Selected by Gwyn Jones the eminent Celtic scholar for their excellence and variety, these nine Icelandic sagas include Hen Thorir, The Vapnfjord Men, Thorstein Staff Struck, Hrafnkel the Priest of Prey, Thidrandi whom the Goddesses Slew, Authun and the Bear, Gunnlaug Wormtongue, King Hrolf and his Champions, and the title piece


10 thoughts on “Eirik The Red, And Other Icelandic Sagas

  1. Deborah Ideiosepius Deborah Ideiosepius says:

    This collection is best reviewed as individual stories, which is after all what they are Some of the characters and places are in common between the individual sagas but from a reader point I feel they are discrete.Having read a few sagas I can say that the editors and translators are what make or break a collection and this editor does am amazing job The introduction is almost as interesting as the sagas themselves and one can get so much out of it Gwyn Jones brings the translation to life e This collection is best reviewed as individual stories, which is after all what they are Some of the characters and places are in common between the individual sagas but from a reader point I feel they are discrete.Having read a few sagas I can say that the editors and translators are what make or break a collection and this editor does am amazing job The introduction is almost as interesting as the sagas themselves and one can get so much out of it Gwyn Jones brings the translation to life eloquently and vividly, the beautiful turns of phrase make these sagas clear and almost contemporary in feeling While I do not have the bloodthirst code of honour of the Icelanders in the stories, the fact that they have a code and that it is deeply important to them, even when problematic to live by, is clear in every saga.I won t review all the stories, but I will say that the one I had most looked forward to, The Vapnfjord Men, was the one I found most problematic It is quite long with too many people and circumstances and places to easily keep straight in my head There was a lot or re reading as I tried to create a linear picture of something that quite clearly should have been a spoken word experience I hope one day I get to hear it told, rather than reading it Also, has this ever been a movie or Teeve series If not why on earth not It would be spectacularly brilliant in that medium.I adored the fun storytelling of Authun and the Bear, Eirik The Red so different from the children s book I loved as a child, but even better and Thorstein Staff Struck


  2. Nicky Nicky says:

    Read this for Myth Saga It s a little difficult to understand the sagas, at first The names are all unfamiliar and often sound the same lots of Thorsomethings , and the placenames are all odd, and I don t know the background history and context of them as well as I d like This translation seems relatively clear, though, and aside from the confusing names, it s easy to read The history you get glimpses of, the Viking encounters with Native Americans, is interesting I think I knew a bit Read this for Myth Saga It s a little difficult to understand the sagas, at first The names are all unfamiliar and often sound the same lots of Thorsomethings , and the placenames are all odd, and I don t know the background history and context of them as well as I d like This translation seems relatively clear, though, and aside from the confusing names, it s easy to read The history you get glimpses of, the Viking encounters with Native Americans, is interesting I think I knew a bit about it before, but it s interesting to actually read literature about those encounters.Probably, since I m studying it, I should reread the relevant sagas soon, to get a better grip on them When I do, since I ll haveexperience with reading sagas by then, and I ll have been to all the lectures, I might add something to this review


  3. Lee Lee says:

    Some of the sagas in this collection really wouldn t have been out of place in Tolkein s Unfinished Tales They read very much like rough early drafts of tales from Middle Earth.The first few sagas drag somewhat They mostly consist of vast genealogies though apparently the translator Gwyn Jones removed some of the extraneous family tree parts and then a drawn out blood feud wherein two families will take it in turns avenging some crime that has long since been forgotten.Amongst these is Eirik Some of the sagas in this collection really wouldn t have been out of place in Tolkein s Unfinished Tales They read very much like rough early drafts of tales from Middle Earth.The first few sagas drag somewhat They mostly consist of vast genealogies though apparently the translator Gwyn Jones removed some of the extraneous family tree parts and then a drawn out blood feud wherein two families will take it in turns avenging some crime that has long since been forgotten.Amongst these is Eirik the Red, a saga famous for recording the settling of Greenland and an Icelandic expedition to North America it s also a pretty good read.The best saga is saved till last King Hrolf and his Champions is by far the longest tale in the collection albeit still only a hundred pages or so But this is ample time to actually get involved in the story and allow it to build to a fine climax The final battle in this saga that closes the book is both suitably epic in scale and surprisingly moving A fine book overall


