Speesh Reads Posts

What have I reviewed RECENTLY?

As I’ve been away awhile, I’ll start again with this little feature, eh?
And, a new, 2022 iMac is certainly making complicated things like this a lot easier than my old, 2011 one.


What I’m currently reading:

Laughing Shall I Die
Tom Shippey

“Viking literature is dominated by famous last stands, famous last words, death songs and defiant gestures, all presented with grim humour. Much of this mindset is alien to modern sentiment, and academics have accordingly shunned it.And yet, it is this same worldview that has always powered the popular public image of the Vikings – with their berserkers, valkyries and cults of Valhalla and Ragnarok – and has also been corroborated by archaeological discoveries.
Was it this mindset that powered the sufdden eruption of the Vikings onto the European scene? Was it a belief in heroic death that made them so lastingly successful against so manybellicose opponents? Weighing the evidence of sagas and poems against the accounts of the Vikings’ victims, Tom Shippey considers these questions as he plumbs the complexities of Viking psychology and recounts many of the great bravura scenes of Old Norse literature, including the fall of the House of the Skjoldungs, the clash between the two great longships Ironbeard and Long Serpent, and the death of Thormod the skald. The most exciting book on Vikings for a generation, Laughing Shall I Die presents them for what they were; not peaceful explorers, but blood-thirsty warriors and marauders.”