song of Roland, and Walden , essayist he published five collections of his writings, mostly on literary and military topics , and biographer his two volume biography of Charles XII Karl XII s levnad won the Swedish Academy s annual prize in 1938 In 1941 he published R de Orm Sj farare i v sterled Red Orm at Home and on the Western Way , followed, in 1945, by R de Orm Hemma och i sterled Red Orm at Home and on the Eastern Way The two books were published in a single volume in the United States and England in 1954 as The Long Ships During the Second World War, Bengtsson was outspoken in his opposition to the Nazis, refusing to allow for a Norwegian translation of The Long Ships while the country was still under German occupation Bengtsson married Gerda Fineman in 1939 He studied at the University of Lund from 1912, receiving his licentiate in philosophy in 1930 He died in 1954 after a long illness.


  • ”His voice became frenzied, and he glared wrathfully from one to the other, brandishing his arms and crying: Blood-wolves, murderers and malefactors, adulterated vermin, Gadarene swine, weeds of Satan and minions of Beelzebub, generation of vipers and basilisks, shall you be cleansed by holy baptism and stand as white as snow in the regiments of the blessed angels? Nay, I tell you, it shall not be so. I have lived long in this house and have witnessed too much; I know your ways. No bishop or h [...]

  • In just a minute I’ll be trying my hardest to sell you Goodreading friends on this sensational Viking experience. Before that, though, seeing as how I’m foaming over with excitement and appreciation, I have multiple people to thank.⊕ First, to the author: I know that you’re dead, but believe you must be sitting at the right hand of Odin, smiling that another reader has recognized your magnificent talent for stories, your impressive capacity for research and your sure way with words. Plau [...]

  • This year my reading has been, to a great extent, directed by my travels or visits. These also account for my irregular presence in GR. I have been either on the go, or involved with other projects related to the travels.As one of my upcoming trips is to the South of Spain, to Andalusia, I have been reading about the Muslim and medieval times in Spain. Prior to this, I had also travelled to another enclave that lies deep in the Christian medieval times of Spain, to Burgos, and this had me readin [...]

  • There is plenty of adventure when the Vikings go a-Viking. They are a pragmatic bunch, and when it serves their purpose to convert to the teachings of Islam, they do so; when it is practical to become Christians, they convert again. They do however find some of the beliefs quite strange: "But his fear of Allah they could not understand, for it was unknown among the Northmen for anyone to be afraid of the gods." Later on there are hilarious scenes when they become Christians and are waiting for t [...]

  • Brilliant comic novel about life in Viking Sweden. Those Vikings were real tough dudes. My favorite bit is the sequence with Orm's first captain, who has a run of bad luck and ends up being captured and sold into slavery. The overseer knows he used to be a big guy and takes special delight in tormenting him, but the former captain waits for his chance. One day, while they're working in a shipyard, they're close to a barrel of boiling pitch; he picks up the hated overseer and dumps him in, head-f [...]

  • This is the most laughs I've got out of a book dealing with pillaging, raping, burning, slaving at a galley's oar, duels to the death, wars at sea or on land. The fun starts from the very first chapter where it is dryly suggested that the reason the Northmen were so fond of going a-viking to the ends of the known world every spring was to escape the sharp tongues and the fiery tempers of their beloved consorts. After being cooped in with them for six long and cold winter months, going out at sea [...]

  • A five hundred page novel about Vikings set in the year 1000? Sure, why not? This book has got more booty than a Sir Mix-a-Lot video. [rimshot!] Of course, I mean old school booty, as in creaky wooden chests filled with gold coins and jewel-encrusted amulets. Red Orm is our hero, a strangely lovable barbarian who begins the novel as a pubescent naif and ends it as a wealthy chieftain. Oops, spoiler alert (retroactive). I'm not really giving anything away there. This is very much an old fashioned [...]

  • October 2011PROLOGUEHow the shaven men fared in Skania in King Harald Bluetooth's timeMany restless men rowed north from Skania with Bue and Vagn, and found ill fortune in Jörundfjord; others marched with Styrbjörn to Uppsala and died there with him. When the news reached their homeland that few of them could be expected to return, elegies were declaimed and memorial stones set up; whereupon all sensible men agreed that what had happened was for the best, for they could now hope to have a more [...]

