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The Sea Road

4.2 (3116)

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | The Sea Road.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Margaret Elphinstone(Author)

    Book details

A haunting, compelling historical novel, The Sea Road is a daring retelling of the 11th-century Viking exploration of the North Atlantic from the viewpoint of one extraordinary woman. Gudrid lives at the remote edge of the known world, in a starkly beautiful landscape where the sea is the only connection to the shores beyond. It is a world where the old Norse gods are still invoked even as Christianity gains favor, where the spirits of the dead roam the vast northern ice-fields, tormenting the living, and Viking explorers plunder foreign shores. Taking the accidental discovery of North America as its focal point, Gudrid's narrative describes a multilayered voyage into the unknown, all recounted with astonishing immediacy and rich atmospheric detail.

'Forget Richard Branson, the audacious female traveller Gudrid of Iceland is the original explorer's explorer ... Elphinstone has written a fine tribute to a woman whose tale is as warm and inviting as a hot spring on a clear winter day.' The Times --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

4.5 (3847)
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Required Software Any PDF Reader, Apple Preview
Supported Devices Windows PC/PocketPC, Mac OS, Linux OS, Apple iPhone/iPod Touch.
# of Devices Unlimited
Flowing Text / Pages Pages
Printable? Yes

Book details

  • PDF | 256 pages
  • Margaret Elphinstone(Author)
  • Canongate UK (August 7, 2001)
  • English
  • 6
  • Literature & Fiction

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Review Text

  • By Martin Cox on May 6, 2012

    If you're looking for historical novels of the Viking Era that emphasize the rough aspects of Norse life (not disputing that the Vikings were a tough bunch) and are filled with epic battles and constant fighting, this book is not for you (I'd suggest you look towards something like Bernard Cornwell's Saxon Tales). However, if you've read those types of books are are interested in something a bit more cerebral, then this book is an excellent choice, albeit one that does take time to get moving.The writing style for the book is unusual, in that it is told almost completely in the first person, as the main character relates the story of her life (and in particular, her voyage to Vinland) to a monk in Rome. The book does take its time developing the storyline, but it then envelopes the reader in the tale of Iceland/Greenland/Vinland.Elphinstone is strong on nuances and atmospherics; it's most noticeable during the parts where she shifts from first person to third person to describe near-supernatural events that may or may not actually be occurring. She also has a good eye for detail, and captures many of the subtleties of Norse culture (for example, how the main character is impressed when her husband-to-be shows her linen and colored cloth when all she's ever known is undyed wool).Again, if you're looking for a rip-roaring tale of adventuring warriors, this isn't the book. But if you're looking for a story that will leave you wishing there was a sequel (there isn't) and that you could meet the characters in the real world, this is an excellent choice.

  • By Fairlee E. Winfield on April 4, 2010

    OK, so maybe the battle axes don't swing and we don't get the titillating sexy scenes, but I truly enjoyed this book and I've read the sagas and plenty of the historic Greenland novels. What did I like about it? I liked the tension between the heathen and christian beliefs. I liked that the characters were still at the crossroads there--unable to commit totally to one or the other belief. Most of all I like the characterization of Leif Eriksson. For the most part, we find him such an heroic figure. Elphistone shows him as rather conniving and not entirely the prince charming we are accustomed to seeing. In "The Sea Road," he's good old Erik the Red's son, only a bit away from dad's violence.I'm not sure how accurate some of the ambiance is. I don't think the Greenlanders were able to keep chickens, and the ponies? Maybe only early on. But hey, this is a fun read. Wish I could have gotten it on Kindle though Kindle Wireless Reading Device (6" Display, Global Wireless, Latest Generation).

  • By Erling Aspelund on April 21, 2015

    The author, Margaret Elphinstone, is well read ---- like all outstanding authors. Her story is based on three Sagas of the Icelanders, i.e. Eirik the Red's Saga, The Saga of the Greenlanders, and The Saga of the people at Eyri, with very interesting inputs of her own - of course.This is one book which is very difficult to put down or in other words stop reading. One is always tempted to go to the next chapter. The story flows like a fine wine. Excellent book.Erling Aspelund

  • By Moxy on March 31, 2015

    The caliber of writing is WAY above the average historical fiction, as is the actual content. The focus is on events as told by Icelandic sagas about Viking discovery and colonization. The conceit is that the story is dictated by a woman who probably was an actual person of the times, and written down by a Christian priest. Very enjoyable way to learn about the sagas and history.

  • By Bob Joyner on April 1, 2015

    Not my favorite. Bogged down many times for me.....esp. when describing the environment over and over!! But on the plus side, it was very well researched.

  • By Steven Nix on June 27, 2015

    brillant book the icelandic sagas from the eyes of a woman who was there with eric the red and leif erickson ...cant recommend it enough

  • By Dave A on October 31, 2016

    I purchased it for my wife who is an avid fan of Viking history and she is enjoying it

  • By David Keck on July 20, 2014

    The book took a while to get hold of me, for reasons that are likely more about me than the text. Elphinstone does wonderful work in conjuring up the fragile world of Northern Europe in the days of longships, traders and the end of paganism. The place is populated with spirits. The Sea Road brings them back to life.

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