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The Vikings: A History Paperback – Illustrated, September 28, 2010
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About the Author
- Publisher : Penguin Books; Illustrated edition (September 28, 2010)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 464 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0143118013
- ISBN-13 : 978-0143118015
- Item Weight : 14.7 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.49 x 1 x 8.44 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #648,906 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Of course, part of this is because of the nature of the Vikings; i.e., they came from different parts of Scandinavia (various parts of Denmark, Norway and Sweden), traveled to many different places to raid, trade and colonize, and many of these things happened concurrently. However, I got a feeling that the author didn't really have a consistent approach to how he presented the material which would have made the book easier to read.
All in all, an informative book, but you will have to commit to finishing it IMHO. If you want a book that is easier to read, you might want to look at some other books, such as Lars Brownworth's "The Sea Wolves: A History of the Vikings."
I really liked the author's focus on the long, slow adoption of Christianity, which threw the Viking stereotype into sharp relief.
Some choices, likely editorial, seemed odd. For one, I found the chapters dealing with the Vikings in England hard to read because, I think the book assumes that the reader is already familiar with medieval England (I am not). I suspect that the author wrote for an English or British audience, as he goes into greater detail about Ireland.
Another odd choice was the lack of discussion of the runic alphabet. In a few passages, the author used unfamiliar letters without explaining how they'd be pronounced in English.
Still, fascinating take.
Top reviews from other countries
It seemed to place the Viking era well in its own context of a clash of religions Norse paganism v. Christianity