  • Swiftly moving, endlessly entertaining, and brimming with historically accurate 10th-century flavor, this recounts in Norse saga fashion the adventures of Orm Tostesson (aka "Red Orm"), beginning with his capture as a young lad by Vikings, where, initially taken as a slave, he quickly proves his mettle and is initiated into the group as one of their own, and is eventually elected chieftain. The book follows Orm as he travels far and wide, makes lifelong friendships (and a few enemies), fights ba [...]

  • There is no interior monologue in this novel. It's all on the outside. And even so when I think how to describe my feeling about this book, the words that come to mind are "what a lark! what a plunge!" The prose is one fresh breeze of a story after another. I loved it the way I loved Star Wars circa 1977: it allowed me to enter a world completely unlike the one I'm living in, and to know with confidence that there was going to be a happy ending.

  • Here there be vikings!This is (relatively) recently back in print in English, and the new edition has a forward by Michael Chabon, in which he goes on about it like a maniac. One of the things I like about Michael Chabon is that you can always count on him for some solid hyperbole, so I wasn't taking it that seriously.By about the third page, I was convinced it was the best book I'd ever read, and by the tenth page, was wondering why anyone ever bothered writing a book after 1945. After the worl [...]

  • When asked what he had in mind writing his adventure novel The Long Ships, author Frans Gunnar Bengtsson answered, "I just wanted to write a story that people could enjoy reading, like The Three Musketeers or The Odyssey." In this, he succeeded beyond his wildest dreams. His work has been translated into 23 languages at last count.I have always loved literature by and about the Vikings -- from the great Icelandic Sagas to the Saxon Tales of Bernard Cornwell -- and I have always felt that they ha [...]

  • Orm - a Viking that goes a-viking, has many adventures, learns much, has great luck (overall), and tries out a few different religions along the way.Orm Tostesson (aka Red Orm) is a wonderfully developed character that we follow throughout his life: from the licking of a blade as a baby, to the coddling of his mother, to abduction, enslavement, many battles, and eventually having his own children and the subsequent adventures that a true Viking chieftain would expect to have when they have acqui [...]

  • A rollicking Viking novel. The story follows the intrepid Red Orm from his youth through to maturity as a husband, father and warrior of renown.This lengthy novel is action packed with wonderful descriptions of Viking culture and customs. A surprisingly humorous novel in parts, great fun to read. Loved the female characters here, especially Asa the mother of Red Orm.

  • Written in 3rd-person Viking, THE LONG SHIPS gives a more favorable view of the Norsemen, especially Orm Tostesson, who travels widely and sees the World, such as it was in the 10th century A.D. Author Frans G. Bengtsson, a Swede, knows his history, as well he should -- himself a translator of many olden works such as PARADISE LOST and THE SONG OF ROLAND. Bengtsson showed some mettle himself (Red Orm would be proud), refusing to consent to a Norwegian translation of his book as long as the Norwe [...]

  • Hey thanks, Manny. I hate violence, historical fiction makes me throw up, I stopped reading adventure books when I was twelve and Viking gods bored me to tears when I was going through my pagan gods stage in primary school and -'ve given me The Long Ships for my Birthday. That's so - well, I'm just lost for words - of you. What? Yes, I can see it was a big concession, really you wanted to get it in Swedish and I could put it on my list of languages I have to learn. And no, even though I [...]

  • I loved this book! It's about the fate of the Viking Röde Orm and his adventures in far away lands and at home. I've rarely read anything so entertaining, the narrative exudes of energy and storytelling joy ("fortellerglede" in Norwegian). It took a little while before I got used to the language, but after the first couple of hours (out of 17) I ceased to notice. The book was first published in the 1940's and the Swedish used had not been modernized for the edition I listened to. With time I fo [...]

