The Long Ships July 13, 2010
We are delighted to announce that, though published just this month, Frans G. Bengtsson’s The Long Ships has already received two reviews. The San Francisco Chronicle and NPR.org both herald Bengtsson’s novel as a thrilling, intrigue-filled read perfect for the summer.
The Long Ships, originally published in Swedish in 1941, is an epic adventure set in the fantastic world of the tenth century AD. The NYRB Classics edition includes an introduction by long-time enthusiast Michael Chabon, who calls it “a novel with the potential to please every literate human being.”
Chabon is also the novel’s reviewer and recommender for The San Francisco Chronicle, where he champions The Long Ships as this summer’s most exciting read: “It’s thrilling, beautifully written, dry and witty and touching, a classic but little-known historical adventure novel by the Swedish novelist, just out in a handsome reprint from the New York Review of Books, though marred by a tiresome introduction by some windbag.”
Michael Schaub, writing for NPR.org, places The Long Ships at the top of his list of “Historical Fiction: The Ultimate Summer Getaway.” “If you want to be taken back to a time when, say, the ocean was full of Viking long ships instead of leaking oil,” he writes, “wait no more… Even readers with zero interest in the Europe of a millennium ago will want to keep turning the pages. All novels should be so lucky as to age this well.”
Schaub and Chabon agree that The Long Ships is a timelessly entertaining text—it is an escapist indulgence perfect for the summer months.