  4. Cassandra Kay Silva Cassandra Kay Silva says:

    I was not impressed with the translator Of course since this was the only translation I was able to find, its hard to say if its entirely the translators fault or the fault of the work itself I just was not very impressed with the language use in this collection, it lacked any poetic quality even the short snippets of verse seemed to lack a poetic feel I think that at least a couple of these stories were very memorable, King Hrolf standing out significantly here The first story was terribl I was not impressed with the translator Of course since this was the only translation I was able to find, its hard to say if its entirely the translators fault or the fault of the work itself I just was not very impressed with the language use in this collection, it lacked any poetic quality even the short snippets of verse seemed to lack a poetic feel I think that at least a couple of these stories were very memorable, King Hrolf standing out significantly here The first story was terrible Such petty squabbles, and simple minded concerns were difficult to relate to Perhaps these types of feuds were in fact the main concerns of peasants in this sort of environment, who am I to say If it was I can t say it makes for terribly interesting literature The latter stories in this collection wereinteresting by far


  5. Sam Sam says:

    This collection tells the tales of the mortal men of Iceland and the surrounding areas showing how the culture and communities of the time valued their ancestry and their honour above all is The sagas are a engrossing collection of blood feuds, chivarly, honour and revenge and, once you get past all the similar sounding names and the same characters coming up in a few different places, they are surprisingly readable These sagas also deal with the discovery of America by the Icelandic people an This collection tells the tales of the mortal men of Iceland and the surrounding areas showing how the culture and communities of the time valued their ancestry and their honour above all is The sagas are a engrossing collection of blood feuds, chivarly, honour and revenge and, once you get past all the similar sounding names and the same characters coming up in a few different places, they are surprisingly readable These sagas also deal with the discovery of America by the Icelandic people and of the introduction of Christianity and how this changed the culture and religion of the Icelandic communities Overall an interesting and engrossing collection that is well translated and accessible to any reader whether they have a previous knowledge of the Icelandic culture or not


  6. Billy Roper Billy Roper says:

    Yes, it s Eirik , not Eric , or close enough, in modern English I wrote about him in my Glome s Saga book, one of thememorable Viking era characters and a great pitch man Want new settlers to come to a place, sight unseen Call it Greenland , even if it isn t, so much Of course his son Leif, considered lucky, helped popularize the re discovery an exploration of Vinland His daughter might have been the toughest of the bunch, though, and the meanest.


  7. Douglas Douglas says:

    Wonderfully entertainingand even a bit mysterious because in one of the stories written over 1,000 years ago the writer describes with a high degree of accuracy the northeast coast of North America including what seems to be present day Massachusetts


  8. David David says:

    Never met an Icelandic saga i didn t like and this is no exception Entertaining and enlightening to the culture of the time.


  9. Kevin Kevin says:

    If you like Tolkien, dig deeper.


  10. Adam Adam says:

    As the Gen Y would say, Lit AF Horse thieves, shady real estate developers, in famous kings, water, boats, helmets, and so on So good End tales move towards true ish not true at all come on But undead battle Language proves fair well challenging at times Sometimes a street battle passage at a time In other cases, the whole darn tale Suspect on the part of multiple authors across a span of time since the translation is singularly perform By nameplate, at least.If you re ready to take As the Gen Y would say, Lit AF Horse thieves, shady real estate developers, in famous kings, water, boats, helmets, and so on So good End tales move towards true ish not true at all come on But undead battle Language proves fair well challenging at times Sometimes a street battle passage at a time In other cases, the whole darn tale Suspect on the part of multiple authors across a span of time since the translation is singularly perform By nameplate, at least.If you re ready to take your reading game to the next level then step up on it