  • 51. The Long Ships by Frans Gunnar Bengtssontranslation: from Swedish Michael Leverson Meyerintroduction: Michael Chabonpublished:— 1941 - Röde Orm 1: Sjöfarare i västerled— 1945 - Röde Orm: Hemma och i österled — 1955 - translated and combined. — 2010 - (crappy) introductionformat: 509 page paperbackacquired: Octoberread: Nov 23 - Dec 3rating: 4½This is fun. A viking adventure story that explores the remarkable world of 1000 AD. It's never too serious, and yet always interesting i [...]

  • Thanks to Jan for recommending this. It's taken me many months to find a copy at the library. This is a yellowing, somewhat tattered 1954 edition, which has been filed away somewhere and last borrowed almost 30 years ago! What a waste! I'm only a few chapters in and already it's terrific. :-) I need maps though. But that's what Google is for. :-)Manny, you've probably read this, haven't you? In Swedish! ------------I'm about halfway through The Long Ships which is a romance (not in the sense of [...]

  • Orm is a viking, doing his viking things. He gets captured by slavers, goes to battles, finds treasures, founds a village, goes to viking meetings I know it sounds extremely simple like that and I find that's the beauty of this book; being an old-fashioned, fun adventure that gives you good feelings. Sure, now some of you will go "but viking were violent and horrible, what the heck are you talking about???". To which I say yes and no. There is violence in this, sure. But also there is a lot of f [...]

  • This must be the "granddaddy" of Viking novels by Low or Cornwell. Written in the style of the old sagas, this is the story of 'Red Orm' and his voyages -- to Spain, England, and to the land of the Patzinaks to retrieve a treasure of gold. This book had everything: adventure, humor, romance

  • Historical allegories are always useful when you live in troubled times but don't necessarily want to talk directly about them because you never know who might be listening, and obviously for painting a bigger picture with older roots than newspapers can do. Sweden was neutral in WWII and eager not to openly piss off our big neighbour in the South, and consequently historical literature got a boost; Vilhelm Moberg's Ride This Night is a thinly veiled anti-fascist tract set in 17th century Sweden [...]

  • It's probably a good thing this edition doesn't have an image of the cover yet, as it was released in conjunction with the film adaptation and thusly has a hideous cover with dated illustrations of clean-shaven dudes in tunics waving around swords while garish 60s text screams an advertisement--not for the book of course, but for the movie. As a moderately anal and neurotic book collector I fuckin' hate owning copies of books that date themselves to the release of a film/tv version that in all l [...]

  • A classic of the historical fiction genre and a fun read.This tenth century saga retells the adventures of Orm Tosteson (Red Orm) and his Norse merry men, going a’viking abroad, converting to Christianity and eventually settling down in the border lands with his wife Ylva. The stories are many and varied and the reader will enjoy learning about the ancient ways of the Vikings, the fighting skills, the cunning, the luck and even the wisdom required in settling disputes at the Thing. They are al [...]

  • A long, but enjoyable look at the career of Orm Tostesson (aka Röde Orm, 'Red Serpent') a young man from Scania (the land on the southern-most tip of Sweden) who becomes a Viking after being kidnapped, more or less by accident, by a raiding party that was stealing his sheep.The spines of this fictional biography are the three major voyages taken by Orm during his life. The first to Spain, where Orm serves time as a galley slave; the next to England, where he meets Ethelred the Unready; the last [...]

  • Unacknowledged (or unintentional) forebear of much of the schlocky crap that we have to wade through now, "The Long Ships", which is probably best read around the hearthfire aloud, is high adventure at its best. Morally ambiguous characters are always fun, especially ones who are Vikings. You really get an unquestioning view of a dead world in novels like this, where men and women were free to act on their whims and desires with nothing really at stake except for each other. I'm convinced that t [...]

  • I read this one as a teenager in Swedish so this "review" is slightly frayed by years of pillaging on my own brain and memory. Most significantly I remember it as one of those book you never want to end. It was so much fun to hang out with Orm and his friends and enemies that you wished you could just keep reading it forever.Frans G. Bengtsson said he wanted to create something between the Odyssey and the Three Musketeers and it's a pretty good description.I'm witholding one star because it's a [...]

  • This novel is a finely fleshed-out representation of the Norse world, including their commercial relations, from 982 to about 1007. If not familiar with the history, this may make you interested in becoming so.

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